A Three Kings Day Celebration

Last January, a group of young boys (and supervising parents) gathered to fete Three Kings Day or Epiphany. Celebrated by Roman Catholics on January 6, it is the culmination of the 12 days of Christmas.

Learning About Three Kings Day

Colleen Simonds, principal at Colleen Simonds Design, hosted the festive event. “There is a religious story behind it, [involving] three wise men presenting gifts to baby Jesus,” she explains. “I have two boys, ages 9 and 11, and [we] thought it would be fun to host a party at my house, with my boys and a bunch of their friends dressed as wise men. Hence, the robes and crowns.” They served certain foods associated with the day, too.

“We hosted the dinner at our home,” she says, “with the last breath of our Christmas decorations still up.” The main guest list totaled six—her two sons, who invited two friends apiece. “The adults weren’t really invited to the meal/party!” she shares. “We stayed behind the scenes.”

Thanks to the gathering date, right as the holiday buzz dwindled, a festive air lingered. “Our tree was still up, and we had holiday music on in the background,” Simonds says. “So still very much in the Christmas spirit.”

Start the Party After December 

There are definite benefits to throwing a party after the swirling dust of December has settled. Simonds found that people’s calendars tend to be a lot more open, so hosts aren’t competing with other social events. “And January tends to be kind of a dreary month,” she adds, “so it is fun to have something to look forward to.” That said, she knows that some exhausted folks are still recovering from the holiday whirlwind, ready for the festivities to come to a close. “So, it’s sort of a double-edged sword,” she says. “I was really ready for the Christmas tree to be out of here after the party.”

Simonds admits she was fearful of six adolescent boys eating in her dining room, yet everything went smoothly; all the young guests had fun and, much to her delight, even agreed to wear the greenery crowns. “Hosting this was easy for me,” she says. “The food was catered by Bistro to Go, Anne from Fox and the Fleur did the flowers. It wasn’t much of a heavy lift.”

A Creative Comfort Menu

Chef Kate Kobylinski of Bistro To Go Café & Catering was thrilled to cook for the event. She describes their company’s aim as “creating extraordinary relationships through food.” When devising the menu, Kobylinski considered what would feel appropriate for this particular theme. “Bistro To Go is rooted in deep tradition and diversity,” she says. “We took this opportunity to showcase traditional, comfort food from France and Mexico that represented the Three Kings holiday.”

The colorful menu consisted of Picadillo: slow-cooked beef with garlic, tomato, onions, peppers, raisins, and olives, served with home made chips; Kings Cake: sweet brioche cake with bright sprinkles; Brigadeiros: chocolate fudge balls rolled in gold sprinkles; Alfajores: dulce de leche sandwich cookies; and, to drink, Chocolate Horchata: orange-spiced hot chocolate with whipped cream, as well as Hibiscus Adajío Tea: spiced tea with pears, cinnamon, and oranges.

Kobylinski points out that Chef Angie Wassel and Chef Lori Joscak were her partners throughout this enjoyable catering experience. “They are both gifted bakers and chefs,” she shares. “It was a wonderful showcase of our combined talent. We thank TABLE Magazine and our host Colleen Simonds for the opportunity.”

When it comes to hosting tips, Simonds advises, “Play to your strengths. Food is definitely not mine, and the thought of preparing food for a crowd feels super stressful … so, outsource what you can.” On the other hand, take care of what comes naturally to you (for her, décor and table settings). One last tidbit? “Try to be a relaxed host,” she says. “Easier said than done!”

Story by Corinne Whiting / Recipes by Chef Kate Kobylinski, Bistro to Go Café & Catering / Photography by Laura Petrilla

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