DIFFA: Cocktails By Design

On March 16th, we had the rewarding experience of attending the DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS – Cocktails by Design Preview Party at Pier 92 on the Hudson River in New York City. This is the 20th Anniversary of Dining by Design, the largest event on the DIFFA calendar. DIFFA invited local and international designers to transform a raw space into a showcase of over-the-top dining environments. Designers adorn walls tents, lighting wires, and more showcase the unique dining visions this is so much more setting a pretty table. Co-located with the Architectural Digest Design Show at Pier 94, DIFFA’s signature event gathers industry insiders, design enthusiasts, and active donors to Pier 92 in New York City to fundraise for a very worthy cause. It is a 5-day exhibition held from March 16-20, and more than 2,000 attendees are expected.

Designers and guests mingled surrounded by dazzling dining installations while sampling treats from NYC’s top restaurants and gourmet food purveyors and enjoying wine and specialty cocktails provided by Tito’s Vodka and Casamigos Tequila. This year’s fare was created by some of New York’s finest chefs. Participating restaurants were Philippe Chow, Asellina, Davios, Murray’s Cheese, STK, My Belly’s Playlist, Atlantic Grill, and Pera. Sweets were provided by ROYCE’ Chocolate M and Lady M Confections. Exceptional bites were the world famous pork and shrimp dumplings by Philippe Chow, and the Cheesesteak Eggroll newly opened My Belly’s Playlist. Also, a highlight was gnocchi bolognese from Davios.

50+ participants created immersive dining decors and artworks. Industry leaders like, Benjamin Moore, ED Ellen DeGeneres Crafted by Thomasville, The New York Times, Crate and Barrel, Gensler + KNOLL, Sunbrella, Twyla Presents Edward Granger, 200 Lexington, Roche Bobois and Ralph Lauren Home.

The New York Times installation was composed of hundreds of champagne flutes. They were stacked high in in architectural structures that defied gravity and sent the celebration to new heights a welcome innovation that infected the crowd with good cheer!

Design by Reach Exhibit was an exotic experience, it featured an encased jungle environment that transported the crowd to the deeps of the Amazon Jungle. Every exhibit from the suspended red chairs of Knoll to the stand out lighting by Flos showcased design innovation.

The exhibits are open to the public Thursday, March 16 – Sunday, March 19.  Also available are tickets to the Industry event of Design weekend – The DIFFA Gala Dinner, Monday, March 20.

Ticket holders will be treated to an elegant seated VIP dinner surrounded by the beautiful creations. After dinner guest can take to the dance floor surrounded by the breathtaking views and artwork created by the design masters. Attendees can also participate in a silent auction featuring priceless items and experiences. Proceeds from Dining by Design NY events support DIFFA in their ongoing work combating HIV/AIDS nationwide. Since 1984 DIFFA chapters have raised over $42 million in grants to over 30 organizations including Alpha Workshops, Bailey House, Housing Works, Jerusalem House, Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, Planned Parenthood of New York City, Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, SAGE, and Trillium Health.

Visit diffa.org to purchase tickets and learn more about how you can support  DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS.