¡Viva Havana! Brookgreen Gardens Annual Fundraiser

Brookgreen Gardens is known for its magnificent gardens, spectacular statues, and overall grandeur. Throughout the year, Brookgreen holds events including Nights of a Thousand Candles during the Christmas season and the Summer Lights Festival from May – August. In May, Friends of Brookgreen Gardens hold their annual fundraiser. This year the theme was ¡Viva Havana! and the entire night embodied the old world feel of Havana, Cuba.

Brightly colored table cloths, hanging lanterns, old 1950s Chevrolet, Ford, Buick, and Chrysler cars made it look as if you were in old Havana and with the dress code being “Cuban casual,” it felt that way as well. Cuban cigars were readily available and a comfortable seat could be found in the chaise lounges.



What really encompassed the Havana feel was the food. We served all Cuban-inspired recipes including Ropa Vieja, a festively dressed whole roasted pig, and tostones, or plantains.

Ropa Vieja is the national dish of Cuba and one with a particularly neat history. The legend goes that a penniless old man once shredded and cooked his own clothes to feed his family and as they cooked, he prayed over the bubbling concoction and a miracle occurred. The mixture turned into a tasty, rich meat stew. With the translation of Ropa Vieja being “old clothes,” it’s not hard to see how this legend could be true!

Roasting a whole pig is a common tradition Cubans practice especially on Christmas Eve or when there is a large family gathering so it was only appropriate we roast a whole pig for the benefit! We dressed him up with brightly colored flowers, fruit, and a fedora, true Cuban-style.

Plantains are practically the second national dish of Cuba! In Cuba, you are not a true Cuban national until you are aplatanado, or until you have been “plantainized.” Because plantains are starchy, they are versatile and are used in many different Cuban recipes. The most common use of plantains is slicing them and deep frying them and we used this approach when preparing plantains for the Viva Havana benefit!



It was an absolute pleasure to work with Brookgreen Gardens for this event and celebrate the beautifully rich history of Havana, Cuba!



What are our customers saying?

Had my son's rehearsal dinner there and was very please with the service and food served.  Staff made our celebration wonderful and easy from set up to break down. The wait staff were professional and courteous during dinner and Inlet Affairs was thorough in helping with our planning and menu.

The team from Inlet Affairs did an awesome job with the catering for my daughter's wedding. The food was amazing and the entire staff were extremely professional and courteous to our family and friends. I have heard rave reviews from the guests in every regard and will definitely use their services for any future catering needs. By the way, if you ever have the opportunity to savor their scallop BLT, you will be hooked on them as well!

Wonderful catering company with wonderful staff. They provided us with multiple choices, worked with us on our budget and really provided great food and service for our daughters wedding. We had lots of compliments on the food and excellent service and will definately use them again in the future.

Inlet Affairs catered my daughter's wedding and they were amazing!!!  I highly recommend them.  They were absolutely wonderful to work with and all the food was super delicious.  They delivered on everything they promised, were very flexible on changes, made really helpful suggestions and kept our pleasure and ease their top priority.  Everything was perfect - and everyone loved the food!

My husband and I absolutely adored using Inlet Affairs. Their creative food choices made our reception unique and memorable. We had passed sushi during cocktail hour that I adored and beautiful sliders and mac and spud bar were a hit! I would absolutely recommend Inlet Affairs to anyone in need of catering!

Our wedding there this past week was fantastic and the food was spectacular. We were looking for something original and that spoke to our backgrounds. When we went back for the taste testing a month and a half later, they had created some new dishes specifically for us. They set the tone for our wedding by providing things we'd never seen before at a wedding (or at least very rarely). Crostini's, macaroons, and brisket are some of the special flair that they were able to add. I wish I could say that there was one particular food item that stood out from the raves of friends but they all did.

Inlet Affairs catered an 80th Birthday party and it was excellent.  Inlet Affairs was very patient, punctual for setup and very quick to organize over 40 of us.  The mini crab cakes, fried shrimp and pulled pork were fantastic.

We couldn't of asked for a better reception venue. Food was amazing and staff were so friendly and helpful answering our questions and helping us figure things out!! Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a catering company!!