Fall is feted at Dish & Design's Homestyle Harvest event

The latest Dish & Design event showcased ways to get ready for fall with fun home decor, proper bedding and ideas for seasonal food and drink

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Between the pumpkin spice frenzy and the desire for cooler temperatures, autumn is very on-trend right now. 

Ideas on how to get the most out of fall’s fun and comforts were flowing freely Wednesday night at the Dish & Design: Homestyle Harvest event at the Great Lakes Culinary Center in Southfield. 

A creativity-driven powwow from the team behind The Detroit News’ Homestyle section, this episode of Dish & Design featured local experts in home décor, bedding, food and drink. Detroit News design writer Maureen Feighan hosted the sold-out soiree, which included appetizers, beer and wine, and short, jazzy presentations. 

Jenifer Kueber of Olive's Bloombox, right, talks about the decorating ideas at the Great Lakes Culinary Center in Southfield, Mich. on Sept. 25, 2019.

Throughout the evening she gave away prizes to attendees including a tour of Two James Distillery in Corktown and gift certificates to some of the speakers' businesses like Cristions Fine Linen & Down and Latido restaurant. 

Among the 140 guests was Royal Oak’s Cheryl Decker. She does activities with her family every couple of months and was looking for more ideas. 

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“This caught my eye in the Homestyle section in the newspaper,” she said, adding that it was more informative than she expected. 

“I love it. I thought this was just going to be strolling. I like the fact that there’s an educational piece, and I also like the fact that you were welcomed with food and drink, and then you take a break and there’s more food and drink just in case you missed it the first time.” 

Laurie Bolach of Olive's Bloombox in Ferndale opened Dish & Design with tips on how to create fall table arrangements and make a decorative pumpkin succulent piece using moss, dried flowers and ribbons. 

Chef Michael Barrera of Latido restaurant in Hazel Park talks about making empanadas at the Homestyle Harvest Dish and Design event at the Great Lakes Culinary Center in Southfield on Sept. 25, 2019.

Detroit News Homestyle columnist Jeanine Matlow and design expert Cynthia Hahn teamed up with more home decor ideas. Matlow suggested tuning into this season's trends: animal prints, bandannas, books and analog clocks.

"You can display them against a pumpkin, or anywhere, they're just so pretty," she said of clocks, adding that she takes the batteries out to avoid the ticking noise. "Because we're just so used to digital time-keepers like our phones ... clocks are another fall fun piece that are popping up in the latest fall trends that can go with anything." 

They also stressed that amber and cobalt blue are also hot colors for this autumn season. 

Heading into the bedroom, Steve Coval of Cristions Fine Linen & Down in Birmingham was full of ideas to get your sleeping quarters cozy as temperatures dip. 

In addition to adding a down comforter to the bedding or adding a jewel-toned throw, he revealed that buying sheets that are made of a high-grade cotton is a better idea than worrying about thread count. He says go for long staple or extra long staple cotton sheets. 

Coval also said 100 percent cotton is best for sheets rather than a cotton-polyester blend and with proper care, good cotton sheets can last up to 14 years. He says avoid using bleach to wash your sheets and use detergent sparingly. 

It wouldn't be a Dish & Design party without food and drink, and for this installment, Two James Spirits tour guide Bob Owens and bartender Ashley Rehm were on hand to mix up and share the distillery's newest cocktail served at their Corktown tasting room: the Plague Doctor. 

Made with Two James' Jamaican Doctor Bird Rum, the drink also had fresh pineapple and lime juices, blackberry syrup and cold brew coffee. The pair suggested that other fall-friendly drinks include flavors like pumpkin, fig, cider and chai. 

Attendees take photos of the porch decoration created by Laurie Bolach, not shown here, of Olive's Bloombox at the Homestyle Harvest Dish and Design event at the Great Lakes Culinary Center in Southfield on Sept. 25, 2019.

Owens spoke about the distillery's products and discussed the difference between bourbon and regular whiskey. 

"All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon," he said, explaining that in order to be bourbon a spirit has to be made in America and must be aged in new, charred oak barrels, as well as other stipulations. 

Accomplished area chef Michael Barrera of Hazel Park's Latido Latin American restaurant wrapped up Dish & Design with a presentation on flaky, baked Argentinian empanadas. 

"Every culture in the world has a form of turnover," he said, pointing to Polish pierogi and Japanese gyoza. Barrera opened Latido inside of Joebar in Hazel Park in January. He said the restaurant will stay in this space for a few more months but eventually hopes to get a permanent location. 

He said Latido is an homage to his Peruvian-Argentinian wife as he shared a recipe for butternut squash empanadas with the attendees. 

While butternut squash is a great seasonal stuffing, Barrera said traditional Argentinian empanadas are made with beef, olives and hard-boiled eggs. 


Twitter: @melodybaetens