Harriette Rose Katz is a leading figure in New York’s special events planning industry. With over 35 years of experience on the scene, a position as the President of Gourmet Advisory Services, and honors such as the Confrerie de la Chaine Des Rotisseurs’ Gold Star of Excellence on her résumé, Katz knows New York’s event planning industry inside and out.
Although her company’s offices are located on the Upper East Side, Katz’s love for the city doesn’t end there. Downtown Manhattan is one of her favorite places to explore and gather inspiration from. “I love everything about downtown,” she said when talking to our publication. “The area is so interesting and exciting and has a completely unique energy that you can’t find anywhere else.”
The multitude of dining options available downtown is a major highlight for Katz. “There are so many amazingly delicious restaurants there, but two that stand out are Bobby Flay’s GATO and Le Coucou. Every time I eat there, I fall deeper in love!” The ambience of Le Coucou is what strikes Katz the most about the establishment. “They give you the formality of French food, but in a very informal atmosphere creating a deliciously divine combination.”
For Katz, the rebuilding of downtown over the past decade and a half is something she attributes to the restaurateurs of the area like Danny Meyer, Andrew Carmellini and Stephen Starr. “I believe that the restaurants have a lot to do with it. They’ve been responsible for really building the place up.”
Harriette knows that downtown has more to offer than just culinary goodness. Cultural and artistic events in the area such as the Tribeca Film Festival are attractions for Katz as well. “I went to the Tribeca Film Festival and absolutely loved the opportunity to view all the funky indie films.” Downtown is also an area of personal importance to Katz. “Every Sunday when my daughter [Melissa] was a little girl, we would go down to Little Italy or Chinatown or any of the other ethnic areas and explore. When it came time to plan her bat mitzvah, we themed it ‘Melissa’s NY’ and incorporated all of the different places she loved.”
The Chosen Few
As for the company she founded in 2014, The Chosen Few — the first ever luxury services referral collective in the special events planning industry — downtown is a great place for her business. “We actually do a lot of work there,” Wall Street and Tribeca, specifically. “People love throwing parties in that particular location. In fact, downtown is a very popular area for weddings, especially Tribeca.”
Although weddings are a staple for the elite collective, they also organize events for foundations and hotel openings, such as the one they put together this past summer for the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel in Midtown. The affair was flawless, as guests were greeted by trumpets and flappers at the entrance, and the entire night was captured by The Chosen Few’s photographer, Michael Jurick. Above all else, the diversity available downtown affords Katz endless opportunities to do and see the things she loves. “My favorite thing in the whole world is exploring and each time I go down there, I am thrilled to find a new favorite spot.”