The Nikki Glekas WOW Factor

Three pillars of service: Events, Catering, and Lifestyle

People who absolutely love what they do are the best kind of people. Meet Nikki Glekas. Nikki breathes creativity and hospitality. She has been referred to as the Mediterranean Martha Stewart. But, unlike Martha, Nikki will personally attend to your event whenever possible. She is extremely hands-on and will move mountains to ensure your event exceeds all expectations – the heart and soul of authentic hospitality.

Nikki provides three pillars of service: events, catering, and lifestyle. This is what sets her apart from the competition. She can manage it all. Nikki can create something exceptional based on your budget, number of guests and purpose for celebrating. For those who think their dinner party is too small for a caterer, you might want to think again. Imagine how much more pleasurable it is for you to actually enjoy your company.

We asked Nikki why she loves what she does so much?

"I started Nikki's Modern Mediterranean to show folks how to make easy, delicious Mediterranean-style dishes for your family, and entertain around your table any and every day of the year. The life of cooking and entertaining began for me when I was growing up in my large Greek family, and continues to this day in my highly successful catering and events business. I knew it was time to create and build this business when friends started asking me for the recipes and entertaining secrets I’d become known for over the years."

Nikki provides recipes, entertaining and decorating tips through her E-Newsletter, videos, social media and appearances. Years of experience make Nikki an expert on entertaining. Whatever your party challenges, Nikki has some great ways to add WOW to your event.

Oops, you’ve invited more people than planned and now your space is too small to accommodate a sit-down dinner. What to do?

Instead of squishing people in too closely, I like to set up food stations so people can mingle, eat, and enjoy. I set food around the perimeter of the room and have a bar that’s easy to access. I’ll also set up a grazing table that is positioned in the center of the action. I set the grazing table with a wide variety of food and a real showstopper centerpiece like a cheese cake - a 3 tier cake I make out of delicious cheeses. This way people can approach it from all sides and nibble while they talk.

Memo: The BOSS doesn’t want employees being over-served and then driving home. Hmmmmm, how to manage alcohol intake at an office party?

When people are focused on a fun activity they don’t drink as much. This is why I recommend fun activities at parties like bowling or a golf simulator. When everyone is concentrating on winning and having fun, they’re less apt to be partying hard with their colleagues. Also, organized activities are a fun way to socialize with people you work with but might not know very well.

I love to give my guests a little something-something to take home but I'm never sure what to give as a Party Favor.

People love personalized items they can eat or give their children. Cookies, splits of champagne, or fun gift baggies of Christmas candy are always a hit at a holiday party! Herbs, a small plant or a delicious aromatic candle are great ideas all year round.

How can you add WOW to your table (and environment) decor using natural elements you can find outdoors?

In the summer I turn to my garden for lots of decorations. Flowers, herbs from the herb garden, fresh grasses, and sometimes pretty tree branches with leaves. If my strawberry plants are blooming, I’ll pluck a lot of berries and flowers to use as garnishes on platters. Sometimes I’ll bring my potted flowers from around the pool and make them the centerpiece of our table indoors. Nature is a gift, I always try to bring the outdoors inside as much as possible.

Well, it seems like several guests have dietary restrictions. How do I address this issue?

The answer is to have a variety available. I really like to think of a few appetizers that are both vegan and gluten-free, or dairy-free and nut-free. It actually isn’t too hard to come up with delicious food to suit these categories once you get the hang of it. One of my favorite things is watching guests enjoy our food and have an amazing experience. My team and I will do everything we can to accommodate every dietary need so every guest has a wonderful time with plenty to eat and drink!

How to pick the best theme?  What inspires you? 

My inspiration comes from many places.  When planning a big social event my inspiration could come from a client’s favorite color, activity, or hobby. For private events in people’s homes, I start with seasonal fruits and vegetables as inspiration and discuss the host's favorites. I like to carry a signature theme throughout the menu and decor. For example, if I am using fig in the salad, I will make a fig simple syrup for the signature cocktail and use fresh figs for my tablescape. I love to make the entire event cohesive.  Sometimes my tablescape inspirations could come from a specific dish or vintage glassware. The key to creating gorgeous, unique centerpieces is mixing the old and new. 

For additional tips and ideas, visit - sign up for her enewsletter or follow on social media @nikki.glekas

Gift wrapping: Stock up on festive gift wrap early in the season. Choose lots of plain holiday colors and festive ribbons. Then, mix and match to create your own signature looks!  

Pet Policy: I love my puppy but pets should stay home for parties, even if they're outdoors. There's always the chance someone will have an allergy and it's not worth the trouble of hosting pets when the party is about the people.

Dates: January is always an option for businesses if your calendar is too crowded. Most companies select a Thursday for their events, it's towards the end of the week and doesn't disrupt the weekend when employees are spending time with their families. There are only so many weekends in December so hosting a family holiday party in January stretches out the exciting season, New Years is a great theme! 

Charity: Hosting a toy drive or a food drive is always a nice touch. There is a lot of need around the holidays and it's very thoughtful to think of others and do a collection that will make an immediate difference in your local community. 

Life of cooking and entertaining began while growing up in my large Greek family, I knew it was time to create this business when friends started asking for the recipes and entertaining secrets I’d become known for over the years.

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