Our Dinner with Jason Wu—Plus a Sorbet Champagne Cocktail
Jason Wu isn’t exactly the flashy party boy so often associated with the fashion scene. The mild-mannered, impeccably polite and fundamentally sweet designer would be better cast as a gentlemanly dinner companion. Jason is, in fact, known for the beautiful dining experiences he creates for his nearest and dearest. We’ve profiled a few of the past shindigs that he’s thrown to celebrate his sibling label, GREY Jason Wu. And just last week, he hosted a dinner in Seattle. It was as perfectly planned—down to the gorgeous garnishes and centerpieces—as you’d expect from the detail-oriented fashion designer.
See the menu and images, plus read about the details—like his sorbet champagne cocktail—as described by Jason below. Two scoops, please!
Welcome to Seattle! You came for a dinner party that you hosted with Nordstrom.
This is the first time I’ve taken the dinner on the road. The first four were all in New York. I thought it was really interesting to take the concept to other cities. This time we took it to Chicago and Seattle, in collaboration with Nordstrom. One of the most iconic places in Seattle is the Pike Place Market. We found a location that overlooked the market, which I thought was so iconic. To me, the rules for every dinner are that it has to speak to the location and it has to be a theme that is created around these dinners. I want each of them to have personality and be individual.
We made it a bit of a Mexican theme, where people could have tacos outside. Then we had this great sit-down dinner with Mexican-inspired ingredients.
- Watermelon Lime Salad with heirloom cherry tomatoes, jicama, cilantro and poblano lime dressing
- Elote Soup: roasted corn, cotija, avocado, lime, roasted red pepper, chile powder, elote rondelle
- Tostada del Mar: halibut, heirloom tomato pico de gallo, avocado salsa, lime
- Tostada Vegetarian: black beans, chipotle Field Roast, roasted squash, heirloom tomato pico de gallo, avocado salsa, lime
- Frankie & Jo’s salty caramel ash ice cream and maple-vanilla waffle cone cookie
One scoop of Frankie & Jo’s beet strawberry rose sorbet, champagne and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Tell us about that delicious sorbet cocktail.
We worked with these girls, Frankie & Jo’s, who make plant-based ice cream. I thought it was really interesting to work not only with the local setting but with local chefs and talent. We found the girls through Instagram and it’s amazing how they make all their ice cream and sorbet strictly from plants—no dairy. There was this berry sorbet that we dropped into a glass of champagne to make the drink of the night. It was very simple, but exactly what you want on a summer day.
What are your favorite and least favorite things about fashion right now?
My favorite thing about fashion right now is that the environment has changed so dramatically. We haven’t seen such a shift for so long. This is a time when one has to get really, really creative and anything outside of the box is appreciated. There are no rules anymore. It might be the most liberating period in fashion because there is no script to follow. We’re now speaking directly to the consumers and to the media, through Instagram or whatever. Things need to be creative and more niche. It’s a very exciting time for brands like mine, because people are looking for individualism.
My least favorite thing is probably that I feel like I’m always catching up to a season. I wish there were more time! The calendar is brutal.
What keeps you going?
A large pot of coffee. But my work is really driving me right now. It’s a particularly interesting year. There are a lot of interesting things happening: I’m launching a fragrance next month, I just launched eyewear, GREY is celebrating its one-year anniversary, we celebrate our tenth anniversary this year. It feels like a really great time for the next chapter of my career.