Buro. Large: What went down at our launch party at rooftop restaurant and bar CÉ LA VI
Reaching for the sky
They said print is dead. In the last decade, the publishing industry had trudged its way to digital, with layoffs and closures in its wake. Yet, there we were, at the beautiful CÉ LA VI last week, celebrating the launch of our inaugural issue of Buro. Large.
In the words of Warren Buffett, "We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy, and to be greedy only when others are fearful". Buro. Singapore is never one to follow the masses. So as the world buried their heads in the digital space, we decided to look up — to print.
Truth be told, we aren't the first digital-focused company to launch hard copy magazines (but we are, especially in Singapore, amongst the first). The latest to explore print media are dating app Bumble and Netflix, following other big guns including Airbnb, Facebook, Net-A-Porter and Uber, who have all launched their very own publications last year. What this means is that we're not doing it just for the novelty, and that we too, understand that print has a way of connecting to our audience the way digital can't.
It's in this spirit of taking the road less travelled that we've dedicated the first issue to the theme, New Frontiers. More than just a magazine filled with groundbreaking stories, Buro. Large is also about us going regional, with the help of some of the most influential, boundaries-pushing personalities in Southeast Asia. (Get acquainted with them through the microsite.)
Because Buro. Large is about forging real, deep and tangible connections with our audience through thought-provoking stories presented in a new medium, we didn't go "big" for our launch as you might expect. Instead, the celebration was an intimate dinner affair, with 31 of our dearest collaborators and friends, as we spoke of new experiences, staying relevant, and what's next for all of us.
What arrived on our tables punctuated our conversations with mmm-s, oooh-s and, sometimes, silence (you know the food is good when the room goes quiet). We were treated to a sumptuous six-course dinner, starting with stormshell clam with burnt watermelon and fennel flowers, along with straciatella di buffalo with marinated tomatoes, wakame oil and chrysanthemum. For mains, there was the rough-skin flounder dressed in kombu butter, as well as a Kagoshima A5 wagyu striploin with celeriac puree and shisho vinegar glaze. All dishes were paired with fine red and white wines specially chosen by master sommelier Mathias Camilleri.
Before desserts were served, our digital editorial director Norman Tan got us to look underneath our placecards for a number, and find its match — à la speed dating — to spark new conversations with different people. As the room buzzed with renewed energy, dessert made its sneaky entrance. A prickly pear granite and sorbet concoction plus a Insta-worthy dessert platter with wonderful Asian flavours came out to distract us all.
No need to have FOMO; here's what went down:
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