Shaundel Berwick is a natural when it comes to communication, organization, and planning. Having worked as a server all through college, she knows a thing or two about restaurants, too. As Events Manager at Masseria, she is responsible for making sure every detail of every private gathering at the Michelin-starred establishment surpasses expectations.
The tasting menu format at the 60-seat restaurant means that every table of over six guests is treated as a private party -- and given over to Berwick's care. Even before Masseria was awarded one of the first Michelin stars in the city in 2016, its unique urban chic in the unlikely wholesale food market district had secured its appeal among stylish bridal couples, event planners, and corporate executives. The intimate dining room, the courtyard lounge, and the charming space under the open-air pergola are all in demand for daytime and evening events; full buy-outs for receptions of up to 150 guests, and seated dinners for 80, dot the calendar many months in advance.
While Stefanelli devises menus for each event, Berwick handles all the details particular to wedding receptions, luncheons, corporate events, and late-night dance parties, drawing on her extensive relationships with trusted vendors. Even when there are no arrangements for centerpieces, red carpets, or DJs to be made, Berwick considers every dining experience at Masseria to be a 'special event.' "This is a real destination in Washington. There's no other place like it," she says. "Our guests are here for the city's best food, and the best service, in an atmosphere of relaxed European chic." Whether it's 'just' dinner, or the event of a lifetime, Shaundel Berwick is dedicated to delivering perfection.