Continuing on from part one...how to throw a perfect dinner party!
You’ve sent out the invites and your perfectly interesting guests are drinking cocktails and getting hungry…
Setting the table
I believe in simple, but memorable table settings that are also practical. Don’t overwhelm the table with decoration – you want there to be enough room for food, drinks, and revelry.
Seasonal flower arrangements, colorful napkins, and printed menus add a sophisticated touch.
Think like a restaurant chef – prepare everything in advance, as much as you can. Inquire about guests’ dietary requirements in advance and adjust dishes accordingly.
Keep the oven preheated, water boiling, and all of the toppings prepped and ready to go.
Similarly, chill wine and soft drinks and prepare ice, if necessary.
Make a schedule – when to get the hors d’oeuvres ready, when to put the main courses into the oven etc. Being organized will let you enjoy your own party and spend the most time with your guests!
Use foolproof recipes
Don’t make something you haven’t made before – it will be equally stressful for you and for your guests to watch you scrambling about in the kitchen.
Pick recipes you are comfortable with and ones that make the most of the season, while still being crowd-pleasers. And, even then, if something goes wrong – project confidence! Plus, you can never go wrong with good bread and butter as a side dish.
Here is the menu from our recent ramps & rosé soiree:
Don’t overdo it, though my rule of thumb is more food (i.e. tasty leftovers) is better than not enough food. You want everyone to share, engage, and enjoy every bite.
Take a little break before dessert – things would have eased up by then and everyone would have gotten to know each other better (if they did not already). Conversation will flow…so don’t rush it.
Finish those drinks, then offer your guests coffee/tea and dessert.