Dinner parties can be the most enjoyable experience or a stressful one all depending on how prepared you are. Being a chef for many years and hosting some of the biggest dinner parties you can imagine I have some tips that will help no matter if you are throwing a dinner party for a couple of friends or the whole neighborhood
My number one tip is to pick a menu that you know you can execute. Not to say you cannot make something fun and new but don’t try to make something that is extremely difficult for the first time when you are having a group of guests over. It will almost always end in running around putting out fires (hopefully not literally) which leaves no time for fun! Dinner parties are supposed to be enjoyable in the end otherwise why would you want to throw one?
Secondly, pick a menu that can be cooked and held easily. Using a slow cooker or smoking a dish for a party can always be a great choice because you can start the cooking well before your guests arrive and when they do your keeping your entrée warm so your guests can enjoy the presence of the host. When selecting appetizers pick ones that you can be made in advance and refrigerated till right before the guests arrive such as the ever-popular deviled eggs or the classic shrimp cocktail. People-pleasing dishes are always a great idea especially if you have guests that may be picky diners.
The next tip is to prepare as much in advance as possible to give you time to spend with your guests and enjoy yourself. This may sound similar to the second tip, but it isn’t just about the food it’s also about setting up everything you will need other than food. Make sure you have enough glassware, plate ware, silverware, and paper supplies if you are using them. Pick up ice right before the event to make sure it doesn’t melt as most people don’t have freezer space for large bags of ice and make sure there is a variety of drinks for every type of guest. It’s the little details that will keep you from running to the store during your party which is never fun!
In conclusion, no matter what size your dinner party is the key to enjoying yourself at your dinner party, and throwing a successful one is preparing in advance. When the party starts you should be mingling and having fun not rushing around!
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A personal chef