Dinner parties have seen a resurgence in popularity with the newfound love of all things vintage and retro. The 1970s classic dinner party is making a comeback albeit without the prawn cocktail and the duck a l’orange. Throwing the perfect soiree is an artform and one that is incredibly difficult to get right. There’s nothing better than hosting your friends, cooking up some masterful culinary creations and seeing the satisfied looks on your guests faces as they tuck in. Follow these three easy steps to achieve the ultimate dinner party that your friends will be talking about for months.
Keep It Simple
Ok, not too simple. A dinner party needs to be more than egg on toast followed by ice cream. Think about the recipes you can cook that are always crowd pleasers. Go for dishes that merge well together as a menu. The thought of a steak tartare, followed by a fillet steak might be beef overload. Consider following a regional menu to tie your dishes together. If you fancy a Mexican fiesta, think about all things tostadas, enchiladas, salsa, guacamole, and tacos.
Don’t be tempted to reinvent the wheel or rather the trifle, and implement your Heston Blumenthal-like skills in the kitchen serving up snail porridge and bacon tuiles. You may be able to cook, but a Michelin starred chef you are not, so don’t be overly ambitious leaving your guests trying out your experimental food when they’d rather be heading down the local takeaway.
Don’t Forget The Drinks
Try and pair a wine for each stage of your menu. Go for a dry white with your chicken dish and perhaps a fruity Italian masala with your dessert. If your alcohol needs to be served chilled, consider investing in one of the many wine coolers reviewed on http://www.coolingwine.com/. Your guests won’t appreciate a fine Pinot Grigio with their trio of scallops if it’s served at lukewarm temperature.
Ensure there’s plenty of water at the table and allow guests to fill their own glasses. You don’t want any of your attendees to feel like they have to ask for a glass of water and you don’t want to run out of drinks. Ensure that you have plenty, and any corks you don’t pop can be saved for the next dinner party.
Know Any Allergies
There is nothing worse than serving a satay sauce to one of your friends who has a peanut allergy. Sending any of your guests into an anaphylactic shock isn’t the aim of your evening. Ask about food intolerances before you start constructing your menu and adapt your dishes accordingly using www.foodnetwork.com as a guide. Your guests will appreciate the thought.
As a good host, you need to set the tone for your evening. Try to keep it light and informal with good food and great company. Allow the drink and conversation to flow and encourage people to chat, converse, laugh and joke as they enjoy your dishes. Hopefully, your gathering will be the first of many soirees that will see you become the ultimate dinner party host amongst your friends.