Dinner parties are the best.
The gorgeous table décor, delicious food, and fantastic company are the perfect three elements to combine beautifully to create an evening worth repeating! We all dream of being voted the best chef in our friend group or the most entertaining party of the year – but that caliber of dinner party takes careful planning and at least a week of preparation.
If you’re looking to host the dinner party of the year, take some time to familiarize yourself with these seven tips below. They will help guide you on what to do and what to definitely NOT do:
1. Avoid Anything Too Exotic
If you’re not from an exotic location, avoid cooking exotic meals.
As easy as the people on Pinterest make it seem, it likely won’t be, and you’ll be stuck serving a flopped dish to your friends. Choose something simple, and then take it to the next level through luxurious ingredient choices and presentation.
If you stick to what you know, you won’t disappoint anyone.
2. Balance The Menu
When planning your menu, don’t add too many rich or heavy dishes in quick succession. Think about how each course will balance the one before it – that way you can avoid serving too much of one type of food and keep things light between the decadence. After all, you want to enjoy your time in the kitchen.
For example, don’t serve a rich mussel pot starter, Beef Wellington main, and a death by chocolate cheesecake for dessert. That is far too rich, and your guests will leave feeling heavy and bloated.
Pick light courses to balance out the heavier ones, and always have an element of freshness to your meals.
3. Portion Control
People are different, but that doesn’t mean you should swing to either of the extremes when portioning your meals. Unless you’re purposefully serving a tasting menu of small bites of delicious meals – avoid serving too little on each plate.
Likewise, don’t serve ladies a massive steak either – keep things sized appropriately and always serve just enough, no more and no less.
The best meat component for your main meal is American Wagyu beef because it is a great example of luxurious fine dining with perfect portioning.
4. Pick A Theme
Dinner parties are typically long events that go well into the night.
Make yours extra enjoyable by picking a fun theme and helping your party become a night to remember. Dazzle your guests with a murder mystery theme and add an element of excitement to the evening!
You can purchase a kit online, complete with a full storyline and clues, or you can hire a company that specializes in murder mystery events to take care of all of that for you.
5. Don’t Drink Too Much
Inebriation is never a good look on anyone, particularly once you enter your 30s and 40s.
While having a glass or two of wine during your dinner party is perfectly acceptable, don’t go wild and bring out the shooter glasses straight after starters. Keep things classy and drink in moderation.
Chances are you’ll be anxious at the start of the evening, so water will keep you hydrated and all tension headaches at bay. It’s a win-win situation.
It wouldn’t be a dinner party without music.
Great conversation should be encouraged, but silence is stifling – which is where the perfect dinner party soundtrack comes in. The key to creating the perfect playlist can be summed up in one word: moderation.
Don’t play music too loud or create a playlist fit for a nightclub. Choose tasteful songs that are well-suited to background music, such as Michael Bublé.
7. Manage Your Time
When putting together the plan for your menu, consider how much time you’ll have on the day to prepare. The last thing you want is to still be running around cooking once your guests have arrived – or even worse yet, roping them in to help!
Avoid a last-minute meltdown by cooking what you can in advance and storing it according to restaurant standards. Jot down a detailed plan of what you’ll cook and when you will cook it; that way, you won’t run out of oven space or time!
To Wrap It Up
Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Your friends don’t expect perfection, but they do expect you to have a good time. If you’re running around frantically, everyone will feel obliged to pitch in, and we all know that too many cooks in a kitchen will spoil the broth.