I know I’m not speaking for just myself when I say that I’m crazy about hosting. The feeling you get when friends are together, sharing laughs and enjoying delicious food is tremendous. Unfortunately, the thought of being the host(ess) and having to do all the cooking is enough to discourages some people.
As a seasoned hosting veteran let me assure you that hosting, if done right is tremendously fun and stress free! So here is a guide that I have put together to show how to pull-off a fantastic stress free dinner party.
Tip 1: Plan a menu
Sounds very basic I know, but just having a think about the menu well in advance will save you loads of last minute stress. If you don’t have much cooking experience, chose something that is simple. Remember that simple can still be very delicious. If you take time to source good quality ingredients their natural flavors will work magic for your dishes.
For example the main I have currently listed on EatAbout is steak. I’m fortunate enough to have access to a tremendous butcher, and by serving a steak that I know is high quality most of the “cooking” is already done for me.
Tip 2: Don’t pressure yourself
This point relates to the first one but it cannot be stressed enough. Don’t pressure yourself. People love to eat delicious food but they are also there to have a good time. Choose to serve food that you’re comfortable with preparing and don’t push yourself to far from your comfort zone.
A great tip to remove stress is to serve a meal in “family style”, which saves you the stress of preparing the plates for your guests. I have also found it that getting your guests to reach around for food is a great icebreaker to welcome in new people to your group.
Tip 3: Presentation is everything
People eat with their eyes. Think about how you can present the food in a colourful and interesting way. It’s always a good idea to have fresh parsley at the ready to sprinkle over your dish to make it look lovely and colourful.
Tip 4: Create a nice atmosphere
If you are able to create a nice, warm and relaxing atmosphere around your dining table half the battle is already won. I personally find it that throwing candles at the problem can is the best way if you are a beginner. In terms of atmosphere a nice tablecloth, candles and flowers will get you amazing results with minimal effort.