Growing up, my parents were avid dinner and party hosts. They loved to have a full house. They loved feeding people and seeing people enjoy the food that they prepared. While I was young, watching all of their dinner parties unfold was like watching a masterpiece. The whole day leading up to the dinner, there would be prepping.
Prepping is the key to hosting. If you have not prepared well for your guests, most likely than not, you are going to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off while your guests are waiting at the table to be fed.
You need to have the table set. The whole nine yards, I’m talking candles, centerpieces, plates, forks, knives, napkins, everything. Once the table is set you move onto your menu.
You need to make a menu for appetizers, entree, drinks and dessert. When you have your menu laid out, you can clearly see what needs to be cooked first and then second. The oven items get priority. Salad items can usually be prepped before just put the dressing to the side for a last minute douse. The appetizers should be set and ready to go usually 20 minutes before your guests start to arrive. Wine should be chilled. Possibly even have a bottle corked and ready to go! My parents always kept the bottles closed because it was an art form for them to open a bottle in front of their guests.
After watching this cycle be played dinner party after dinner party, I got a couple of tricks up my sleeve as I grew older and hosted my own events. Don’t rush your guests. Everything should flow smoothly and effortlessly. If it’s not a smooth transitioning night, you aren’t doing it right. The night should be about your guests enjoying themselves as well as you enjoying what you prepared for the night.
Hosting is an art form. You may not be perfect at it in the beginning, but practice does make perfect.
pic credit: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmLWvl8hMjD/?hl=en&tagged=placesetting