Monthly Archives: April 2016

How To Entertain Dinner Guests

Anyone who has had to cook a meal, specifically a dinner for guests at home will attest to the difficulty that can arise in trying to come up with entertaining ideas. Regardless of how good the food may be, most people will agree that there needs to be an additional dimension to the evening, usually fulfilled by some kind of entertainment. There are a lot of considerations to be made from the type of entertainment to the theme, among other things. One also has to think about appropriateness as the last thing you would not want to do is to offend one of your guests.

One good way to start the evening is over a couple of drinks. In this instance, it is helpful to find out in advance if any of your guests do not drink alcohol. People of Muslim faith for instance may not be open to this for example. However, setting up a small cart garnished with such elements as glasses, a sherry, wine and some flowers can be the perfect start to the evening.  As the night progresses, keep access to the bar free and open so that people can refill their drinks if they so wish. The last thing you want is to make someone feel like an alcoholic as they continue to ask you to pour them another drink.

As you move to your appetizers, keep in mind that the guests are mainly interested in interacting with you. Though the food is a highlight, there needs to be consistent communication with the guests so that they don’t feel dumped in the dining room. If comfortable, be open to receiving help as may arise, but making sure that it’s just the minor and exciting tasks. Plating the aperitifs, filling the champagne, those can all be things that you open to the guests if they are willing.

The onus is upon the host to make sure that the conversation goes well and follows the desired track. If need be a little nudge may not be a bad idea. Keep on top of your situation ushering people to the dinner table for the main course or the lounge for snacks. The key is to decide upon an ambiance prior to the event and then work to maintain it once the dinner begins.

Feeding A Crowd In Style

Anyone who has ever had to prepare a meal for a large party knows the stress and anxiety that it may entail. This is even worse, when the subjects of your culinary efforts are in – laws. Regardless, cooking for many doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Strategy and preparation make all the difference. Contrary to cooking at home, when preparing food for a number of people, one needs to have a planner that outlines how the meal is going to be served. This applies across the board, whether serving a cold buffet or a cocktail dinner.

The dinner planner will contain all the nitty gritties of how the meal is going to begin, all the way to the last morsel that will be consumed on the table. To make the process fluid, one needs to have a good idea of the number of attendees one will be catering to. It may also be a good consideration to note the number of children that will be there too. By doing so, one will have a close estimate of the portions to serve and in all, the total quantity of food needed.

Thereafter, take note of any special dietary requirements your guests may have. Some individuals are lactose intolerant, others are diabetic, and others still are vegetarian or vegan. The onus will be upon you to get all of these details and serve up the right food. One dinner faux pas to avoid is serving up food that a guest may be allergic to. This can have mixed results from a flush of embarrassment for the amateur chef, to a night in the emergency room.

As you start with the groundwork, it is a nifty idea to take notes of all the finer details you can come up with. Though they may seem insignificant, you will be relieved to find that you didn’t forget the olive oil, moments before you pop your roast in the oven.

Hoping that the cooking process goes on without event, the last part is dressing up the meal table. This involves the use of numerous tablecloths and serviettes. An unavoidable consequence in this area is having them stained after use. A quick starching of linen to be used will go a long way in preventing staining. That said, you may hold your breath serve out the first course and hope all will go well.