You love to cook. In fact, you look forward to the weekend because you have time to test new recipes, try a cultural cuisine, or invent an amazing dessert. But you want to share your culinary prowess and throw a dinner party for all of your closest friends.
However, you’ve never thrown a dinner party before, and you worry that you won’t impress your guests.
Below, you’ll find five tips to use as you prepare for your next dinner party. Read through the list and try out each tip for your get-together.
1. Set a Theme
Before you decide on which dish to assemble for your dinner party, consider setting a theme. Choose any motif you like—Oscars night, movie or book themes, or even a Great Gatsby-centered murder mystery.
If you prefer to keep your evening a little simpler, you could also set a theme for your cuisine. Pick any country in the world and focus your menu and décor on that culture.
For example, if you chose England, research this country’s food and culture. Decorate your dining area with multiple Union Jacks, prepare Bangers and Mash, and serve tea and cookies (or “biscuits”) for dessert. You can even play music from popular British artists in the background.
2. Plan the Perfect Meal
Once you decide on a theme for your dinner party, prepare your menu. Research recipes online to find something new. Or, ask some of your guests for ideas. If you ask them what they prefer to eat, they’ll feel more involved in the event.
About a week before your dinner party, draft a hard copy of your menu. Be sure to include any appetizers, salads, drinks, and desserts on your list. Purchase all of your ingredients a few days before the event. And don’t forget to set time aside on the day of the party in case you need to make an emergency trip to the grocery store.
Stuck on meal ideas? Type the following titles into your preferred search engine for recipes:
•Chicken and Sweet Potato Gnocchi
•Lemon-Infused Tilapia with Risotto
•Smothered Pork Chops and Roasted Veggies
•Filet Mignon and Grilled Asparagus
•Creamy Chicken and Spinach Ravioli
3. Serve Drinks to Complement Your Menu
Further impress your dinner guests and serve beverages that complement your meal. Use the following guidelines as you select drinks:
•Beef. Pair red wine with red meats to enhance savory flavors.
•Chicken. For this lean meat, drink either red or white wine. Serve red wine with richer chicken dishes—such as Chicken Parmesan. Pair white wine with creamier poultry dishes, like Chicken Tetrazzini.
•Seafood. Always present white wine with seafood. For a sweeter flavor, try Chardonnay.
•Rich dishes. Decadent meals require a lighter, fizzy drink, so serve carbonated drinks such as sparkling wine, beer, or even your favorite soft drink.
•Light meals. If you choose to cook a lighter meal, consider a more robust beverage to balance your palate.
4. Invest in Quality Dinnerware
Now that you know what you want to prepare for your dinner guests, you’ll need to properly display your culinary masterpiece. Consider designer dinnerware to add more elegance to your party.
Most designers offer quality, stylish plates, glasses, bowls, and silverware that match most budgets. So as you use this dinnerware at your next event, you can impress your guests without breaking the bank. And since you can find dinnerware in a variety of shapes, colors, and patterns, you’ll find something that fits your unique taste and preference (Source: Kate Spade Dinnerware).
5. Implement Warm Lighting
To add a final touch of grandeur to your dinner party, adjust the lighting in your dining area. If your light fixtures come with a dimmer, dim the lights to a low-medium glow. Or, turn your lights off completely and use candles and small lamps to subtly illuminate the room.