How to get the most out of hosting
(ARA) - Dazzling guests with a perfectly prepared meal is always the goal when deciding to open your home to friends and family, but it sometimes can be a stressful experience. Following a few simple tips from a chef who knows a little bit about entertaining guests at high-profile events can help put you at ease when planning your next big get-together.
World-renowned chef and best-selling cookbook author, Chef Art Smith, is used to setting the stage and the table for some of the most influential people in the world after working as Oprah Winfrey's personal chef for nearly a decade.
"The food you make is only part of hosting a successful event," says Chef Smith. "Planning ahead and taking measures to make sure your guests are comfortable are also key to making sure your party will be remembered fondly."
Chef Smith offers the following 10 tips for hosting a successful event at your house.
- Shop early and get organized. After you select the menu, get to the store and get everything you need well before you begin preparing for your guests. Lay out a schedule to get as much cooking and other preparation done as possible well before your guests arrive.
- Make sure you have the right amount of storage and your refrigerator has enough space to store ingredients, as well as cold items you'll be preparing ahead of time. If you're doing a lot of entertaining, you may want to consider a French-door refrigerator that offers a slimmer in-door ice maker, taking up less shelf space and providing more than just added capacity. For example, the newest 4-door model from LG offers an ultra-large capacity with a slim in-door ice maker design that frees up additional storage space on the refrigerator door, providing more usable refrigerator shelf space (a plus when entertaining a big group).
- Serve what you know. While experimenting with your cooking on your own time is a good way to expand your culinary horizons, serving what you know you do well will save you stress and guarantee success when hosting that big event.
- Aromas make a good first impression. Having something tasty in the oven when guests arrive will fuel their appetite and set the stage for an exciting evening.
- Meet and greet. Be sure to warmly greet each person as they come through the door to make sure they feel welcome.
- Promote good food and health. Update your recipes with healthy ingredients and fresh ingredients whenever possible. Guests will be doubly impressed when they find out your food is not only delicious but also healthy and nutritious.
- Think about drinks. Do some research ahead of time to pair wines, cocktails or summer coolers with the food you'll be serving. A fridge with an automatic ice maker is crucial for entertaining; look for one with an extra-tall dispenser area that can easily accommodate containers of all sizes including pitchers and coffee pots.
- Don't tie yourself to the kitchen. Prepare what you can ahead of time so you have time to socialize with guests and enjoy yourself. A refrigerator with double freezer drawers can easily accommodate larger items, making it easy to prepare entrees ahead of time and freeze them to cut down on preparation time closer to the event.
- Decorate beforehand to make your space as inviting as possible for your guests.
- Set the mood with music. Music can really help make the room come alive, especially when the first few guests arrive.
"Planning and organization, with lots of storage in your refrigerator, are really important for the successful hostess. And following all of these simple tips should make entertaining friends and family as enjoyable for you as your guests," says Chef Smith.
In addition to these quick and easy entertainment tips, Chef Smith offers one of his signature recipes that's guaranteed to leave your guests satisfied.