Summer is without a doubt a great time to throw a party. Having catered hundreds of parties I am often asked what makes for a great party. I’d like to say it’s delicious food, but the reality is that it’s the people that make a party. It’s the job (yeah, you can call it a job) of the host to create an atmosphere that will bring out the best in his or her guests. Here are some tips for creating a fun party:
1. Design a menu that emphasizes fun: Nothing inspires interaction (and excitement) amongst guests like a family style meal. If you’re feeling daring create a meal by experimenting with a lesser known cuisine, like Moroccan food. There’s no better way to surprise and delight your guests.
2. Go natural: Summer is a great time to experiment with natural elements like earth tone linens or bamboo plates and utensils. Combine neutral shades with a pop of color, like hot pink peonies, for a casual, yet chic look.
3. Experiment with contrasting flavors: I’ve found that some of our most popular dishes are those that combine salty and sweet flavors, like watermelon and feta or brie and figs.
4. Remember that your guests want to have fun with you: try to organize all of your plates and dishes before the party starts, so that you can act the host and socialize with your friends. Serving room temperature dishes in the summer is a good way reduce futzing in the kitchen.
5. Allow your guests to be the party: set up food and drinks so that they accompany and compliment your guests, but don’t become the main focus of the party. If you put your guests into the spotlight, they will feel more at ease, have more fun, and will remember your grace and skill in creating a festive atmosphere.