Be a Better Host: 14 Professionals Tell You How

Michelin-starred chefs, party planners, food writers, and etiquette know-it-alls share their hosting tips
Dinner Table


Fill up the table with bread, wine, condiments, and sauces to stop the meal from feeling minimalist.

Have you ever wondered what the secret to hosting a successful dinner party is? That secret that all those calm, elegant hosts seem to know, but you just can’t figure out? The party professionals are here to reveal their dinner party tips to help you become a better host. From Michelin-starred chef David Chang, to professional event designer Camille Styles, these hosts’ simple tricks will rid you of your dinner party nightmares for good.

Be a Better Host: 14 Professionals Tell You How (Slideshow)

You may be surprised to hear that the one thing all these professional chefs, cooks, and event planners have in common, is that when it comes to hosting a dinner party, they always recommend keeping things simple. A dinner party is not the time to cook up an overly-fancy, detailed, five-course feast. Instead, turn to your most reliable one-pot wonders, don’t bother with appetizers, and buy the desserts.

If you’re one of those people who finds hosting a dinner party impossibly stressful, who spends the whole evening chaotically running around the kitchen, and ends up serving dinner hours later than it should have been, then these tips and tricks are here to save you.

One thing to always keep in mind is that the evening should be relaxed and fun. This atmosphere can only be achieved if you don’t put too much pressure on yourself, as if you’re stressed, this mood will impart itself on your guests too. Don’t spend the weeks leading up to the dinner repeating to yourself that the evening must be absolutely perfect. Don’t be tempted to try and make that wonderful-looking cassoulet you saw the recipe for the other day. Don’t be overly ambitious with dessert by experimenting with something new, like baking an apple strudel from scratch. This is not the time to cover unchartered territory, or to test your culinary skills. Something is bound to go wrong if you do it that way. Instead, turn to a dish you know and love, and don’t try and do anything impressive.

It’s time to lose that dinner party fear, to no longer be the cook who cries when the crème caramels haven’t set perfectly, and to instead be the elegant, calm, controlled host you’ve always wanted to be. All you have to do is listen to these 14 professionals and follow their rules.

Click here for 14 tips to be a better host.

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