Liza Utter's Tips for Entertaining
Some hosts are born with the entertaining gene. Week after week, they can put together a delicious menu, create a stunning table, and bring together friends from various parts of life for an evening where the chatter continues late into the night and glasses never seem to go empty. The rest of us are left wondering: How do they do it?
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie host, there is always something to learn when it comes to stress-free entertaining with style. That’s why celebrity restaurateur Liza Utter is launching a new series of classes around the nation entitled “Life of the Party.” Utter has a unique talent when it comes to bringing together people and making them feel welcome. In just hours, one night a month, Liza will take hosts of all kinds and help them decipher the secrets of how to host a party — and help each guest discover their own signature style.
So how does she become inspired? We recently sat down with the entertaining ingenue to talk about hosting with style, get a peek of the party essentials in her pantry, and chat about the kind of gathering she’d throw if guests were coming over at the last minute.
With the class, you seek to inspire women an encourage them to find their own, stress-free style of entertaining. When it comes to hosting your own parties, what is one of your "Liza signatures?"
Inspiration! My parties are inspired by my life — where I've been and what I've seen in magazines, recipe books, you name it. A color can inspire me. Last year I had a party with big giant paper lanterns in a gorgeous celadon green. Why? Because I saw the most beautiful green apples at the farmers' market.
The best part about creating your own style is that you have the freedom to mix it up: You can try anything. My advice is to stay inspired and excited about entertaining. This is what will make a lasting impression on your guests as they walk out the door. My new class helps hosts tap into the part of themselves that gets excited about life and then teaches them to apply that to entertaining.
We don’t entertain today like our parents or grandparents did, or according to the "rules" as published by Emily Post. Instead, invites might come via email or text as we squeeze in parties into our busy schedule. What is one mistake or misconception you see modern-day hosts making?
Considering that anything goes these days, when it comes to entertaining, you would think it would be a huge relief of pressure for the modern-day host/hostess. But I find that this can bring on even more stress as they are not as confident without the do's and don'ts. That leaves more and more people opting to make a reservation to avoid the pain of taking the time to figure it all out (not to mention the physical and time demands it takes to throw even a small dinner party). And I get it — I have two small children, a husband, a dog, and a hungry pea hen who just adopted us. Now more than ever, people who think about entertaining are searching for some guidance, so redefining what hosting means has never been so important.