Hosting a five-star dinner party can be very daunting. Of course, it is daunting for seasoned chefs, much more so for home cooks like us. However, preparation is the key to success. Here are some tips to arrange your very own five-star dinner party at home.
When planning a dinner party, make sure you have ample time to prepare meals for the number of people you invite. More guests mean more time needed to prepare. Five to 10 people is a manageable number. Send out formal invitations and have them RSVP so you can be sure about the number of people attending. Ask them for allergies, food preferences, and other dietary restrictions to make sure that nobody will be leaving your party hungry. If it’s a formal dinner, indicate in the invitation if there is a dress code for the guests. Some guests ask if they can bring anything for dinner. Have them bring their favorite dessert or bottle of wine.
Arrange the table in such a way that it becomes the canvas to the art piece—the meal you prepared for your guests.
Use elegant table linen and pair it with clean and soft cloth napkins. Gleaming silverware and white china really sets that five star mood. For a softer ambience, create a flower centerpiece from freshly picked flowers from the market. However, make sure that they in an appropriate height so your guests can still see each other when they talk.
Before you buy Dungeness Crab or some live lobsters from the market, make sure none of your guests have food allergies or any food they avoid. A formal full course dinner meal can have as few as five courses and as many as 16 courses.
Research on food courses that complement each other. Prepare some Hors D’oeuvres and set them at different locations in the house so that your guests will have access to some when they mingle.
Preparing some finger food will allow you to polish some last minute preparations on your meal before they sit down for dinner. This counts as the first course. The succeeding courses are composed of salad, entrée, main course, and dessert.
For more elaborate full course meals consisting of more than five courses, there can be four or more main courses, each one a different type of meat or cooked differently.
For a sample twenty-one course dinner, the courses are as follows: amuse or palate cleanser, second amuse, caviar, cold appetizer, thick soup, thin soup, shellfish, antipasto, pasta, intermezzo, quail, wild mushrooms, beef, green salad, puffed pastry, cheese, pudding, ice cream, nuts, petit four, and coffee or liquor as the final course.
Coffee or wine can be served while relaxing in the salon or on the patio after dinner. If you are serving coffee, make a pot of decaf if the dinner extends late. If serving wine with the meal, remember that dark wine is for dark meats and white wine for white meats. However, if the recipe already calls for substantial liquor, you might want to lay off serving wine during the meal.
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