Self-confessed food addict Kate George shares five tips that every hostess simply must know
Self-confessed food addict Kate George hosts supper clubs and cooking lessons, and she can put together impressive special suppers. Here she shares five of her best tips that’ll help you – the hostess – plan, relax and succeed in hosting the perfect dinner party.
1. My general entertaining rule when it comes to food is to keep it simple. Rather prepare something that you are completely comfortable with and know your friends will enjoy, than spend hours in the kitchen stressing about a Heston Blumenthal extravaganza in 75 easy steps.
2. Canapés are always impressive to do, but are a little time consuming. Work on about 12 to 14 “bites” per guest for a drinks party, and choose things that can be plated and ready to go when your guests walk through the door.
3. Keep the flavours simple and tasty, using the best quality ingredients you can get your hands on. This way, the battle is half won and you don’t need to do much to get a great flavour. Buffalo mozzarella, some fresh basil and ripe vine tomatoes with a dash of good, peppery olive oil may be a cliché these days, but with the right ingredients, it can be sublime! You also can’t go wrong with Parma ham and melon!
4. When I’m entertaining I love to put out a “grazing table” of divine dips, some gorgeous cheese, charcuterie and maybe a side of smoked salmon or delicious carpaccio with crusty warm bread. Everybody can dig in to their heart’s content and make up their own extravagant concoctions. Put out some side plates and a few knives and leave everybody to dig in. No dirty pots and pans to tackle later, just a few bowls, plates and knives that fit into the dishwasher.
5. Think about your presentation when serving snacks or canapés, especially if you’re going to buy most of the products. Stir a few fresh chopped herbs through the dips, add some toasted sesame seeds and good olive oil to the hummus, garnish the cheese with a pile of plump fresh figs, make sure the bread is the most fabulous you can get, and you’re good to go.