Stress-free dinner party for six

Planning a dinner party for six


  • 2 Weeks: invite guests how to choose guests to guarantee a fantastic mix????
  • 1 Week Out: plan menu, select wine or cocktails. If you are not wine savvy, consult your local wine shop or Wine
  • Spectator Magazine. Chicken is one of those foods that goes well with white or red wine. It's always nice to offer both.
  • 3 Days Out: buy wine/liquor
  • 2 Days Out: shop for groceries
  • Day Before: buy flowers and arrange. Remember to cut the ends under warm water, place in vase of clean water and do not place in direct sunlight.
  • Night Before: set table, bar, marinate the chicken, refrigerate.
  • Morning Day of: Make dessert, Clean salad greens, make vinaigrette, etc. Clean, cut and prepare vegetables for roasting
  • 2 Hours Prior to Guest Arrival: Take chicken out of refrigerator and let come to room temp. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Etc…


      • Make the evening fun and relaxed by having a timeline & shopping list prepared in advance.
      • Choose an uncomplicated menu - do not try new items the first time you entertain; dietary restrictions, veggies, low salt, no onions J…"just because you're on diet doesn't meant your guests are; cook for your guests not yourself. Choose local and seasonal ingredients. To find local seasonal items go to CUESA website or Greenleaf Produce.
      • Blend Menus : purchase some premade items such as the hors d' oeuvres or dessert so that you don't have to spend too much time in the kitchen when guests arrive.From Trader Joe's, Whole Foods…empanadas, gioza, etc.
      • Serve a fun cocktail with hors d' oeuvres to - limit it to one drink otherwise guests may get a bit tipsy. Examples of cocktail: Basil Margaritas or Meyer Lemon Margaritas, Blood Orange Martini, Pomegranite Martini, Theme: if it's a special b day dinner or anniversary you can add champagne, individual b day cakes, small gifts.
      • Mix service styles; plated first course and family style (or serve dessert). Examples: start out with buffet hors d' oeuvres, serve the salad course then have family style service for the remainder of the meal.
      • Purchase flowers from your local grocery and make simple arrangements for your table/living room. Examples; all roses, one color; you probably want to avoid anything with scent…If you don't have time to shop for flowers, order them from your local neighborhood florist - be specific with style, color & budget.
      • Mix & match your table setting; use contemporary and formal china, glassware Example: Use your grandmother's old china with your green plates, silver, etc.
      • Use candles (unscented - lots of them) with or without a floral centerpiece (remember nothing to tall - you and I know why, but will Gloria from Gilroy>, vases do not have to match
      • Use placemats instead of a tablecloth, use chargers or large plates/platters in lieu of placemats samples of each.
      • Select your music for the evening; start with something upbeat and move into music w/o lyrics during dinner to allow for conversation. Just read a tip in one of the gay rags: iTunes has "great dinner and cocktail party playlists. Point, click and play!

      Taste Catering
      3450 Third St, 4D
      San Francisco, CA 94124
      415-550-1858 fax

      Taste Catering has provided the very best in catering and event planning services for private and corporate clients in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 30 years. Each and every employee at Taste is dedicated to excellence in the products served and the services provided. Taste uses only the freshest and highest quality ingredients and actively supports local growers and producers that engage in organic and sustainable agricultural practices. Taste is committed to making each event unique and the best our clients and their guests have ever attended.

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