Hosting Hack: Don’t Go It Alone

A good host is one who isn’t in the weeds. And while advance planning is advised, you don’t need to put in days (or even hours) of prep time in order to pull off a great party. David Falk, the chef-owner behind Cincinnati newcomers Boca and Sotto, suggests getting your friends to help out. “Parties gravitate toward the kitchen anyway,” he explains. “Have everyone pitch in—it’ll ease the pressure and make for a great shared experience.”

Here, Falk’s tips on how to manage your makeshift sous chefs.

• There’s always a lot to be done in the kitchen: chopping, washing, boiling, mincing—all necessary to the end game, but much more fun when done as a team.

• Homemade vinaigrettes are delicious and simple. Tell your guest the golden ratio—3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar—have them toss in fresh herbs, and shake in an old mustard jar (dollop of actual mustard optional but delicious).

• Assign someone to be the mixologist or sommelier for the night, and you’ll be sure to keep all cups filled (a golden rule of entertaining).

• Table details matter. Put one friend on flower duty (throw some fresh herbs into the vase too) and another on laying out plates, napkins, and flatware. That way you can stick to the main matter at hand: the food.

Photo: Corbis

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