5 Tips to Great Entertaining

February 1, 2009

5 Tips to Great EntertainingHave you ever been to a party that served frozen hors d’oeuvres, beer in cans, or some insipid wine from a box or jug, had no music playing and all the lights were on and said to yourself, “WOW, that was a great party”!

I don’t think so. That party would break all the rules of entertaining. Which are:
1 - Good food
2 - Good drink
3 - Atmosphere
4 - Atmosphere
5 - Atmosphere

I can’t go into detail here but I will cover the bases. Even the most casual party could serve fresh, quality food. I recommend finger foods, no utensils required. A mix of cold and hot appetizers would be perfect. I prefer warming trays to chafing dishes because you can serve the food on a nice platter and it stays hot without worrying about changing the sternos. One less thing to worry about, so you can enjoy the party too. Finger foods allow your guests to hold a drink in one hand and pick with the other.

Try to serve the type of beverage your guests prefer. Just remember to purchase beer in bottles(never cans). Unless it’s a frat party. Wine should be purchased in 750ml bottles. There are many tremendous values in the $6-$9 dollar range. You will find some excellent deals in Spanish and Australian wines, but that’s another article. Even if you don’t drink liquor, you may have guests that do, so it’s a good idea to accumulate liquor over time so you may only have to pick up one or two bottles for any particular party. Otherwise, you could spend a few hundred dollars on booze. I’ll share some of my money saving secrets for liquor in a future article.

Atmosphere has three components:
1 - Music
2 - Lighting
3 - Decoration

There is no excuse for not playing music at a party. Even if you don’t own a stereo you can get free music of any kind on your computer or cable TV.

With good tunes comes the possibility of dancing. .Guests

always have a better time at parties where people are dancing. No one will dance if the lights are all on and the music is way in the background. Parties improve dramatically when oral language turns into body language on the dance floor. This brings us to the party lighting. Have you ever been to a bright bar? Set up your lighting so that no area is too light or too dark. Candles are great, or you could replace the bulbs in your lamps with lower wattage ones. The way I solved the mood lighting issue is by changing all of the light switches with dimmers.

The hors d’oeuvres table will probably be the focal point of the party, so why just place a few platters on it with flowers and candles when you can easily create an impressive tablescape. Using different size boxes and/or pots, set up three or four levels and drape them with a tablecloth, making the tallest point at the center. Proceed to decorate the table with other theme or seasonal related decorations.

Unless your theme is Halloween, New Years Eve, or Mardi Gras, There’s no need to turn your home into a circus. But a tastefully decorated theme party will not go unnoticed.

So there you have it. A theme party with an exciting appetizer tablescape, perfect mood lighting, great music and quality libations.

Chef Paul has been known for throwing great parties for nearly three decades. Aside from being a very creative chef. He is a former Wine & Spirit consultant In New York City, where he was involved in training restaurant staffs to promote wine sales, and designing menus for wine tasting dinners. Paul has promoted events from small and intimate to large scale parties at the legendary Studio 54. He is a talented guitarist and singer who has played with many top entertainers including Steven Tyler. Through the years, Paul has developed some simple guidelines to ensure your parties are exciting and memorable. You can get free recipes and party ideas from Chef Paul at http://appetizers-and-dips.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paul_Papantonio

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