Dinner Party

Dinner Party

Its only a memory!
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great ideas for personalized favors
for bridal showers and weddings.

We have also included keepsakes and fun stuff for your guests at any type of event!

Understanding the types of dinner party
Making sure you have all the necessary information
Buying the food
Inviting guests
Preparing beforehand
Cooking Stress !!!
What to do first
Talking and cooking with your guests
Finishing the meal

A successful dinner party depends on a variety of different elements and the fact of you remembering a whole load of information in a certain order. The key to this is to make yourself lists.
When you do your first dinner party aim at an easy dinner party with two or three course of menus that you have done before.

Understanding the Different Types of Dinner Party

The Simple dinner party with Friends - You invite friends round for pizza and ice cream, which you make yourself. A brilliant type of party because it does not involve that much preparation.
The Formal Dinner Party - People tend to get dressed up and it usually has some kind of theme such as a murder party. The cuisine served is something special, but you usually choose something that is easy to prepare so that you can talk to your guests.
The Gourmet’s Dinner Party - The focus is the food and the way it is prepared, served and tastes. A fantastic way to show off your talents.
Making sure you have all the necessary information

What type of party are you holding ?
How much time are you going to spend in the kitchen / talking to guests ?
How many guests are coming and what are their tastes in food ? (Are they vegetarian for example ?)
What is your current culinary skill ? Are you going to be adventurous or go for an old recipe favourite ?
How much time do you have for preparation of the food ?
What will the menu be ? How many course will it have ? What will the wine be ? Have you got the right implements for the food you want to prepare ? (eg snails are pretty difficult to get out of their shells unless you have the proper implements !!)
Are you going to print menus out from your computer ? Have you got thick enough paper / enough colour paper ?
What is going to be your method of service ? ie is everything going to be on the plate or are you going to serve it to your guests at the table.

The thing that makes or breaks a dinner party is the menu. A poor menu equals a poor chef and disheartened guests.
When planning a menu really take into consideration your current skills and the amount of time that you have to prepare the menu. The DB chefs did a menu recently which took around 15 hours to prepare before they even started cooking !!!!!
Try and make your starter and pudding cold or easy to prepare beforehand so that you do not really have to think of them and can concentrate on the main course.
Think of how many people you are cooking for. It is no good doing individual duck breasts for 16 people, it is much easier to do a roast.
Buying the Food

Have you looked at all your menus and got all the quantities ?
It is usually advisable to get slightly more than you need, because even the best chefs make mistakes. If you are worried about you culinary expertise, you can always keep something in your freezer just in case you have some major catastrophe.
Get the freshest food and best possible.
Inviting Guests

Guest absolutely make a dinner party. Inviting the wrong ones can be a nightmare.
Try and invite people with the same type of interests or invite people you are not sure about with other people who you know get on with anyone.
The aim of any dinner party is polite conversation which is interesting and stimulating.

Preparing Beforehand
Any good dinner party depends on preparation. The only way to prepare is to plan.
The best way to plan is to have an action list of what is going to happen and the order in which it is going to happen. After a few dinner parties this action list will start to dwindle to a mere list rather than a timetable at first.
Make sure that jobs such as marinating are done the night before and as much preparation is done the night before as possible. Try and choose dishes which allow you to do some kind of pre-preparation.
Try and make your starter and pudding cold or easy to prepare beforehand so that you do not really have to think of them and can concentrate on the main course.
Think of how many people you are cooking for. It is no good doing individual duck breasts for 16 people, it is much easier to do a roast.

Cooking Stress !!!
Something we all suffer in the kitchen !!!! The only way to get over it is to have a structure to your work.
This is where you need to have your lists of what to do and when to do it and then just follow them. The guests won’t mind waiting, if they are going to do a delicious meal !!!!
If all goes wrong always keep a card of a local pizza delivery firm, Chinese or Indian take away.

What to do First !!!
If you can prepare the sweet if it is a cold one, the night before as it is one less thing to worry about.
Tackle the first course and get it all prepared. If it is cold and not too long before your guests arrive, you could leave it on the table.
Always make sure you mise en place (get everything ready) before you start to cook. When Rene first started cooking he used to put all the ingredients on different plates before he started cooking, then as he cooked he washed up the plates.
Make sure that when you finish what you have done you tidy up after yourself. Any good chef will tell you that you should clean as you go.

Talking and Cooking with your Guests
If you do a roast or lasagna, a cold starter and pudding the advantage is that you can talk to your guests, but it is unlikely to be the ultimate in presentation.
Should you want to have everything a la minute (to the minute) as the DB chefs do, then you will have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. So instead of allowing your guests to sit down in the dining room, invite them into the kitchen and talk through the dishes that you are preparing. It’s great fun for everyone.

Finish your Meal
Once you have finished your meal finish up with a liqueur and some coffee and mints. It rounds off the meal and your guests can tell you what a wonderful meal you have cooked and you can even swap recipes.
Get their comments on what they liked / dis-liked so that you know how to improve next time.

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