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5 Hostess Tips For Effortless Decadence, Experiential Dining, & Easy-Peezy WOW Factors

  1. Food as Flowers: When I’m hosting people over my grounding energy for the night is flirty fun and delicious decadence. I like people to feel inspired by the night and to experience the night, to put their own spin on it - to be entertained and to entertain. One easy way is to use ingredients of the meal as centerpieces and vessels. I tend to reference luxurious Renaissance still lives, think Caravaggio,  that dim sexy lighting with bushels of grapes overflowing, gourds sliced open figs in a basket.  Take bunches of asparagus and tie them together with a velvet floppy bow. Take a 3 tiered serving dish and have vines of tomatoes flow over. Buy gorgeous bread and set them all throughout the middle of the table.  I even recently bought tiny pepper plants and re-potted them in silver cups and left a gold scissor in between every 2 people and encouraged my guests to “cut their own vegetables”. 

  2. A Painters Palette: Is there anything more beautiful that the natural vivacious color of a beet? The deep royal yellow of saffron? The life force of spinach? I love to incorporate these colors when serving. To Piggy back off the above tip, I usually love to lay a painters palette of colorful dips or butters to dips or spread on vegetables and bread.   Add beets to a hummus, or Saffron to butter, to create gorgeous tones to ordinary foods.   Additionally, I even went as far as putting paint brushes next to my guests place settings to encourage them to paint their breads, and mix their palettes to expand their palettes.

  3. Both Rules and Stems are made to be Broken: There’s that saying “as delicate as a flower” and that’s what most people assume you have to be with florals; you have to be precious with them, put them in a vase, out of reach.  Well, let me tell you something, I’ve manhandled a whole lot of florals and my tables capes always look better for it and as you can now tell, they have never been precious.  I love buying baby’s breath as you get a whole lot of bang for you buck. They are ethereal and feminine but are actually quite durable and can be used in many ways.   I like to combine them with tiny daisies or any type of small flower and stuff them into the napkin ring of each setting. I also like to stuff them here and there into a tables cape to create consistency throughout (especially if you have taken tip 1 and have lots of produce scattered up the middle of the table).   
  4. Your cup runneth over: I always found that when I made flower arrangements in the middle of the table, you always blocked the view of the person across from you.  And while beautiful to look at, it was constant game of pop your head to the left, no to the right, no i’m back over on this side…until you just want to chuck that vase across the room and be done with it.  Recently I put a beautiful silver glass (by my friend Cici Barfield) and made a tiny arrangement next to everyone’s water and wine glass. It was beautiful and easy and caused no vase-throwing rage.

  5. Baking is overrated:  By the end of a good meal, with good people, good drink and good time - dessert is just an excuse to wet the sweet tooth beak and to just keep the good times coming. I always say, don’t stress over the dessert, the easiest most fun thing to do is to serve lots of different flavored chocolates: DADA elderberry boob truffles, matcha latte eye truffles, & lemony rose Lips , make people smile and feel good about eating dessert. Serve them with some of DADA’s umami cocktail nuts and some dried fruits and you’re golden.   My easy tip is to take a platter and make a row of truffles, a row of nuts, a row of dried fruit and repeat.  The pattern is beautiful and the presentation is as simple as can be. 

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