Asked to throw a dinner party and break out in a cold sweat? There's nothing worse than the worry and stress that comes with a pending dinner where YOU are the host. Matt Manning, of One Ingredient shares his fool-proof tips for making your dinner party the talk of the town (in a good way!).
1. Start with bubbles
Always have a welcome drink for the guests to get them in the mood. If not bubbles then something like cocktails or Gin and tonics. This allows the guests to be distracted while you sneak off to prepare the first course.
2. Keep it simple
Create a menu that is not too complicated. Use seasonal produce and support you local butcher and fish monger. Dishes that can be prepared in advance, or at least most of it, are always the better option! This way you can spend more time with your guests than in the kitchen! It also takes a lot stress off you!
3. Don't run out
Always cater for more than you have coming. There is nothing worse than running out of food or even worse, booze! You can also keep the leftovers for lunch the next day.
4. Know your guests
Make sure that your guests are not allergic to anything that is on the menu and be able to cater for any special requirements. This will prevent serving meat to a vegetarian!
5. Make it fun!
It is your job to set the tone of the evening. Have a laugh with your guests and don't be too serious. Once the alcohol gets flowing everyone will be having a great time! If you are stressed out and frantic, it will show, so relax, have a glass of wine, and just enjoy the evening with your guests, it is your night to shine!
Follow Matt Manning on Twitter @MattManningChef.