Kathleen Schaffer, Creative Director and Culinary Chef at Schaffer, has provided tips on everything from recipes to be created ahead of time, decorative presentation — and how to simply relax and enjoy yourself.
As the go-to guru for Hollywood’s A-lister Holiday parties, Kathleen has refined her catering and presentation skills while working with Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney, etc. She just hosted Gwyneth Paltrow’s 40th a few weeks ago.
Photo Source: NY Daily News
1. Stick With What You Know
Prepare dishes that you have already done. If not, try a test run for a new dish. At times you don’t want to be too ambitious with a new recipe which can consume you last minute. Prepare this butternut squash, cranberry and lentil stuffing from The Food Charlatan.
Set out your dishes and serve them family style and re-plate multi-course meals regularly throughout the event. Once the buffet is out, you can join the rest of the group and hangout with your guests and family. See the rest of Murray and Fiona's fun and relaxed wedding.
Photographers: Olivia Marocco Photography
3. Set Out Appetiziers
Make sure to set out appetizers before your guests arrive. I prefer to use room temp app’s with a simple decoration. Salsa’s, hummus’, and vegetable dips are always a safe option.
Make sure you don’t overdue the appetizers or else it will take away the focus from your dinner. Cheese and Charcuterie displays are always easy and you can platter them and cover them with damp paper towels to keep the sliced meats from discoloring and the cheese from sweating.
Plan menus with one or two proteins, three vegetable side dishes, two salads, a bread basket and butter. That way you have a plethora of choices for each guest depending on their diets and eating habits or preferences. Make this slow cooker turkey with gravy.
Have everything chilled down a good hour or so before your guests arrive- nobody wants to drink warm beer!
Photographers: Whitney Wright Photo
Often we break out special china or crystal during the holidays that we haven’t used in months! We tend to sometimes forget how dusty things can get. I suggest cleaning or polishing everything a week in advance so you can focus on cooking and decorating in the few days before the event.
Photographers: Paul Hanaoka
Avoid a mismatched yard sale look and keep your set up “instagramable”. You want to make sure your tableware matches your serving utensils. If need be, you can always rent silverware, plates, and matching cups instead of mustering up stuff here and there from your cabinets.
Rentals: Casa De Perrin
Remain calm- your life does not depend on the outcome of your Holiday party. There will be a lot of moving parts, and if need be simply scale back and stick to what you can manage.
Photographers: Monika Grabowska Photography
There is a reason that the event industry exists, because it requires expertise and planning. We are experts and do this for a living. Make sure you enjoy yourself and are also a guest at your event. Who else is loving this Pretzel bar.
Cakes & Catering: Schafferla