TIPS ON PLANNING A
If you're a novice cook, or a new bride and find
yourself in charge of planning, executing and creating a dinner party
for four, six or eight people, you might find the following tips
helpful. If you need more help than these tips can provide, you
can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask any other questions you may have.
I'll be happy to help you make your dinner party a success. I'm
also available to be your Personal Chef if you live anywhere in New
York, New Jersey or Connecticut and feel that cooking the food is more
than you'd like to tackle!
- Make a list of your guests names, with the
date and time of your dinner party.
- Plan the menu - write or type out and make
two copies; one to help create the shopping list and the other copy
of the menu to put on the refrigerator as your guide
- Send out invitations if it's a formal affair,
or just telephone or e-mail your invitation at least 2 weeks
prior to the date.
- Be sure to ask all of your guests to let you
know of any food allergies or foods they just can't eat
- When using recipes from a cook book, take the
time to photocopy 2 copies of each of the recipes which will save
wear and tear on the cook book. One copy to aid in making your
shopping list and the other copy to be taped to your kitchen
cabinets while you are preparing the foods.
- Create a shopping list using the menu list
and recipes. Check your refrigerator and pantry for staples that
will be needed for the recipes.
- Determine which ingredients in the recipes
can be prepared, cut, chopped or pre-cooked the day before or on the
day of the dinner party. For example, many vegetables can be
parboiled or blanched, shocked in ice water, dried well and
refrigerated the day before only to be re-heated just before
- Determine which of the menu items can be
entirely made ahead a day or more before the dinner party. For
example, stews such as Coq au Vin and braised dishes such as lamb
shanks, benefit in taste when made a day in advance.
- A few days before the dinner party, check to
see that your linens are clean and that you have sufficient
glassware, candles and flowers. You can even pre-select
the CDs you'll want to play during your cocktail and dinner time.
- On the morning of your dinner party day or
even the day before if space allows, set the table, chill bottled
water and other beverages in a picnic cooler to save room in your
refrigerator. Time your schedule (with the exception of last minute
re-heating) to leave about 1-1/2 hours before your guests
arrive to relax, shower and dress -- and of course have a glass of