As founder of London’s leading catering company Social Pantry, I’ve had plenty of experience when it comes to hosting parties and big dinners. I shared my expertise with Toast Life on how to reduce the stress and pressure of cooking on Christmas Day – which applies not only to the festive season but all year long! If you’re planning a Galentines dinner or family get-together, below are some of my top tips to ensure it all goes smoothly on the day.
My three top tips for entertaining for crowds are;
- Keep it simple. This means less time in the kitchen, there’s no one waiting for you to join them at the table and you can relax and enjoy the evening with everyone else.
- Prepare the day before. I always prepare as much as I can in advance.
- Keep it fool proof (this means I can keep drinking throughout the day!)
The Power Of Prep
My fridge and freezer become my best friend when it comes to entertaining. I’ll always make my dips, stuffing and sauces ahead. And the day before I’ll prepare the vegetables so that on the day, there’s minimal time spent prepping or locked away in the kitchen.
For the main course I’m all about big sharing dishes placed along the table so that everyone can help themselves, but again keeping it simple. My focus would be on serving up a crowd-pleasing centre piece with lots of sides that everyone can tuck into throughout the meal.
Name places are a great finishing touch, I always use a gold or silver pen to write name places on leaves – it’s fun, cheap and easy. Putting a spring of rosemary through the napkin holder is another affordable and simple trick that adds an extra touch.