Every detail should be important, whether you are serving just appetizers or a full course meal. Remember that as the host/hostess you are presenting your personal style to your guests. Don't hesitate to use your fine china; decorative charger plates are great for displaying assorted cheeses and sweets. The six-inch bread and butter dish is the best size to use for small finger foods. If you invest in anything, always have some fine linens. They add a level of sophistication to even the briefest gathering.
Mix unusual containers like metal and exotic wood to showcase breads and crackers.
Experiment with your drinkware when entertaining and don't let the classification limit the use. For example, "sherry glasses" are perfect for sweet wines, and Riesling's not just sherry. A popular trend is to collect and display various shapes and colors of champagne glasses, and it can be an icebreaker for your guests.
Marcus Sammulesson, chef and owner of the world renowned Aquavit and the hot new Riingo in New York City presents many culinary masterpieces on Chicago glass blocks that are used in interiors.
Planning events are a way to connect with your friends and family on a regular basis. Don't feel that everything has to be on a grand scale. Use your tableware, invite two best girlfriends for tea or have neighbors to your home for the Oscars or Super Bowl.
Fruit & Flowers
The mix of fruits and fresh flowers are essential to entertaining and the finishing touch to any tabletop. Floral arrangements in low glass containers, partnered with small fruits like crabapples, cranberries and orange or lemon slices add extra interest to a table.
Incorporating herbs and greenery in food presentation and tabletop adds aroma and color. Display your holiday turkey with sprigs of rosemary.
The hottest trend in tableware is the purchase of the same commercial dinnerware seen in your favorite restaurants and hotels.
The use of glass votives to illuminate a tabletop is an inexpensive way to create warmth and ambiance.
Add sophistication to your setting by adding a touch of glimmer to the table. A simple accessory detail goes a long way. The restaurant JoJo in New York City has become infamous for its use of an oversized, jewel-like Lucite napkin rings for extra sparkle.
A great entertainer should take care in the keeping of their tableware. It should be
stored in a dry place, and porcelain plates should be separated with dividers.
Successful food presentation is all about the details. A common mistake made
by big restaurants is that they don't check the condition of the tableware.
There is no bigger turnoff to go to a fancy restaurant and to be served on a
chipped or broken plate. The same rules apply to home entertaining.
A common mistake in food presentation is to overload the plates with too many
contrasting foodstuffs. In plating your food, take a tip from a professional four-star
chef and display food vertically. What's most important is to keep it minimal by avoiding
large portions and heavy sauces.
In creating a tabletop be inspired by the beauty found in nature.
Flowers, in particular, are inspirational in their symmetry and coloration.
The Japanese have a custom called "Hanami," or flower viewing, which can inspire and refresh your senses.
If you're having a dinner party in the early fall, incorporate the colors of the season-the deep reds, oranges and yellow hues.
Use odd number of food items when garnishing the plate, as it is more pleasing to the eye.
A hot trend in food presentation is the use of serving platters in glass and porcelain as individual dinner plates.
If you have questions how to properly set your table, feel free to Ask Christina!
If you see pretty ribbon, beads, candles or papers, put them in a designated "prop" box
or drawer. You may not know what they will be good for, but chances are they will be a
great resource when putting the final touches on a table setting.
First impressions in seating guests at your table are very important. The
placement of a decorative service plate creates a warm greeting.
Service plates also called "chargers" are made of types of materials metal, glass or porcelain.
Set the theme for your event no matter what the size. A great host or hostess coordinates the invitations, decorations and menu.
Use what you have! If you are not serving tea but have some neat cups, use them to serve a pudding, soft chocolate desserts or ice cream.
This is a great material to print individual place cards and creative invitations. It can be found at your local art supply or stationary store and comes in a wide array of colors.
Every good host or hostess has a set of basic whiteware. It is great staple to have in your
china cabinet since you can dress it up or down depending on the type of event.
Make your table exciting with fun extras like chocolates at each place setting, a menu with ingredients for each guest or decant wine from a crystal caddy.
A successful event has a consistent style from start to finish. No matter what the theme, incorporate theme elements throughout.
Good organization is the key to successful food presentation. Before
any dinner party, clean your dinnerware, and make sure that you
didn't miss any staining or damage from the last event. This is a great way to inventory your china and
see if anything needs to be replaced due to cracks or chipping. Then, think about your menu, and
label what foods are going on which tabletop accessories. This will be helpful in picking
accessories that are appropriate in color, shape and scale to the foods.