The Dos of the Dinner Party Chef

Elegant dinner setting for 8, courtesy of Mosaic Edibles
Elegant dinner setting for 8, courtesy of Mosaic Edibles

The dinner party, once reserved for the nation’s wealthy to make business connections, the original social networking, is making a comeback. Only this time, the dinner party is not reserved solely for the wealthy. Many people are getting in on the dinner party train, using it as a reason to get together with long-lost friends or celebrate a special birthday. With the resurrection of the dinner party comes the demand for more in-home dinner party chefs.

Dinner party chefs can be seen as one-person catering companies. When booking a private chef for the evening, customers assume they are getting a chef and maybe one server. They do not anticipate a full staff to show up for their dinner party. Running a one-person show can be a lot of pressure on a chef. You’re responsible for planning the courses, setting up the space(s), serving the meal, and cleaning after the party. If you are new to private catering, here are a few tips for new caterers that can help you learn how to host a dinner party successfully.

Use Technology. Just because you are the sole provider of the meal doesn’t mean you have to do it completely alone. Technology can be a great tool and in some cases take the place of a partner. Our catering software provides a mobile app to help you quickly access event information like menus and customer contact information. Yeah, the app can’t wield a knife at the prep station but it can help keep you organized on the go.

Set Up Snack Stations. Since you won’t have servers walking around with appetizers like you would at a larger event, you can set up snack stations around the living room. This will allow guests to help themselves as you start to prepare the main course. Place smaller dishes like olives or spreads near the bar where people can mingle when they first arrive. Place larger dishes such as flatbreads and finger sandwiches on the coffee and side tables where people tend to sit and chat once they have made themselves a cocktail.

Mix Up Dessert. Instead of serving dessert at the table, suggest to the hostess dessert be served in the living room. This is beneficial for both you and the dinner party. Serving dessert in the living room allows guests to get up and move around, breaking up conversation and allowing for a breather between courses. It also allows you to set up dessert while the guests are finishing dinner and then easily clear the dinner course without worrying about the commotion of cleaning or disturbing the conversation of the table.

We are excited to see the return of the dinner party and private catering chefs. It’s another excuse to bring people together around the table!