Ina Garten is a pro in the kitchen and thrives when she entertains friends. NS Barefoot Contessa The star has learned a few easy tricks over the years that make a dinner party stress-free and a great time for everyone, including the host.
Ina Garten shares her basic entertaining tips
During a 2020 interview with Domino’s design time podcast, Garten shares the biggest key to a great party—you have to be a comfy host.
The interviewer asked, “How do you welcome people into your space and make them feel comfortable?” “How do you entertain in a way that feels comfortable. I think you’re great at comforting people.”
Garten offered some handy tips for keeping entertained with ease. “I think it’s really important … the first thing and most important thing is that you are comfortable,” she explained. “If the hostess is anxious and crying and sweating and just going crazy, no one is going to have a good time.”
She continued, “So, just take a deep breath. We all know cooking is hard but no one at your party needs to know that.”
‘Barefoot Contessa’ walks through its distinctive dinner party strategy
Once you’ve dialed in a deep breath and are comfortable, Garten said there are a few ways to welcome guests with music, non-flashy snacks, and self-serve drinks. “When I open the door, I like to have music in the background so that the first person to arrive feels like they’ve come to a party — as opposed to, ‘Did I come on the wrong day? she explained.
“And then what I do is that I set up a table like a bar in the living room so that everyone can help themselves,” Barefoot Contessa Star explained. “So, I’m not running around to make drinks for everyone. And everyone gets scotch and soda exactly the way they like it. “
Garten takes a page from Traveling Italy when it comes to serving up easy snacks. “And then we sit around and I have very simple hors d’oeuvres,” she said. “I was in Italy a long time ago and along with the drink, they served a small dish of potato chips, pistachios and olives. That was it. And I thought, ‘This is the best thing ever’ and it’s not cooking at all — it’s just so incredibly perfect.”
Garten explained that she keeps pre-dinner snacking simple, like a serving of salami and cucumbers or easy store-bought items. “And then I’ll just slip away and finish dinner,” she said.
The Food Network host said she “almost always” uses the kitchen for entertaining and likes to seat her guests at a comfortable table for six. “And we all sit around, like elbow to elbow, a little too close, which is really hot,” she explained. “And I’m part of the party even if there’s something to put dinner on the table. I’m not in the other room.”
Garten has found that this approach actually makes for a good time. “So I think when you do it everyone feels like family and one person serves the wine and someone else cleans the dishes … and it’s a group service rather than a formal service. kind,” she explained. “And I think it makes for a really hot party.”
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