How do you choose the menu?
My meal planning is very similar to how I design clothes. Very simple, but with a twist. For example, I like to serve lamb meatballs, its simply orange zest and garlic then baked with pomegranate molasses drizzled on top.
I choose easy and simple recipes, but they need to feel fresh and special to my guests. The majority of my menu is clean and healthy, with a large variety of vegetables, and I always offer a meat and a fish to make sure I’ve covered all dietary needs with plenty of options. Most importantly, I love to include at least one or two decadent dishes.
Any tips for a standout tablescape?
Before I set the table, I lay out all my serving dishes. I love an eclectic mix, a variety of shapes and colors (mostly shades of blue). Some are fancy, some are basic, and everything in between. The serving dishes must look beautiful on the table before I start placing the food on them. I make sure all the thinking is done before my dinner party starts, so I can devote all my attention to my guests.
I always cover the table with candles. I have a centerpiece with a cluster of wooden candle sticks, and then I have an array of different kinds of candle sticks spread through the table and the room. I light up my book shelves with small votives throughout, and cover all my windows with white pillar candles of all different sizes. I make sure only one of the candles I am using is scented, and I place this one on the window sill away from the table so as not to overpower the smell of the food. I love the ones from Le Labo
How do you handle those final touches and keep guests entertained?
I always serve appetizers in the kitchen. Everyone loves hanging out around the counter. It also gives me time to finish up the final touches to dinner and be able to hang out. It's fun and gives a different environment from the rest of the night at the table. This also makes it easier to be social with different people all at once.
Who's on the guest list?
I always invite a diverse group of people. Not everyone will know everyone, but that’s the fun of it. I hope for people to leave having met someone they may not have otherwise crossed paths with. I make sure each guest knows at least a few people, so everyone feels comfortable. I feel like having a good mix of people helps to keep the conversation interesting and fresh.