Throw a killer cocktail party—without missing the party

In the original 1950 version of Father of the Bride, Spencer Tracy throws a huge party at his home to celebrate his daughter’s engagement. He dutifully mans the bar, serving up cocktails made to order all night. As soon as he gets a break, he comes out to greet his guests–but the party is over and everyone is heading home.

That’s my cocktail party nightmare. When I invite people over, it’s because I want to see them and catch up! I’ve thrown maybe a hundred cocktail parties in my time, and I’d like to think I’ve learned a few things along the way… so here are my five keys to throwing a fabulous, stylish cocktail hour for 20+ that you can actually participate in. Continue reading

New year, new plan

We launched Hearsay one year ago with three main goals:

  1. Share lots of amazing food with people whose culinary obsessions rival our own.
  2. Share incredible wine, beer, and cocktail pairings with people whose booze obsessions rival our own.
  3. Justify the purchase of a bunch of fancy kitchen equipment.

I’m happy to report that we’ve nailed #1 and #2. (As for #3… well… it turns out that it’s actually pretty easy to borrow your brother’s Sous Vide Supreme for months at a time.) Joining the table at our dinners–in addition to cooking and serving–has given us a fantastic opportunity to get to know the 100+ guests that have joined us over the past year. It’s also been an amazing education in multi-tasking and appearing calm under pressure, and I’m really glad we chose to do it.

But here’s the thing. As our menus have become more complex and we’ve expanded the size of our dinners, this balancing act has gotten kind of nuts. We agreed from the outset that we’d keep running Hearsay only as long as it’s FUN. So in the interest of keeping our kitchen stress-free, we’re going to change up the structure of our events a bit going forward. Continue reading