Entertaining is a way of life for me…socializing with friends “face to face” is something that I love doing, hosting meetings, girls by the pool, 54 Couture photo sessions, family gatherings, neighbors, club events, or just a friend for a cup of tea. Reggie is the same way, actually we know we both could have new careers he as a “butler” and moi as an event coordinator/hostess. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and the modern conveniences of communicating, texting, skype, email, phone meetings, but there is something so giving of yourself, your soul when you take the time to “serve” another person.
We are all so busy that the first thing that seems to drop by the way side in having guests over just “because”. My parents generation entertained at home all the time, during the 50’s and 60’s it was a time in this country when African-Americans could not even go to many restaurants so entertaining at home was the norm. Growing up having lots of family and friends over was a weekly thing, my mom was always in the kitchen preparing something.
This past weekend I hosted an event for Jack & Jill at my home, the party was a potluck where all the members brought something and we had a blast. This year our theme was spanish, so everyone brought tapas, desserts, and of course sangria. My girlfriend Myriam, an exquisite ballroom dancer taught a salsa class, which was so much fun, I made a latin groove playlist, the evening was one of those that made you grateful that you lived in southern Cali.
One of the things I like most about having guests, is trying to make something really special, I will drive all over, to pick up special ingredients, items to serve, or a special wine, it is part of the experience of making someone else happy. We went to Surfas in Costa Mesa, for the first time to pick up some treats for the party, it was like the Home Depot of gourmet food and culinary supplies, and there was also a farmers market going on as well which was perfect! I picked up some passion fruit, which is one of my favorite fruits, that I rarely fine in my local market, I just about OD’ed on them.
This store has everything a professional and a novice would need, I will be back soon.
Love farmers markets.
Love flowers too…they add that finishing touch.
I like to put “stations” all over my house, to keep guests moving and not having bottleneck areas…this worked quite well. The night was so warm we were able to keep all the doors open and take advantage of the warm evening. I’m already thinking about next years theme…hmmm maybe Bollywood.
Gigi’s Quick Tips for Hosting
1. Make something-even if you just perfect one simple recipe
2. If you must buy something get something special-go to an ethnic restaurant and order something
3. Collect interesting serving pieces- yard sales, close outs, from your travels, etc.
4. Avoid store bought processed items ie. weird stale cookies you know the kind with the decorations on them…have fresh fruit instead
5. Serve nice beverages- make a nice cocktail or juice bring a “nice” bottle of wine- not 2 buck chuck
6. If you do Costco- Plate the items and make them look nice…
7. Presentation- Put some thought into your table- I am always looking in magazines for inspiration
8. Put something on your calendar and INVITE some friends over or just a couple- It does not have to be an event-just because if good enough!
9. Life is Short-Spend time with friends and family-HAVE A PARTY