BY: PHILIP DEWAR
Over the past year and change, we’ve offered some of our favourite recipes from Soulyve. We’ve shared some traditional island food, as well as some fusion twists that has helped establish us in Dufferin County. However, there is so much more to the culinary art than just cooking. We’re going to take a pause from providing menus to venture further into some other realms that will help you in the kitchen, and outwards! We have lots of tips, tricks, time savers and other advice we can provide on top of just recipes, and we hope you like them!
We’re going to kickstart this new idea with the best tips on being the best host for an end of summer BBQ or dinner party. It might seem easy, but if you think back to the last BBQ or dinner party you attended, you can probably think of a couple things you’d do differently given the chance! There is a lot that goes in to being a perfect host that will have your guests thinking, “wow” when they head home.
- Atmosphere – You want to set the tone for the party, and for your guests to follow suit, not the other way around. Make sure it is appropriate for the type of party you’re hosting. For example, you might not want to have candles or tiki torches set for a party that will have lots of children. If your party is outside, have clear signage for the washrooms or other important locations. You’ll want your guests to be comfortable and not asking a bunch of unneeded questions or wandering around.
- Provide the Essentials – If the expectation is for your guests to bring a food item or their own (alcoholic) beverages, ensure you provide things like ice, lemons and limes, extra cups etc. It’s easy for the guests to forget the add-ons and you don’t want to have to be cutting the fruit in the middle of the party.
- Cook What You Know – Of course, we all want to impress our guests by serving them something special. Often times these gatherings will tempt you to try out a new recipe. But, keep it simple, cook what’s familiar and don’t overdo it. Your guests want to spend time with you, not having you stressing over the perfect meal. There’s also the chance it doesn’t turn out, and you’ll be left on the phone ordering take-out.
- Mingle With Your Guests – Try not to spend the entire time in the kitchen or at the grill. Your guests will not only feel an obligation to help you, they’ll also miss out on your company!
- Preparation – These events should not be spent stressed out, running around, tired and with empty glasses. Choose food options in which most of the prep can be done the night before or in the morning. Use paper plates. Have garbage bags out and ready to go. Do as much as you can beforehand to minimize the amount of work that needs to be done the day of the party. Take it from experience running a restaurant – something unexpected will pop up, so you want to be prepared as you possibly can so you can manage when Murphy’s Law comes knocking!