October 12, 2010

Party tips from Top Chef: Just Dessert's Dannielle Kyrillos

With monthly #WineDown events, you know by now that party planning is totally my shtick (is that even a real world?) So naturally when I was introduced last week to Dannielle Kyrillos, judge on Top Chef: Just Desserts and Editor-at- Large for DailyCandy, I was elated to get the best-of-the-best tips from her. Here are some of the great suggestions she offered me to share with each of you:

For a Dinner Party
  • Keep it simple - plan your menu in advanced so you aren't rushing around
  • Organize a smaller affair that is easier to manage - sometimes smaller affairs are more intimate and fun
  • Set your table so your guests have enough room to eat and mingle. Decorate the table with seasonal looks such as golden apples or pumpkins in a clear vase, or incorporate seasonal florals
  • Use name games and ice breakers for your guests so they can get to know one another - encourage them to share the weirdest job they've ever had or their favorite spot in the world
For a Romantic Dinner for Two:
  • Ambiance is everything - candles, flowers, and dark linens are all ways to create a romantic feel
  • Don't forget that chocolate is an aphrodisiac, which is always an added bonus!
For Larger Cocktail Parties (cough, cough, #WineDowns)
  • Avoid making it complicated - utilize areas of the home with food stations as opposed to serving buffet style
  • Welcoming guests with cocktails is a great way to set the vibe for the party
  • Use a theme such as "Living the Sweet Life" where you serve sweet and savory dishes alongside signature cocktails
Bring on #WineDown Fall and Christmakah!!