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How to Get Better at Hosting

It’s all about the plan.

There’s a myth out there that you are either born with some type of Martha Stewart crafty-cooking-hostess gene, or you’re out of luck!

At nearly every dinner or event we host, people often confide in me that, “They could never do this,” ‘this’ meaning cook for a crowd or host a big event. Well, I have news for you: It ain’t rocket science! 

Yes, we’ve moved away from the years of informal “apprenticeship” in the kitchen with master chef grandma, but there’s no reason why you can’t get better at hosting. In fact, it’s easier now that expectations for hosting are so low—for better or for worse, society has gotten pretty casual about entertaining, most people don’t feel offended if etiquette is flouted entirely, and ‘store bought is fine’ is a thing. What I am saying is: (1) You have no excuse and (2) You can do it.

Whether you want to get better at cooking for a crowd, or pulling together the details for a big event, it is do-able, and in the process, you are going to share some wonderful moments with people you care about. 

Not sure how to get started? Here’s a learning plan. 

(Did you know I have a background in corporate Learning & Development? Comes in handy at dinner parties, too.)

  1. Find a mentor. Call up the best home cook you know and ask for recipes, tips, and advice. They’ll be flattered. You’ll have a teacher. 
  2. Find a learning buddy. This can be a friend who would be open to co-hosting events with you, to take away the stress and share the tasks.
  3. Start small. Don’t take on the big family holiday dinner with guests coming from out of town, requirements for traditional decorations, and all kinds of expectations for the menu. Instead: Invite a friend or two for drinks or dessert, then work your way up to brunch. You’ll get better and learn from it, and have fun along the way.

While you’re here, pop around the blog for menu ideas and tips. I love this stuff, as you can tell. And I am on a mission to help people. I would love for us to get back to inviting friends and family into our homes and create the kind of moments that make a house a home.

Let’s do it!