The full-length feature version of Ask Serena: Hassle-Free Entertaining by Serena Bass appears in the current issue of Gourmet Live. Download the free Gourmet Live app for this story and more.
You asked, and she answered. Our guru of entertaining is back with solutions to problems you posted in our Ask Serena column. Make-ahead mains? Last-minute snacks? Oven-less hors d’œuvres? Read on for a sneak peek at Serena’s solutions to questions about how to entertain in a small space with limited seating.
I would do a buffet, from which people can help themselves. In my catering company we used to send food to photo shoots and it was inevitably eaten at room temperature. I made a point of ensuring everything was very well seasoned and interesting so that even if it wasn’t hot, it was still really delicious. That is what you should aim for. Put everything out on the pub table and offer tongs instead of spoons and forks if you have them, since when you’re holding a plate in one hand tongs are much easier to pick food up with. I suggest wrapping forks only in big napkins, as this is not the time for food that has to be cut through with a knife. Use stemless glasses for drinks. People might be putting them in random places and there will be less spillage.
Inspired to throw your own dinner party but don’t know where to start? Leave your questions in the comments field below and stay tuned to an upcoming issue of Gourmet Live for our guru’s stylish solutions.