Are you dreaming of entertaining your friends and family at home but don’t know where to start with catering? Fear not, for I am here to help you throw the best bash ever!

First things first, let’s talk numbers. Before you start inviting people, think about how many folks you can comfortably entertain at home. Then, set a budget and decide whether you want to go for a sit-down meal or a buffet. Oh, and don’t forget to check in with your guests about allergies! 

Now, if you’re planning to have caterers, you’ll need to book them well in advance, as they often can get booked out. And while you’re at it, get those invites ready and decide on what kind of music you’ll have – DJ Spotify? Live Band? 

Next up, let’s create some restaurant vibes at home. We’re talking table linens, flowers, napkins, podiums, and glasses. Trust me, a united set of wine glasses and some considered tablescaping will make all the difference. And, of course, candles are a must-have for when the evening draws in.

Setting up a bar? Don’t forget the ice, jiggers, and spirits. The choice is yours: cocktails, wine, sparkling water, non-alcoholic versions of each, and some beers will do the trick.

When your guests arrive, greet them with a signature cocktail like the Hugo Spritz. It’s easy to make and oh-so delicious. And don’t forget about the water. Flavor it with grapefruit and mint or lemon and lime for an extra zing.

To keep your guests happy and satisfied, provide some nibbles on arrival. A charcuterie board, hummus board, and basket of breads and crackers are perfect for grazing. And if you’re feeling fancy, add some smoked salmon on brown bread with smoked onion mayo, capers, and red onion.

For the main meal, cook and freeze ahead to save time and stress. A big ham, side of salmon, chicken traybake, pork and juniper stroganoff, pappardelle pasta with roast Mediterranean vegetables, big green salad, cucumber salad, and potato and jammy egg salad with watercress are all crowd-pleasers.

If you want to impress your guests, go for a butcher box with some umami duck, wagyu beef, roast beef, or pulled pork. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try some 35-day salt-aged beef from James Whelan. The dry aged process intensifies the flavor and tenderness, resulting in a truly unique and delicious meal. And if you’re roasting a big joint of beef, don’t forget the core temperatures!

With these tips and tricks, your home catering game will be on point. So go forth and entertain like a pro!

Aisling Signature