Execution is what most people pay for when it comes to throwing a dinner party….the decor, the food, and the clean up. The key is to enjoy your party not really spend your time trying to pull it all together but most people do not have the money to pay for the execution. Being a personal chef, I cooked for all of the dinner parties myself , so I developed a method that helped me create and execute a dinner party menu with ease. Let me share with you 3 hacks that will help you execute your dinner party menu like a BOSS.
This is MAJOR key when planning a dinner party. Planning ahead of time gives you time to plan and organize the execution your menu.
Here are few of the things you want to think about when planning ahead for your dinner party:
- Type of party you are throwing – it helps with the next one below and how you will serve your menu
- Type of menu you want to serve – BBQ, fresh and light, seafood boil, etc.
- Recipes – gather them all in one place you don’t want to be scrambling to find them later, I will explain below why this is important
Organization really comes into play when throwing a dinner party, especially when it comes to food because there can be so many elements. Let’s be honest it can get overwhelming just cooking your weekly dinners so trying to execute for a dinner party definitely requires organization. These are some of the things that need to be organized BEFORE you execute your menu:
- Recipes – Now that these are gathered, it times to use them to create your shopping list. You will use the recipes to see what you need to buy vs. what you already have in your pantry. You only add the NEEDED items to your shopping list. Gathering all the recipes also allows you to see what should be cooked first and what should be left last to do. This will help create a good flow when you are executing the menu.
- Pantry – Having a organized and well stocked pantry (link to pantry blog) is a key to any kitchen when cooking. It saves you time when cooking and your not constantly shopping for things should already be in your pantry. When you have a well stocked and organize pantry it allows for an enjoyable cooking experience.
- Shopping list – This is a MUST. Do not go to the store without this. I repeat. Do no go to the store without this. Your shopping list should only include the items you need to create your menu. It will contain items that you normally do not have on hand, pantry items that need to be restocked, and of course your fresh ingredients needed.
Plan. Organize. Now it’s on to the execution of the menu. I like to break this part into 2 categories:
- Meal Prep – Many of your recipes will have some main ingredients in common, it is best to prep that ingredient for all of your recipes. You may have cut, dice, and slice the same ingredient but this allows you to knock out each ingredient instead of each recipe. The number of ingredients certainly out ways the number of recipes you will make. Here is a list of produce that can be prepped ahead of time:
- Cook Ahead – Cooking ahead will save you time during the day of the party – throwing a party can be stressful enough, so why not get ahead of the came by knocking out the food portion of your party. You want to cook dishes that can prepared just to the point of going into the oven. You will want to leave off ingredients like cheese, bread crumb topping, or any garnish until it is ready for the oven or the table.
Plan. Organize. Execute. This is what it takes to execute that menu for your upcoming dinner party this summer. I have created a mini dinner party planner to give you a jump start to your dinner party for the summer. Sign up below you receive it and let me know what parties you have planned this summer below.