“If I’m not relaxed and having a good time, my guests aren’t likely to have much fun, either. In order to keep my cool, I get most of my prep work out of the way early in the day—no last-minute sautéing or broiling for me. My idea of a perfect main course is one that can sit in the oven until needed, together with side dishes that only require a final stir or heat-through before being served.
I also make sure I have at least ten minutes away from the kitchen before everyone arrives, if only to ensure I’m wearing socks that match and don’t have flour on my nose. A quick break with a glass of wine and my favorite dinner-party music (Duets for the Spanish Guitar) is the perfect way to begin an evening with friends.“