What is best to remember when seeking to create welcoming and memorable occasions?
“I always start with a glass of Champagne. It makes things festive; it behaves almost like a magic potent. That said, entertaining is about giving to people and sharing with them. Conversation makes entertaining memorable. So, work at stimulating conversation through questions or good pairings of guests. For the meal, you don’t have to exhaust yourself making multiple courses. In France, entertaining is more casual; it’s really all about conviviality, about relaxing, sharing and laughing together. My friends invite me for dinner and brush off my protests that they have to work in the morning. They are very clear that they are not planning a five-course meal, and they also are not going to buy a bag of potato chips and order a pizza, either. They prepare one dish that to be served with a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, and some cheese. It’s not too difficult for them, and it is fun because, really, entertaining is foremost about getting together. It doesn’t have to be complicated.”
–Me, in an Interview on Randomhouse.com, October 2006