Happy Hour: Sean Brock’s The Charleston Light Dragoon Punch 1792

Excerpted from Heritage by Sean Brock (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Peter Frank Edwards.

 

Although JBF Award winner Sean Brock is a self-proclaimed bourbon buff, his innate Southern love of entertaining extends across the spirit spectrum. This punch is a mélange of the historic and the present-day South, updated from an antebellum militia recipe found by a friend of Brock’s at the South Carolina Historical Society. Mixing a sweet tea base with rum and brandy, this crowd-pleasing punch is a perfect expression of Southern hospitality.

 

Get the recipe here.

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Test Your Eat-Q: Traditional Host Etiquette

'Tis the season to entertain, so brush up on proper host etiquette with this quiz before you break out the eggnog and gingerbread.

 

 

 

 

 

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Recipes: James Beard’s Very Special Steak Dinner

 

As one of the culinary world’s ultimate entertainers, James Beard knew a thing or two about setting a table for a crowd. With the holiday season right around the corner, we’re here to remind you that cooking an unforgettable dinner in only an hour truly is possible. Give Mr. Beard’s very special steak dinner a whirl—his combination of good planning and deft execution lets you sit down with your guests in a flash. 

 

The main event is James Beard's steak au poivre flambé, which gets a flaming bath in Cognac before being served sizzling and tender. Beard recommends buttery galette potatoes and bright haricots verts to round out the menu. Get the recipes here:

Galette Potatoes
... Read more >

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At Home with the Kitchn’s Sara Kate Gillingham

Photo by Leela Cyd

 

In 2005 writer Sara Kate Gillingham took a deep breath, a leap of faith, and co-founded the Kitchn, a design-forward website that sought to inform and inspire every aspect of home cooking, from recipes to advice to renovations. Now, with a readership of over 17 million per month and a 2015 James Beard Award–winning cookbook under her belt, Gillingham certainly knows her way around a kitchen—both in her own home and through the lives of the many readers she connects with each day. Below, senior editor Elena North-Kelly catches up with the founding editor and avid cook to get her tips and insight on entertaining, including her most trusted recipes, indispensable tools, and levelheaded approach on gracefully handling any dinner party disaster.

 

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JBF: Many of us at JBF often turn to the Kitchn for tips on getting organized. Talk to us about the ideal prep timeline for... Read more >

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Party Tips from Beard House Pros

 

If you’ve ever been to dinner at the James Beard House, or any other JBF event like the Beard Awards, Chefs’ Night Out, Chefs & Champagne, or our annual Gala, you know that our staffers can throw a good party. Here are some of their tried-and-true rules for hosting a Beard–caliber event at home. 

 

THE DRINKS

“If you’re serving cocktails, make a batch just before the first guests come. You don’t want to start the night with a bunch of people waiting for a drink.” —Yvon Ros, Director of Sponsorship and Special Events

 

“Don’t skimp on the beverages. Buy artisanal sodas for people who aren’t drinking, and choose some local wines, unique beers, and sparkling wines—put on a big drink spread.” —Izabela Wojcik, Director of House Programming

 

“When thinking about quantity, plan on three drinks per person over the course of an evening to make sure you have enough.” —Siobhan Flaherty Haber, Manager of Greens... Read more >

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Entertaining Tips from Carla Hall

 

To help you prep for a stellar Beard Awards viewing party, we tapped the chef, television personality, and host of our 2015 Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards, Carla Hall, for some sage advice. Below, the former caterer shares her top tips.

 

Turn Down the Volume

 

I want background music at a cocktail party, not something that will take over the conversations. The playlist depends on the crowd you’re entertaining, but jazz is always a good place to start.

 

Make It Ahead

 

I like to prep and cook as much as I possibly can in advance. I want to enjoy my guests! Plus, as a recovering caterer, I can’t help but think that way. Even the hot... Read more >

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What We're Reading: March 11, 2015

 

Turn your dinner party into a fine dining experience with these plating tips. [Food 52

 

Fuchsia Dunlop shares her favorite Chinese cookbooks, as well as the regional cuisines she thinks we should keep an eye out for. [Serious Eats

 

Lonely bananas remain fresh for longer. [Lifehacker

 

Stop complaining about your grocery bill: we currently spend less than ten percent of our income on food. [NPR

 

The new app Foodie Shares is trying to be the AirBnB of home-cooked... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Beard House Entertaining Issues

 

It seems these days that the minute Halloween is crossed off our calendar, the whole world springs into holiday party mode. With that tsunami of soirées in mind, we've reached into the archives for some lighthearted tips and tricks for surviving the holiday season. And for those adamant that Halloween be given its due, we’ll concede these are some truly terrifying party scenarios.

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The Bookshelf: What’s a Hostess to Do?

What’s a Hostess to Do? by Susan Spungen (Artisan Books, 2013)

 

Want to entertain flawlessly? So do we, so we enlisted recipe developer, food stylist, and author Susan Spungen to share five tips from her new book, What’s a Hostess to Do?, an invaluable resource chock-full of guidance, recipes, and helpful illustrations to help you become a party-throwing pro.—JBF Editors

 

 

Make It Ahead

Unless you’re a very confident cook, avoid last-minute cooking at all costs. A frantic or absent chef does not put guests at ease. For many of us, salads and stews are saviors.

 

Cook What You Know

The day of your party is not the time to practice something fancy that you’ve never even tasted, let alone cooked. Your tried-and-true pot roast may not seem exciting to you, but a solid dish done well is always better than a flashy one gone awry.

 

Think Like a Chef

Putting all of your ingredients in place... Read more >

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