Homemade gnocchi delivered to your door, fancy takeaways and pre-made cocktails. Social distancing certainly had its conveniences, but as we emerge from imposed hibernation and into small gatherings, you might need some assistance revisiting your forgotten entertaining skills.
Here's how to remaster the art of at-home entertaining and bring some welcome pizzazz to your hosting.
Forgotten art 1: Candles and conversation
We might have been dining on the couch in the dark, so return to the table again, complete with dressing it accordingly. Tablescaping is the big trend for 2021. Think scalloped edge placemats and napkins, boutique designed place settings, coloured glassware and ornate hand poured beeswax candles. Bed Threads, In The Roundhouse and Maison Balzac have stunning designs to bring life to any table. Pair with our noise-minimising advanced SilenceTech rangehoods that never let extraction volumes get above 54dB – that’s no louder than the sound of rain – so those non-Zoom conversations you’ve been missing, don’t get interrupted.
Forgotten art 2: Personal touch
Pre-packaged cocktails might be having a moment, but there’s something special about a host pouring a complex drink, lovingly hand shaken or stirred as a welcome. Another round needed? The Stop+Go function on AEG induction cooktops lets you switch to keep-warm mode if ever you need to suddenly interrupt your cooking and play bartender. As for a helping hand with pre-making those finishing touches to surprise and delight on your dishes, you can use our oven’s preserving function to make your own jam, preserves, conserves and pickles.
Forgotten art 3: Practice mise en place
Remember the days when you’d pull up a bar stool at a restaurant open kitchen? What stands out as the chefs send out starters, mains, sides, desserts and more is the ease with which they do it – and this is down to “mise en place”, or “everything in its place”. You’ll notice each station is fully prepped with all the ingredients necessary to make a particular dish. Practice this before your dinner party and get all the ingredients out and ready to go before you start cooking. It’s is a great way to discover you’re short on parsley, or down one lemon, in time to buy more.
Forgotten art 4: Unpretentious food
We’ve missed the warm buzz of dining more than we’ve missed hand foraged funghi foam or edible gold leaf. Instead, give your guests great produce, delicious dishes and warm hospitality. The cooktop FlexiBridge feature makes this possible, where you can cook multiple dishes simultaneously, or use it to combine zones and enjoy a larger cooking surface for group – so you spend less time in the kitchen. Another innovation for entertainers is long time chef’s secret, SousVide cooking, a gentle method for meltingly tender meat or delicately poached vegetables. It’s made possible by our in-built function, meaning no flavour or moisture is lost to the pan or air.
Forgotten art 5: A glass for every drink
Forget all-purpose glassware – champagne is meant to be enjoyed out of your finest flutes, just as Pinot Noir needs to be aired in your wider rim Riedel glasses. For a traditional table, place your guests’ water glasses to the left of their red wine and white wine glass, so they can move through the courses. And rather than spending the first hour after your guests have left handwashing and drying your precious drinking vessels, you can trust our dishwashers’ dedicated glass washing program. The rubber SoftGrips and SoftSpikes gently cradle your glassware while the unique drying function does away with unwanted water spots, so you’re ready to toast your next gathering.