What’s not to love about a dinner party? Friends, conversation, laughs, ambiance–and gourmet food you don’t have to prepare. That’s if you’re a guest. If you are the gracious host–then that effortless conviviality often conceals stress, anxiety, last-minute adjustments, and nail-biting hope that no one notices you cracked the souffle or that you ordered the pesto from an Italian takeout because you forgot to buy pine nuts.
Chef and TV culinary personality Natasha Feldman is determined to put the fun back in dinner parties and leave the fancy stuff to the iron chefs or just plain masochists. The Dinner Party Project is more than a cookbook with recipes to feed a crowd–it’s a manual for living and enjoying the foodie moment without the intimidation and emotional torture that goes with proving to dinner guests you’re a veteran gourmet who never effs-up a recipe like the rest of us.
This modern manual offers 80+ recipes and menu ideas, sketches (like a flow chart for what to cook when you’re lazy), and practical tips to ensure that everyone enjoys the party—especially the host. Forget fussy recipes with a road map of exotic ingredients only available at specialty shops. With sections on appetizers, main dishes, drinks, sides, and desserts, Feldman provides recipes for every mood and cooking comfort level (including pizza parties, taco nights, and permission to order takeout). Humorously helpful illustrations help demystify the cheese plate, offer store-bought dessert options, and guide you to your ideal dinner menu; tips within each recipe ensure great results and help you plan and avoid last-minute scampering.
In honor of the book release and to show what a communal dinner party is all about, Feldman partnered with Mona Creative PR and Venice, CA deli, café, and bakery Gjusta to host an alfresco dinner party for invited guests and media. The garden setting featured Feldman’s favorite appetizers, such as the Lady and Larder cheese boards, rosemary almonds, marinated olives with sun-dried tomatoes and feta, radishes with fennel honey butter, and Tash’s Athena’s Dip Situation with Gjusta pita. Front and center was a pizza oven that cranked out enough spicy Bee Sting and crowd-favorite Drunk Veggie pizzas to destroy our appetite before the sit-down dinner. All this was flanked by an open bar with unlimited wine and craft cocktails.
The pre-dinner pig-out didn’t mitigate the appetites as the plates of food kept coming. Starters included a Chopped and Spring Market salad, smashed potatoes with tzatziki ranch, and a cool and crisp Charred Lemon Broccolini. Crowd-pleasing entrees of Cacio e Pepe Mac & Cheese, Smoked Brisket, and Rotisserie Chicken followed. And if that wasn’t enough food to fill a boatload of elephants, and DIY sundae bar ended the multi-course feast.
Like any real dinner party worth attending, guests departed with full tummies and smiling faces. To learn more about The Dinner Party Project, including where to purchase the book and upcoming events, visit www.noshwithtash.com or follow her on IG here.