There is nothing nicer than hosting a dinner party in your own home. Having great friends over for good food always makes for a fun evening, and there is something really sociable and welcoming about cooking for people you care about.
If you are anything like us then you probably have shelf full of cook books, some well-loved, some unopened, and some that were just a fad. So how do you go about planning a super fun dinner party that will impress your guests without coming off as try hard, or not hard enough.
When it comes to planning a cool foodie gathering, Alex Head, chef and founder of Social Pantry is our go-to girl.
Alex’s unassuming and cool approach to food and entertaining has seen Social Pantry become the favourite catering company for brands such as Alexander McQueen, with her popular supper club nights named as ‘One To Watch’ by Harper’s Bazaar.
Alex strives to take the fear out of entertaining and her no-nonsense recipes encourage social cooking and entertaining.
We asked Alex to share her thoughts on food trends for 2017, and just what ingredients we need to be including to give our dinner parties the cool factor.
Charcoal is a fantastic detoxifier and it’s definitely a talking point when added to any dish. Here’s a few of our favourites… Charcoal Sourdough – serve with an infused butter, our favourite right now is Marmite Butter!- Blackout Juice – a shot served at the end of a meal to ease digestion or pimp up your pancakes this February – add charcoal to the mix and serve with a lemon curd…it’ll definitely be a Shrove Tuesday talking point!
Purple foods are popping up just about everywhere – from purple carrots and cauliflower to acai and black rice, make a statement with having something purple on your plate. High in anti-oxidants, purple produce is considered not only delicious and healthy but also easy on the eye.
Move over Kale, Cauliflower is the veggie to watch this year. This beauty is incredibly versatile – serve whole as a “steak” for a vegetarian main dish, blitz it up and serve as an alternative to rice for those carb-free diners or roast it and pair with mint and pomegranate for a mighty fine salad.
Think 70s classics with a twist…we’ve been singing sherry’s praises in 2016 which we’re carrying through to this year. If you aren’t confident enough to serve it up as a drink to your guests, try Alex’s sherry fudge recipe as an after dinner treat.
Think Beetroot Labneh, Black Sesame Tahini, Orange & Rose Petal Butter… it’s time to pimp up your condiments this year. Get creative with your ingredients and serve with raw Broccoli or Baby Crudities. Dips are perfect to pre-make and have on hand to settle in hungry guests.
If you have a party in the pipeline and need the coolest caterer in town, are in need of some recipe inspo or want to check out Alex’s fabulous cafe in Clapham, then read more about what she does at www.socialpantry.co.uk