I’m starting to realize that when it comes to the art of the dinner party, our European friends have got it figured out. In contrast to the harried and high-stress entertaining situations that many of us find ourselves in, where the focus is often more about impressing guests than just enjoying an evening together, gatherings in Italy, Spain, and France seem to be more relaxed. One secret I’ve recently discovered? Guests are often called on to take part in the preparation itself, which not only lightens the load on the host — there’s something about working towards a combined goal that brings everyone together (especially when it’s over a bottle of Chardonnay.)
To kickoff our all-new (and very exciting!) partnership with La Crema Winery, I recently invited a few friends to come over and cook with me. We made a menu inspired by our Tuscany cooking class, then sat down under the olive trees in my backyard to savor it over delicious wine and great conversation. Keep scrolling for the dishes we made, what we poured with them, and a few tips on hosting an interactive cooking party of your own.
*photos by ashleigh amoroso