You guys, I have been obsessed with Portland-based food blogger Alison Wu’s Instagram feed for years — and if you happen to like bursting-with-color salads, unicorn smoothies, and breathtaking appetizer spreads, you’ll soon be, too. I’ve been especially inspired by Alison’s balanced approach to daily life, with room in her schedule for both chia parfaits and champagne, working out and chilling out. And she pulls it off in a pretty enviable wardrobe of casual-cool pieces that are perfect for an active Pacific Northwest lifestyle. We couldn’t be more thrilled that Alison invited us over for (what else?) a health-lover’s brunch at her perfectly minimalist casa, so keep scrolling for a look at this cool girl’s at-home entertaining style.
Where did you learn to cook?
I was definitely inspired by watching my mom and Gramma, but I taught myself how to cook.
What’s your must-have entertaining tool?
Rosé and champagne!
What’s your go-to source for recipes?
My mind. I gather inspiration from restaurants and flavors I’ve tried along the way.
What’s your favorite centerpiece solution?
Fresh flowers, always.
Favorite tabletop item you own?
A Sydenstricker glass platter that I inherited from my Gramma Julie.
Does anything scare you about entertaining?
The dishes. We don’t have a dishwasher!
What entertaining rule would you never break?
Do as much prep as you can the day before. Also, keep it simple! Less is more.
What’s the one restaurant meal you’ll never forget?
My first bowl of ramen in Tokyo. It’s the best one I’ve ever had.
What would we never find at one of your parties?
The perfect dinner party playlist includes:
I’m a big fan of the Chet Baker Pandora station for dinner parties. I love romantic jazz.
What items are always in your refrigerator?
Fresh herbs, salad greens, pasture raised eggs, coconut yogurt, and nut milk.
What’s your standard hostess outfit?
Casual. Usually white denim and an easy, muted-tone top.
Your signature dish for parties?
A big, seasonal salad drizzled with high-quality olive oil.
To recreate Alison’s summer salad, simply chop the following ingredients and toss together:
- Almond ricotta
- Nasturtium petals
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
Favorite after-dinner activity?
Socializing on the deck under the stars.
Secret to a great dinner party?
Taking time to relax and be present with my guests, plenty of wine, and good ambiance.
Who are your dream dinner guests?
Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Iris Apfel, Alice Waters, and Rumi the Sufi poet.
It’s not a party without __________.
Your best friends.