How I Gather

Is there anything more enjoyable than the sound of clinking glasses, the hum of conversation, and the aroma of a home-cooked meal? We think not. In fact, bringing people together around a table is our greatest passion in life and we believe food is one of the most powerful tools for connection. But what makes a gathering meaningful? In our series, How I Gather we go behind the scenes of our favorite chefs, foodies, and tastemakers to answer that question.  See All

If there was an Ann Edgerton fan club, I’d be a charter member. This creative gal-about-town is so multitalented that you’d almost hate her… if she wasn’t so darn sweet and lovable. She’s an interior designer, prop stylist and culinary artiste, and no doubt has a few other hidden talents of which I’m not even aware. I first met Ann when she was co-owner of a boutique catering company, and a few years later, I now get to work with her on-set as the food stylist for many of the photo shoots for my book. She always nails that effortless, chic-without-trying look that I’m after, so when Ann invited us to peek into a weekend gathering at her family’s river house to see her at-home entertaining style, we jumped at the chance. Take it away, m’dear!

*photos by molly winters

The taste I’m always craving:

I love tons of herbs — so good pestos and salsa verdes always do it for me.  

My entertaining style in 5 words or less:

Unfussy, seasonal, natural, well-lit, inviting.

My must-have entertaining tool:

A hand-held mandolin and my Fog Linen apron.

The entertaining rule I rarely break:

No packaging should ever be seen. 

My standard hostess outfit:

A loose fitting dress that is not too frumpy.  It’s got to have a bit of sass.

Always in my refrigerator:

Olives, tahini, celery, Dijon, fresh herbs, a good chocolate bar.

The restaurant meal I’ll never forget:

Right after college, some friends and I traveled around France working on farms. We hitchhiked and ate just cheese and bread the entire time just so that, in the end, we could take ourselves out to one really nice meal. It was perfection… long, rich, in a tiny stone-walled restaurant, amazing wine and my closest friends. 

My dream dinner guests:

All my best friends! And family! And Tina Fey!

My signature entertaining dish:

You can never go wrong with a roasted chicken and simple seasonal veggies. But I have a hard time doing the same thing twice… so I can’t say I have a signature.

Current favorite color palette for parties:

Black, white and natural tones (wood, wicker, brass).

A favorite recipe you’d like to share?

I knew I would not have very much time to prepare dinner for this party so I decided to go with Pozole. I like serving things that are interactive, like spring rolls or pizza. This is full of flavor but also very light. It’s a great family holiday dish to serve once everyone has gotten tired of  rich and creamy foods.

Click here for Ann’s Pozole recipe.

What scares you about entertaining?

I am so scared of not having enough food, which leaves me with leftovers for days (which I never complain about).  I’m also scared of the music not matching the mood — when  food, friends and the music are all just right, then it’s MAGIC!

The perfect dinner party playlist includes:

Fleetwood Mac, John Prine, Arthur Russel, Francoise Hardy, Nina Simon.

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Comments (12)
  1. 1
    Molly {Dreams in HD} November 21, 2013 at 7:30 am

    what a beautiful home! that shot of her guests under the big tree is just magical. it looks so serene.

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  2. 2
    celine November 21, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Love this profile of Ann, as I have pinned the heck out of her home. She seems super down to earth and cool. Great taste in music too!

    • Camille Styles November 21, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Ann is the epitome of down-to-earth… she is 100% genuine and so cool without even seeming to try!

  3. 3
    Rachel November 21, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I love the pozole recipe – I can’t wait to make that!

  4. 4
    Quyen Nguyen November 21, 2013 at 11:47 am

    These are great entertaining tips. I love entertaining too, but my biggest problem is when people come late! How do you prevent that or work around it?

    • Camille Styles November 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      In my experience, there is NO preventing late arrivals, so I’ve had the most success with just accepting that it’s going to happen and not stressing… it’s not worth it! And even if someone’s incredibly late, a great host still makes them feel as comfortable and welcome as if they’d arrived on the dot. With that being said, if you’re serving a seated dinner, there’s no need to wait for someone who’s more than 30 minutes late… all your other guests will be starving! Just go ahead and sit down to the meal, and have a chair and an extra place setting waiting at the ready for when that slowpoke finally appears!

  5. 5
    Waiting on Martha (@Waiting on Martha) November 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Can we join??? Love this feature…and totally agree – no packaging ever seen! Cheers to good music, good food and friends xo Big Hugs @ Waiting on Martha

  6. 6
    Kate S November 21, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Beautiful! Lovely photos!