How Daphne Oz Hosts a Dinner Party

By Camille Styles

I may have been accused of using the term “girl crush” a bit too often, but I really do have a new one: Daphne Oz is the ebullient co-host of ABC’s The Chew and author of one of the most inspiring books I’ve read in awhile, Relish. And relish she does… I think what makes Daphne so completely irresistible is the way she embraces all aspects of life – from fashion to food to relationships – with such a healthy approach and contagious zest that you just want to have fun right along with her. I was thrilled when Daphne agreed to give us a peek inside her New York City pad and share her secrets for throwing an easy breezy dinner party. Click through for the jaw-droppingly gorgeous images by Belathée Photography (and no, it’s not fair that some people are this photogenic!)

My must-have entertaining tool:

Plenty of serving trays. They’re great for everything from carrying stacks of plates and utensils to the table to doubling up as a bar tray or serving platter. And my Bose speakers…there is no party without good music.

In Relish, Daphne shares her take on achieving a healthy and happy life, reminding eaters that there’s no better time to start living well than right now.

Always in my refrigerator:

White wine, and eggs from my grandmother’s farm.

My signature entertaining menu:

Baguette and salted butter or cheesy garlic bread; kale salad in a maple-dijon vinaigrette with serrano chiles (I’m adding fresh corn for summer, too!); sweet potato stacks with caramelized onion; roast chicken with lemon, thyme, garlic and truffle salt; for dessert (my favorite!): fudgy brownies or fruit crumble a la mode, or a perfect passion fruit sorbet with fresh raspberries and mint.

Every summer, we go to visit family in Turkey. Though I grew up mostly pescetarian, I couldn’t resist the fragrant köfte, or Turkish meat patties (like a flattened meatball). They’re served all over the country, but are especially delicious in the southern town of Bodrum after a long day of swimming and sunning. 


The authentic ones are made with lamb and beef, flavored with all the aromatics of that region—oregano, parsley, garlic!—and served up alone or with spiced yogurt. This recipe is an easy way to experience their great flavor at home, without a passport.


The taste I’m always craving:

A doughy New Jersey bagel with cream cheese and a thick slice off a ripe, ugly, heirloom tomato.

What (if anything) scares you about entertaining?

I am a perpetual, pathological procrastinator, and yet I am always worried about running out of time. It’s like I manifest being late by worrying about it.

Somehow, all the dishes get made and enjoyed, even if guests have to help themselves to one more round of drinks before everything’s ready… which doesn’t seem to upset anyone all that much.

drinks are poured…

The perfect dinner party playlist includes:

alt-J, Jessie Ware, St. Lucia, Frank Ocean, Beat Connection, Haim, Lord Huron, throw a little Lana del Rey or Ella Fitzgerald or Talking Heads or DJ Snake or Kendrick Lamar in there to keep people guessing.

The restaurant meal I’ll never forget:

The birthday dinner when my husband proposed.

Current favorite color palette for summer fêtes:

Blush pink and indigo blue.

My dream dinner guests:

Hubs, family, and friends. Even better: a summer Mexican fiesta outdoors with all of the above. Fish tacos and guac and margs for days…ice cream sandwiches for dessert.


The entertaining rule I rarely break:

Bare feet! Tripping over myself in high heels is no fun, and I need to be comfortable if I’m going to relax and be a guest at my own party. So bare feet it is…and a great pedicure, duh.

My standard hostess outfit: 

I like a simple outfit with bold statement jewelry for entertaining. I love monochrome, especially all navy, or a structured, feminine dress that breathes, or a casual chambray shirt and white jeans. I’m trying to bring the apron back because I’m a messy cook…but I’m not sure that counts as part of the outfit. 

My entertaining style in 5 words or less:

Plan for perfection, then relax.