How I Gather

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

One of the major perks of starting our Entertaining With series is having an excuse to meet some of the cool, creative people I’ve admired from afar.  Actually sitting down with them in their homes and getting the inside scoop on their secrets to savvy entertaining is more fun than I could have imagined. And today’s subject, Elizabeth Winslow, is definitely no exception. As co-founder of Farmhouse Delivery, Elizabeth has developed a cult following of fresh food fanatics who anxiously await their weekly deliveries of beautiful, seasonal produce from local farms. It’s an amazing concept that’s taken hold among the many who share Elizabeth’s passion to eat in season, support family farms and feel a connection with their food and where it came from. And to help Farmhouse recipients make the most of all that bounty, she shares the most mouthwatering recipes on the company’s blog, Farmhouse Table. (Trust me, you’re going to want to make everything.) Elizabeth brings this same sense of inclusiveness and connection to the way she entertains at home, and I knew from the moment I stepped through the doors of her gorgeous West Austin home, she’s mastered the art of making guests feel welcome. Her decor combines just enough family photos, vintage records and treasures picked up from trips to Marfa and Mexico to feel lived in yet totally uncluttered, and I can imagine some pretty amazing parties being thrown in her living room with the massive french doors thrown open to the courtyard pool. Click through for the gorgeous images shot by Chelsea Fullerton and so many great entertaining tips from Elizabeth…


My standard hostess outfit:

Something flowy and comfortable, but not with flowy sleeves that get in the way while cooking. I would give anything to see the return of hostess pajamas.

Must-have entertaining tool:

I would never pull off anything without my husband.  When we worked together in our restaurant years ago, he was “front of the house,” and I was “back of the house.”  These roles still work pretty well for us–he can make a space warm and inviting and clean in a matter of seconds and he loves doing dishes.

The restaurant meal I’ll never forget:

This summer, our family was in Washington DC & I read about a sensational new Thai restaurant called Little Serow. We really wanted to go, but were a little apprehensive about going with our children (ages 11 & 12), as the restaurant offers a set menu with really spicy, adventuresome dishes and no substitutions. Tess & Liam assured us they were up for the challenge, though, so we took the chance. From the moment we walked down a flight of steps and in the unassuming door, we were all in heaven. The space is perfect–tiny and simple with aquamarine walls, bluegrass on the sound track, and waitresses in adorable vintage dresses. The food was mind-blowingly good, full of the flavors of Northern Thailand–citrus, tamarind, unfiltered fish sauce, incendiary chiles, peanuts, fresh herbs. We’re all still talking about it.

The kitchen rule I rarely break:

I probably break more rules than I adhere to–I almost always cook something I have never cooked before, I never measure, I always use my hands, I taste everything. One rule I never break, though, is that people wait for pasta, not vice versa.

The perfect dinner party playlist includes:

Nina Simone, always.

Readers, we’d love to hear: what’s always on your dinner party playlist? Let us know in the comments!

Always in my refrigerator:

Butter, anchovies, salted capers, reggiano parmesan & creme fraiche.

The taste I’m always craving:

I love the combination of salty and sweet–dry cured Southern ham with peach chutney, caramel with fleur du sel, southeast Asian curries, Italian agrodolce.

It’s your turn: what taste are you always craving? Dish it out in the comments below!

My dream dinner guests:

People who love to eat and connect over food.  There’s a certain magic that happens around a big table with candles flickering and big, abundant platters of food, so my dream dinner guests are people who love to linger at the table and revel in that magic, who aren’t fussy, aren’t dieting, and aren’t in a hurry.

My signature entertaining dish:

I think homemade desserts are such a treat. I love to rely a little on store bought appetizers or a cheese platter, but I always make homemade dessert–ice cream, butterscotch puddings, plum upside down cake.

Get the recipe for Elizabeth’s Plum Upside Down Cake here
*adapted from The Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook

My entertaining style in 5 words or less:

casual. abundant. warm. welcoming. delicious.

Head over to Go Forth Creative to view more of Chelsea’s work.

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Comments (50)
  1. 1
    Chris November 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Such beautiful photos of a warm and inviting space, delicious un-fussy food, and a fascinating woman who has contributed so much to the farm-to-table movement in Austin.
    Hard to edit my favorite tastes, but I’d have to include a freshly-baked chocolate cake with whipped cream between the layers and farmer’s market tomatoes sliced with just a bit of salt.
    I like to create playlists depending on my guests, but at least one Joni Mitchell song always makes the final cut.

    • Chelsea November 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Chris, your favorite tastes have my mouth watering. Thanks for sharing and glad you enjoyed the story.

  2. 2
    Yelle November 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I love that she and her husband do back of the house and front of the house! My dinner parties always have jazz on a playlist.

    • Chelsea November 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm


      I also like that they divided and conquered their restaurant. It makes me want to try owning a store front of my own.

      Thanks for sharing and stay tuned for more Entertaining with… we have some big Austinites we’ll be featuring soon!

  3. 3
    Jennifer November 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    “…people wait for pasta, not vice versa.” Brills. Another beautiful collaboration Camille and Chelsea.

    • Camille Styles November 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      Thanks Jennifer – all you creative, cool Austinites make it easy on us! 😉

  4. 4
    Evan November 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Beautiful pictures…they tell the story all on their own.

    • Chelsea November 26, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Thanks for your kind words, Evan. The light and space in Elizabeth’s home helped in making this feature very special.

  5. 5
    Anna November 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    That plum cake looks beautiful–and tasty too. As far as cravings go– I will never say ‘no’ to a buttery dessert like a crumble or cobbler, so plum cake looks right up my alley. Lovely images, Chelsea.

    • Chelsea November 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      Luckily, Elizabeth let me take the cake home after the shoot. Not surprisingly, it tastes just as delicious as it looks! Thanks for reading, Anna.

  6. 6
    Molly November 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    This is so adorbs! Love it. Iron and Wine should be on everyone’s playlist. It’s perfect, meaningful background music… I LOVE Nina Simone too!

    • Camille Styles November 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Agreed – and musical choices say so much about a person, don’t they?

    • Chelsea November 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Iron and Wine is a favorite of mine, too. I’ll have to look up Nina Simone this week. Thanks, Molly!

  7. 7
    Chelsea November 5, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Hello, readers! Chelsea here, the photographer of this series. I wanted to share a few of my favorites for November.

    Favorite current craving: Chicken and dumplings
    Favorite current album while entertaining: Dark was the Night (a compilation)

    Now I’d love to hear from you! Tell me your favorites for the month in the comment below.

    • RachelEVO November 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      Let’s see…I am currently craving Ramen. I am eating my way through Austin’s best in search of my favorite. I did get to try a bit of that plum cake, it tasted as good as it looks. Definitely craveable!

      For entertaining I always love to put on The Beatles White Album. It appeals to all generations.

      • Chelsea November 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm

        Rachel, tell me your favorite thus far. I’ve only tried Kome on Airport, which was so good–but I’d love to try another.

        Thanks for sharing!

  8. 8
    Camille Styles November 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I’m a big fan of playing Brazilian spotify playlists during dinner parties… and nothing is better than Jack Johnson for pool parties. Jenny Lewis and Ellie Goulding are good for all-girl cocktails.

    Currently craving: peppermint ice cream. ‘Tis the season!

  9. 9
    Anna Crelia November 6, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Currently Craving: Buttermilk Pie with Strawberries from Elaine’s. Beach House Pandora station for entertaining!

    • Chelsea November 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Ooh, I’m a big fan of that buttermilk pie myself. Elaine knows what she’s doing! Thanks Anna.

  10. 10
    Baxter Fullerton November 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Nice work Chelsea. Favorite current “album” – if we ever entertained – would be my 1200 iTunes Match songs set on random. Might have to skip by “Epic” by Faith No More if the mood were easy. Craving jumbo shrimp on the barbie in the back yard, glazed with garlic butter sauce. Weather was so nice last weekend that we fed the craving – now ready for more.

    • Chelsea November 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Paps! Let’s play your 1200 iTunes songs at random this holiday. 🙂

      Love you and thanks for your support.

  11. 11
    Christa November 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Awesome pictures! Yummy:)

  12. 12
    Linda November 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Great photos Chelsea (as usual). I always crave chocolate in almost any form, but of course love chocolate cake and chocolate pie the best! My music of choice is country, but I listen to almost anything.

    • Chelsea November 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Thanks, Linda! I’m a chocolate eater, too. My favorite is milk chocolate with almonds.

  13. 13
    Chanel Dror November 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I crave sushi at every minute of the day. As for music, I love anything ambient with a great beat.

    • Chelsea November 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Chanel, tell me your favorite Pandora station for ambient music. I’m looking for something to play at an upcoming dinner party + something to work to.

      My newest favorite is Balmorhea but I’m burnt out and need something new.

  14. 14
    Kirbi Knop November 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    I am such a fan of Farmhouse!! Now that they deliver in Houston as well, I can’t wait to try them out when our current CSA ends! Love this feature, Camille! And I agree, their blog is to die for!

    • Chelsea November 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      I’m also a big fan of Farmhouse’s blog, Kirbi.

      I love that the recipes Elizabeth provides align with the veggies you’ll be getting that month.

  15. 15
    Kirbi Knop November 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    My cravings are
    Evening: A good Zinfandel and Dark Chocolate
    Morning: Salted Caramel Iced Coffee
    Daytime: Salty Chips and a darn good fresh salsa (no wannabes)

    I always gravitate to Norah Jones on pandora. So peaceful!

    • Chelsea November 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Kirbi, I’ll have to try the salted caramel iced coffee. That sounds soo delicious.

      Also, if you’re in Austin, you must try the salty nutty chocolate chip cookie at The Steeping Room. It’s the best I’ve ever had.

      Thanks for sharing!

  16. 16
    lauren November 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    who is that photo in the frame by? I LOVE it!

    • Chelsea November 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      Elizabeth took that photograph of her daughter a few years ago!

    • Elizabeth November 15, 2012 at 11:51 am

      Actually, my husband Thomas took it–he likes to think it’s a hobby, but he’s an amazing photographer!

  17. 17
    Rachel Schindler November 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

    What a beautiful home. Is their a possibility of finding out the brand/name of the paint that is used in the dining room, including the paint that is on the ceiling?

    • Elizabeth November 15, 2012 at 11:52 am

      Hi Rachel–thank you so much! Our house was already painted when we moved in, so I’m not sure . . . let me do some poking around with paint cans in the garage & I will get back to you! Elizabeth

  18. 18
    Sarah November 27, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I’m always a sucker for a good desert! Can’t wait to try the upside down cake 🙂

    • Chelsea November 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      You’re going to love this one, Sarah! Thanks for sharing.

  19. 19
    Jaclyn November 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    As far as food cravings go: Anything’s better with a fried egg on top! I had zucchini fritters with an egg the other day and I could probably eat that every day for a month 🙂

  20. 20
    Candice November 30, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I read this when it was first published and I read it again today for inspiration. The best part is that Elizabeth and I want the same type of people at our tables – those that aren’t in a hurry. Dining over a long – into the evening – multi bottle of wine – meal is absolutely the best.

    • Jennifer November 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      Same here, Candice. This “Entertaining with…” really resonated with me. Elizabeth is chock-full of goodness.

  21. 21
    Ana November 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Those simple aqua colored votive holders with the neutral fire place are so gorgeous. Quintessential “pop of color” 🙂 Great work, ladies!

  22. 22
    john November 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Put on Billy Joel’s Piano Man, and they’ll love to eat your plum cake.

  23. 23
    Upside down cake with and egg on it November 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    When is Elizabeth inviting us over?

  24. 24
    Cam November 30, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    The photos are amazing….I think we have to steal the recipe for that cake!