BY CHEF RAJI
A fine dining experience is not just limited to food, but is rather a culmination of taste, ambience and service, which makes it a memorable experience for the guests. The picture of such an experience would entail a cosy aura, perhaps a few beautifully arranged bouquets of flowers, delicious and fulfilling food and convivial company to add the finishing touch. All these ingredients come together to create a satisfaction that surpasses just the gastronomic pleasure.
So, if you intend to provide your guests with such an experience, then while keeping their entertainment in mind, start by mulling over a menu for them, including both food and wine that will delight their senses as well as fit the occasion. In the end, at the heart of the success of this is delicious food.
Here are a few pointers which can help you to go one step ahead in making a fine dining experience more special and entertaining than a standard party
1. Planning the Menu – Having a menu that caters to all your guests is essential for the high success rate of the event. Depending upon the number of guests invited, do keep in mind their preferences, common allergies and other details. The food need not necessarily be elaborate, but it should reflect the style of the host and the occasion.
2. Table Set-up – The way the table is set gives the guests the initial impression of how the experience is going to be. It sets precedence for the rest of the evening and subconsciously the guests start to relate the entire experience in that context. So if you want to set a good impression initially, then focus on proper table arrangement that goes along with the theme and mood of the party.
3. Divide your Work –Many times people tend to take over more burden than they can handle. This leads to distractions which divides the focus into multiple tasks. Such a thing also impacts the quality of the work. To reduce the compromising on the overall quality of the project, don't hesitate to take help so that you can keep an eagle’s eye on the bigger picture.
4. Setting Up the Bar – A bar is a thing of joy only up till it is handled by a professional bartender if the party is of more than 10 people. Otherwise if left to the devices of guests or an ineffective bartender, there would be anarchy. To keep the mood set, be sure to set an easy circulation area, so that the bartender can focus onmultiple guests at a time. Good alcohol equals to a good party.
5. Dressing the Table – Nothing beats the aesthetic appeal of the background setting of a party scene. This backdrop becomes enhanced when flowers, fruits, plants, herbs and other decorative serving pieces are added to the table to bring it to life. Not to mention, they provide a perfect backdrop for beautiful Instagram pictures.
6. Serve-ware – Once you have your menu sorted and finalised, then you can choose the appropriate cutlery, as well as its quantity for the ease of the guests. These pointers go hand in hand, paired by their mutual dependency of complimenting each other’s task and also to do justice to the planned menu.
7. Selection of Wines –Some more wine monsieur? While eating out at a place that offers fine dining experience, adding rich wine choices helps to relax the atmosphere which adds the element of uniqueness. But how to choose which wine works best for your party. Usually, if it's a casual dinner, then expand your choices and accommodate in different wines with alcohol for a genuine cocktail experience. It's much easier if you’re entertaining a small number of people.
8. Sweet Endings – Like the final sound of the scrumptious symphony, let your guests leave the place with the sinfully delicious taste of dessert lingering in their palate. A delectable, luscious, refreshing, and irresistible dessert is for many of us the most exciting part of the menu.
So let's "Gather & Gobble"!