Thursday, December 19, 2013

An Intimate Dinner with Kitchen Surfing

There's no place like home. I appreciate this phrase even more now after moving back into my house after months of renovations. To celebrate, I wanted to plan a perfect intimate dinner for our nearest and dearest.

Because it was my first time hosting a dinner party, I put a lot of thought into the decor to make every guest feel welcomed. I didn't want to overlook any detail, even if it meant getting my hands dirty! I had a blast handmaking floating candles for the table decor at Waxman Candles Chicago

For the napkin presentation, I found vintage gold letters of each guest's initials. The table was set with rose gold silverware and glasses from the antique Randolph Market. Fresh flowers and pine cones from Jason Home and Garden gave the table a winter theme. One of my favorite finds was a chalkboard paper runner from Paper Source. It was fun to see my guests let their inner artists out!

I used the site Kitchen Surfing, which lets you pick a chef that customizes a menu for small gatherings, to find Chef Rick Paniagua. Chef Rick was a joy to work with. I chose his Intimate Night menu. A fitting name for my night with friends! It was Asian influenced and included decadent selections ranging from Togarashi seared tuna over wakame and kelp salad, dressed with ichimi togarashi mayo to his mother’s famous flourless chocolate cake with dulce de leche drizzle and raspberries!

Chef Rick and his sous-chef handled everything from the cooking to cleaning. They had everything in the kitchen covered, which put my mind at ease during dinner.

The planning was a little hectic and time consuming, especially with two little guys running around. With the help of Chef Rick Paniagua and my supportive hubby, everything went seamlessly. The service was flawless, the food was incredible and above all, we were able to share and enjoy a wonderful night in our home with friends.

What is your secret to the perfect dinner party? Leave a comment and let us know!

By Monika Dixon

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