5 Ways to Have the Best Kitchen for Entertaining
There's nothing like throwing dinner parties, especially if you enjoy cooking and sharing your culinary masterpieces with your family and friends. However, part of becoming the most epic host or hostess since Julia Child involves making sure that your kitchen is in top-notch shape. It should lend itself well to all those mouth-watering breakfasts, lovely lunches, and delicious dinners you’ll be creating. You may need to reevaluate your kitchen space; make a few changes, buy a few accessories and appliances to really cement your reputation as a genius gourmand.
Add Extra Space Where You Can
When you're entertaining and spending a lot of time in your kitchen, space is at a premium. The size of your kitchen is almost irrelevant, because there are clever ways to create space in even the smallest kitchen. However, there are different types of space you need, especially if you're going for an open yet intimate setting.
For example, do you like having your guests in the kitchen while you cook? You may not always enjoy this, but for cozy evening suppers and bustling afternoon brunches, many cooks enjoy the company. Having a kitchen island is an excellent way to do this. Make sure that there's space for at least two stools, although more is always better. Even if your kitchen isn't equipped with an island, they're easy to find at any store that specializes in home goods. The added bonus is that you'll also have extra counter space for various cooking tasks.
Another option is to place a small kitchen table in the corner. You don't need a spacious dining table, but a cozy breakfast nook is just the thing. This way guests can sit with you as you cook, or you can sit down while peeling potatoes or decorating pastries. Even when you don't have guests, you'll have a lovely place to enjoy a quick meal.
While seating is important in any kitchen, you also need space for all your cooking tools, appliances, and other accessories. It's a good idea to have plenty of shelves and rolling carts. They can hold extra items, or those things you don't often use but still need within easy reach. A butcher's block, a small baker's island, or a serving cart are all options. Smaller shelves and storage units can also be easily hidden. These are particularly great choices if you're short on cabinet space.
Expand Your Cookware Collection
Your cookware should take center stage in the kitchen, and you should never scrimp on it. Although not every cook can afford a full copper cookware set or a colorful Le Creuset collection, you should still get the best quality you can. Make sure you have all the most essential pots and pans, such as:
- A skillet
- A wok
- A saucepan
- A sauté pan
- A stock pot
- Casserole dishes
- A soup pot
- Baking pans
- And a grate or griddle
If you're pressed for space, a suspended rack is ideal. You can hang it over your island or choose an option that hangs on the wall. All your cookware is instantly accessible, plus the overall look is extremely pleasing.
You can't forget your cooking tools, either. For the most part, you'll just need the basics, although it depends on your own preferences as a cook. A good knife set is crucial, along with spatulas, spoons, colanders, ladles, and your silverware. You can branch out to include pastry tools, peelers, graters, meat tenderizers, and things of that nature.
Then you have your essential kitchen appliances and cooking aids. A mixer, a microwave, a blender, and a food processor will all serve you well. If you're looking for a few extras, consider warming drawers, juicers, espresso makers, and similar items. However, don't clutter the kitchen with things you've never needed and won't use.
Give Yourself Ample Room to Work
Although a kitchen island provides some extra space, large counter tops are still necessary. Not every kitchen has them, but if it's within the realm of possibility, you should do everything you can to get them. Even if you can't renovate your kitchen, you can make do with your island, a butcher's block, or a rolling counter. The best cooks work with what they have and improvise when necessary, so a small kitchen won't affect your skill as a host or hostess.
Serve Up Style
The food you serve is just one part of the dining experience. How you serve your food matters nearly as much, since fine dining depends on all the senses. If you want to entertain in your kitchen, you have to serve your food on a worthy canvas. You don't need the finest, most expensive china, but you should have a lovely collection of plates, bowls, saucers, cups, glasses, and stemware. It should fit the aesthetic of your kitchen, your home, and your taste.