Baste the turkey and grab the lights — the holidays are in full swing! From checking off the shopping list to hosting a full house, it’s easy to get caught up in the stressful hustle and bustle of the holiday season. No matter what you celebrate though, it’s all worth it when you dive into the best part of the holidays: the food!
Before the table’s set and the oven mitts come off, prepping, and hosting the perfect party isn’t exactly a cakewalk. That’s why Chef Works has put together 7 chef-approved tips for stress-free holiday hosting just in time for the start of the season.
Now, let’s dig into these tips, shall we?
1. What’s on the Menu? Plan Ahead!
Are you keeping it cool with appy-hour or opting for a full-on feast? Whatever the case, plan ahead! Write out your holiday menu and make note of how long things will take to prepare and cook. Keep in mind any dietary restrictions your guests might have so you can be sure there’s something for everyone.
Plus, with your menu planned out ahead of time, you can shop for certain ingredients early and freeze or store them until you’re ready to unleash your inner chef. Future you will thank you for beating the last-minute grocery store rush!
2. Prep Like a Pro
Make a list and check it twice! You might not be Santa, but it wouldn’t hurt to prep like him. Think about your menu, but also the rest of your to-dos: what can you do two weeks before? A week before? The day before?
Make a list of everything you need to get done before the magic happens, and then work backwards from there. You might even want to make a spreadsheet to plan out your holiday happenings. Go for it! We see you Type As, and we’re cheering you on.
3. Bring the Sweets, Hold the Stains
There’s nothing worse than picking out the perfect outfit and spoiling it before the party even starts. That’s why we recommend a trusty apron to keep your best clothes safe while you get your hands dirty.
Speaking of trusty aprons, we just so happen to know a great line — Chef Works is your one-stop shop for aprons that match your style and holiday party mood. Are you looking for a traditional kitchen apron or a more contemporary look? Whatever the case, make sure to add “get an apron” to your prep list to keep you clean until the last guests leave.
4. Embrace the Buffet
You could go around serving your guests like a waiter (believe us, we have the serving attire fit for a Michelin star), but where’s the fun in that? Your holiday party deserves the joy of togetherness! That’s exactly what a buffet-style setup brings to the table.
Not only does it make things a little easier on your end, your guests will appreciate making their plates just the way they like them. Be sure to have fun with it! Bring out your best servingware, decorate the table, and even go the extra mile by making little title cards for each dish.
5. Keep Decor Simple
When it comes to decorations, a little goes a long way. Start with choosing one or two colors as your holiday party’s theme, and let them guide your choices as you shop. Keeping colors consistent is an easy way to make things look put together!
Remember, you don’t need to go for extravagant centerpieces — little things like napkins, tablecloths, candles, and dishes are all things that you can coordinate to help set the mood. And when in doubt, DIY it! Search for ‘DIY (holiday name) decorations’ online and see what you find, the results might surprise you!
6. Dress for the Occasion
As we approach the holiday season, and food beings to unite us all, choose to dress for the occasion. Grab your very own chef-worthy coat or your very own chef apron to help set you up for holiday success in your kitchen. Not only will this level up your cooking game, but it is one more gift to check off the list — you’re welcome (psst, you can get them embroidered, too).
7. Host the Party You Want
The #1 tip to hosting a stress-free holiday party is to make it a party that you love! As the host, your mood sets the tone of the party and will either make your guests feel on edge or at ease. So, have fun and your guests will too!
Be as fancy or laid back as you like, choose your favorite music, and put your favorites on the menu. Go with the flow and don’t sweat the small stuff! Your guests won’t care if the decorations are wonky or you don’t have the most beautiful plates — they’re there to have a good time and make holiday memories.
There you have it, Chef Works 7 tips for stress-free holiday hosting this year! We wish you all the best with your planning and hope this list took at least some of that holiday stress off your shoulders.