Food: 5 Spring Dinner Party Tips


Throwing a dinner party isn’t an easy task, especially when you’re cooking for more people than you’re used to in your tiny apartment. The dishes pile up, the stress levels are high, and you want to make everything perfect and most of all delicious.

We’ve all been there, many times, yet still we keep on hosting party after party, because there are few things more satisfying in life than making your friends feel welcome in your home and feeding them a truly yummy memorable meal. Armed with Chef Michael Smith’s new book, Family Meals, we teamed up with Cascade to throw a sparkling clean dinner party for a handful of our closest friends.

Before sharing some photos of our party from prep to clean up, we thought we’d share a handful of tips on how you can throw a truly successful dinner party this season.

1. Start with a bang!

Chef Michael Smith likes to start every dinner party with a bang, like sabering a bottle of champagne with his guests, to truly mark the beginning of a memorable evening. In case you’re not in the habit of sabering champagne we suggest pre batching a round of your signature cocktail for the evening so you can simply serve without disrupting things too much in the kitchen.

2. Prep prep prep!

Preparation generally takes the longest, so start early, pick up your groceries a few days in advance and make everything you possibly can ahead of time. This will help to minimize the amount of dirty dishes waiting at the end of the evening in your sink, and give you more time to spend with your guests at your party.

3. Make a playlist.

Music sets the tone of your party and puts your guests at ease. There’s nothing worse than letting someone else play DJ ineffectively and disrupting the vibe. Make a playlist and get it rolling before your guests arrive, and be prepared with a few more mixes to shift into as the evening progresses, like our latest Sidewalk Hustle mixtape below.

4. Clean as you go.

There’s no bigger faux pas than a host who spends the whole night in the kitchen. Leave the mess in the dishwasher for after your guests leave. No need to rinse off excess food, just pop in some Cascade Platinum and you’ll be ready to flip your dishwasher on as soon as your guests are gone!

5. End on a high note.

Chef Michael Smith suggests marking the end of the evening with a bang, just as you began, but if flammable isn’t your style, why not mark the end of the meal with a special sweet, possibly bubbly cocktail.


We captured our last dinner party featuring recipes from Chef Michael Smith’s new book, Family Meals for some of our closest friends. Check out some photos from that below.

Salmon Fish Cakes

Fish Cakes Prep

Fish Cakes

Fish Cakes Done


Stovetop Chicken with Herb Dumplings

Chicken Dumplings Prep

Chicken Dumplings Complete

Pickle Salad with Pickle Dressing

Pickle Salad

Pickle Salad Pickle Dressing


Ice Cream Sandwiches 

Ice Cream Sandwhich Assembly

Ice Cream Sandwhich

Sidewalk Hustle April Mixtape