if you’re the type who likes to throw around all that “food is the new black” rhetoric and anticipates each trip to the farmer’s market with emotions you once reserved for a trip to Barney’s, a.) we’re not surprised you’re a Chalkboard reader, and b.) you probably hold Bon Appetit’s Adam Rapoport in high regard, just as we do.
As editor in chief of Bon Appetit, Adam is responsible for many of our favorite trends in food right now. Bon Appetit has a magical way of making the most aspirational ideas accessible and the most everyday ideas glamorous. They’re the high/low stylists of the food world, knowing just which stuffy details to lay aside to allow everything that thrills us about great food to take center stage.
That down-to-earth, glamorous style is also what we crave in the perfect holiday party. We asked Mr. Rapoport to share a few of his thoughts on planning the perfect get-together as we enter this season of menorahs, mistletoe and perfect holiday cocktails. Enjoy his insights below, along with a holiday shopping code from Bon Appetit to get yourself in on all the culinary fun…
The Chalkboard Mag: The perfect holiday party has these 3 things:
Adam RapOport: Well, that’s obvious –
1. A bone in ham.
2. A sparkling punch in a beautiful cut-crystal punch bowl.
3. More family and friends than you think you need to invite – it’s always better to have an overcrowded party than an under crowded party.
TCM: Ingredient that can save anything in a pinch:
AR: Olive oil. Good extra-virgin olive oil – it makes everything infinitely better and lusher and more delicious. It’s definitely worth the investment.
TCM: Bring this to a holiday party:
AR: A nice bottle of bourbon. Either it gets poured at the party, which is a good thing – or the host saves it for another night, which is also a good thing. Don’t be the person who shows up with a random bottle of cabernet sauvignon.
TCM: Holiday party you look forward to most:
AR: The one my wife and I host. Though we’re taking this year off, we just redid our kitchen and it kinda… well, we’ve got nothing left in the tank.
TCM: Cocktail you only have in this season:
AR: Two answers: Real homemade eggnog with the whipped egg whites – it’s frothy and light, not thick and heavy. Or bourbon, on the rocks.
TCM: Sit down or buffet?
AR: If it’s a holiday dinner party, I’m doing sit down. Thanksgiving should always be a buffet because there are always so many dishes to be had. I think a holiday dinner is different, it shouldn’t be about over abundance, it should be about a great menu.
TCM: Restaurant recipe everyone is trying to replicate at home this winter:
AR: Stick with home-cooked classics. What you want to try and replicate from a restaurant is lighting and ambiance. Setting the mood is crucial.
TCM: Favorite local resources for home cooks in NY right now:
AR: I’m a fan of Eataly for quality ingredients. From that fancy bottle of olive oil, to fresh pasta, to choice produce and sparkling fresh seafood.
TCM: Besides a sharp knife, what’s your kitchen must-have?
AR: Tongs – they’re like an extension of your hand, you can’t cook with out ‘em.
TCM: Apron or no apron?
AR: I like the notion of a cool apron, but I never wear one. The only time I wear an apron is if it’s a celebratory dinner like Thanksgiving or Christmas and I’m wearing something nice that I don’t want to get a spot on.
TCM: Holiday veggie of 2014:
AR: Roasted carrots. The simple, staple ingredient that every chef is obsessing over these days.
TCM: You should always serve…
AR: Your guests a drink as soon as he or she walks in the door.
TCM: Never serve…
AR: Anything too fussy. The point is to be out enjoying the party with your family and friends, not stuck in the kitchen. It’s a party not a State Dinner.
TCM: Food trend you’re ready to see go in 2015:
AR: Paying for restaurant reservations.
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