5.13.15

It’s Friday afternoon, and you just decided you’re in a hostess-y mood. And so you invite a group of besties over for happy hour and dinner at your place…then panic getting your grocery list together. Entertaining should be fun and easy, allowing you to focus on great conversation and belly laughs. For the avid hostess who never passes up an opportunity to entertain guests, lifestyle blogger and party stylist Camille Styles is about to change your life. To avoid the afternoon grocery rush and kitchen frenzy, we’ve asked Camille for her top pantry staples to have on hand for a party waiting to happen. Grab a copy of her new book, Camille Styles Entertaining, that’s filled with ideas for stylish, carefree gatherings for any occasion – then get your pantry ready to party!

My favorite kind of entertaining is the laid-back, no-fuss variety – inviting a few friends over for dinner, opening a bottle of wine while I put together a few simple but delicious dishes, and sitting down to enjoy the meal with my friends, feeling neither worn out nor frazzled. Creating such an easygoing atmosphere is the direct result of preparation on the front end, and the extra effort to get organized pays dividends come party time.

One of the greatest tools a prepared hostess can have in her arsenal is a well-stocked pantry. It gives me peace of mind to know that if last-minute guests stop by for drinks or even dinner, I can rustle up something scrumptious. And if the idea of hosting a dinner party after a demanding workday makes you break out in hives, just imagine that your kitchen is so well stocked that all you need from the grocery store on the way home is a few salmon fillets and veggies for a salad.

So what are the items I reach for constantly, the ones I could never live without in my kitchen? Garlic, olive oil, herbes de Provence – they’re standbys that I reach for on an almost-daily basis and that never let me down. But there’s also a new guard rising up in my kitchen, ingredients like Maldon sea salt and fish sauce that are fairly recent yet equally essential additions to my pantry shelves. Here are a handful of the items that are fundamental to my cooking, both for multi-course dinner parties and weeknight family meals.

CAmille Styles top 20 party-ready pantry staples

  • garlic
  • lemons 
  • sriracha sauce 
  • nuts and seeds 
  • Maldon sea salt 
  • herbes de Provence 
  • extra-virgin olive oil 
  • balsamic vinegar 
  • maple syrup 
  • Cerignola olives 
  • red pepper flakes 
  • dijon mustard 
  • chickpeas and other beans 
  • raw honey 
  • dried fruit 
  • fresh herbs 
  • cheese 
  • eggs 
  • avocados 
  • Guittard chocolate waffers

Can someone stock our pantry with all the above please? Get all our favorite entertaining tips and recipes here! 

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