David Burtka’s Tips For Hosting The Perfect Holiday Party

Above: Holiday coffee talk with celebrity chef David Burtka (Photo by: George Pimentel/Nespresso)

With the holiday season upon us, it seems the stress of party planning is on everyone’s mind. Throwing one of your own? Don’t worry… There’s no need to panic when you have a few trusted tips for hosting―not dreading―your next holiday party.

Of course, television star and celebrated chef David Burtka knows a thing or two about entertaining. Trained as a chef at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, Burtka has worked at Mario Batali’s famed four star Italian restaurant in New York City and currently runs his own catering company, Gourmet M.D.

Burtka was recently in Toronto with premium coffee brand Nespresso talking about their VertuoLine’s new Evoluo machine (an impressive machine that makes both coffee and espresso) and offered up a few crucial tips for entertaining during the holiday season. So whether you dread hosting or simply can’t wait to welcome your friends and family into your home, here are five simple tips from David Burtka that will make your life a whole lot easier and your next holiday party a success.

Be Prepared

Burtka, and his husband actor Neil Patrick Harris, are avid entertainers and his single most important tip for ensuring a spark at any holiday gathering you’re hosting is to simply be prepared.

Eliminate stress from your party planning by creating a “to do” list in advance of your bash. Make sure that your list includes everything you need to pick up before the big day including: food needed for the menu, drinks, and decorations. “I love to make lists so I make sure that everything is written down. Every single element,” Burtka says. “The most important thing is to know exactly everything that you need to get before the party.”

Want to be extra prepared on the day of your holiday bash? Make a timeline or party night checklist. “I have a complete timeline for the big day,” Burtka adds. That way you can know with a quick glance to your party-night cheat sheet when it’s time to bring out the appetizers.

Don’t Leave Details To The Last Minute

Feeding and entertaining a large group of friends or family can be stressful and leaving things until the last minute will only make things worse. “Do your tablescape, polish all your silver and make sure that all of your dishes are clean,” Burtka recommends. “And, do it all the night before or a couple of days before so you can concentrate on what matters the day of your party.”

Waiting until the last minute is an easy trap to fall into, but avoid it at all costs for the sake of your guests. By preparing ahead of time you can ensure you stay focused and make sure that your guests are at ease, so they can have a really good time.

Make Sure You Know What You’re Capable Of

Plan your holiday party in a way that you are actually capable of getting things done without panicking is pretty important.

“Make sure you know how much space you have and make sure you know what you’re capable of,” Burtka stresses. For example: Can you accommodate the number of people you are planning on inviting into your home? Can you actually prepare everything on your planned menu? It’s important to remember that you probably won’t be able to fit everything in the oven at the same time, and you only have so many burners on your stove.

Try A Little Teamwork

Another great way to keep the party going (and take a little pressure off of you as host) is to get your guests involved with the preparations and the actual party. “I like to get my friends involved as much as I can,” Burtka says. “Having a party during the holidays is all about a group effort.”

Try to make sure that at least a few of your guests have simple jobs and are getting their hands a little dirty. It’s a sure-fire way to get people mingling.

Set Up A Coffee Bar

For many party guests coffee is an absolute necessity. Fueled by his appreciation of java, Burtka recommends setting up a coffee bar for your next special occasion as a great way to bring people together. “Serving coffee is a great way to pep people up after dinner and keep the party going,” Burtka says.

An easy way to keep your guests happy and not run yourself ragged is to set up a table with a few after-dinner sweets and an easy-to-use machine like Nespresso. That means your guests can simply slip in a capsule and make the coffee of their choice. Plus, if it’s good enough for George Clooney, it’s good enough for your party guests. 😉

Tags: Nespresso

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