How to Host an Art, Food and Wine Night in Your Home

3 tips to make it easy for you and fun for them

Palette to Palate

Artist Jennifer McHugh and her husband Dave, executive chef at SeaWorld and teacher of culinary arts at Grossmont College, host Palette to Palate parties at at their home (you can book one with friends at in Del Cerro.

Both Jennifer and Dave have lots of experience cooking, teaching (he devotes an entire semester to wine) and creating, but you don’t necessarily have to be an artist or a foodie to host your own night of creativity and cuisine. Jennifer and Dave offer these tips:

1. Build the event around a theme. The McHughs let geography dictate their fun night, but you could do something similar with types of cuisine such as Mexican or Japanese and taste—er, sip—tequilas or sakes instead.

2. Spend some time planning the menu. Serving small individual bites is key. (Try Dave’s Vine-Ripe Cherry Tomato, Watermelon, Feta & Mint Skewers with Balsamic Glaze recipe.  “And you want to make things that don’t have to stay warm to be good,” Dave says. When in doubt, he suggests serving a variety of nuts, cheeses and breads.

3. Keep the craft simple. After sipping wine and chatting, no one wants to make something too involved. Pick a project with a three- to five-item supply list. “You can give guests a bit of guidance, but let people do what they want,” Jennifer explains. “It’s all about seeing what happens on the canvas or surface—not creating what’s happening in our heads.”

Categories: Entertaining, Food & Drink, Lifestyles