Blog Home

▣ Chef Mary Ann's Tips for Easy Entertaining

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on May 20th, 2010 at 8:14 AM

34 Comments added to this post

When I started my personal chef business here in Tucson, I promised my good friend, Mimi, that I would never be too busy to continue to entertain her, her husband Joe, and the rest of my friends. So have I kept my promise? You bet! My “get togethers” may not be as frequent as they were before starting my business, but I still make time for my friends. And no matter how busy you are, you can too. Here are a few helpful tips and a sample menu of what I recently served to a group of 10 for a casual backyard supper!


1. Decide the number of people you want to invite. That will determine the type of menu you want to prepare, the amount of time it will take, complexity, etc. HINT: A menu doesn’t have to be complex to be impressive. The way to impress your guests, even with the simplest menu, is how you present the food!


2. Take the time to develop a menu and a grocery list. Include the beverage list as a part of the planning process. HINT: This step will save you so much time in the long run and relieve unneeded stress!


3. Grocery shop 2-3 days ahead of time.


4. Determine what you can prepare ahead of time and prep as much as you can the day before and a few hours before guests arrive. HINT: You’ll have a much better time at your own party if you can get as much done ahead of time.


5. Assign someone to attend the bar or set up as a “serve yourself” so that you’re not responsible for every aspect of the party. Have your partner or a good friend help!


6. Have the bar set up ahead of time. You can do it the day before. Don’t forget to make ice or buy some!


7. Have all of your glassware, silver, plates, napkins, etc., ready to go and set out.


Here is an example of a recent menu that I served to my friends. There were 10 of us and we ate outside on our patio on an amazing April evening. Along with the menu is how and when I prepared it. Also, I have a tendency to serve buffet style when I host a lot of folks, especially if it is casual like this one! You can either set up a separate table or have a separate area from the dining table. As long as the food in close proximity, it works great!


Caprese Salad (Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, Fresh Red Ripe Tomatoes, Fresh Basil Drizzled with Olive Oil). This refreshing dish makes a great, colorful presentation. I take a large platter and weave my cheese, tomato, basil which I line on the plate until the plate is filled. You can slice the cheese the night before. Then assemble the platter at least 2-3 hours ahead of time. Before serving is when you’ll drizzle the olive oil and season with salt and pepper!


3-Bean Salad with Shallots Tossed with a Light Vinaigrette (My bean salad consists of fresh green beans, garbanzo beans and red kidney beans) Cook the green beans the night before. I use low sodium canned garbanzo beans and kidney beans which saves me a lot of time. The night before, I assemble the beans in a bowl along with the shallots or green onions so that the flavor has time to infuse. The next day I toss my salad with olive oil, champagne or sherry vinegar, and season with garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. I then refrigerate it until an hour before I serve. Make sure and toss well before serving. I served it in a beautiful glass bowl and topped with a few green onions.


Teriyaki Grilled Pork Tenderloin Served with an Avocado & Mango “Salsa” The night before, I peel and chop the mangos.

On the morning of my party, I marinate my pork tenderloin in an already prepared marinade. One of my favorites is Yoshimas.

About an hour or so before the guests arrive, I grill the tenderloin to medium rare. I take it off the grill, let it rest for 10 minutes and then slice it. I place it in a baking dish with leftover marinate that I boiled off. I place it in a warm oven. By the time I serve it, it will be the perfect temperature!

Also, about 30 minutes to one hour before guests arrive, I am making my salsa, which is simply cubed avocado, mango, and thinly sliced red onion tossed with a small amount of olive oil and salt to taste. To give it some added kick, I zest a lemon on top and toss. I served the pork on a nice china serving platter sprinkled with sesame seeds and I served the “salsa” in a nice glass bowl.


Chocolate Dipped Strawberries served with ice cream or frozen yogurt I made the chocolate-dipped strawberries the morning of my party. To make your strawberries look special and “fancy,” drizzle with white chocolate after you dip the strawberries in chocolate and they’ve had time to set. I served my strawberries on a nice glass platter with a white paper doily!


Beverages of Choice – Prosecco, margaritas, water, beer, diet soda






last edited on May 20th, 2010 at 8:16 AM


Write My Assignment Online says:

I think her tips are very helpful, the items she prepares look delicious but they're simple since usually you can prepare them in only a few steps. The show is well organized and it's always showing me something new and interesting I'd never tried or thought of before. Table and layout design tips are neat since it's hard to think these up yourself, and it's great that she also shows you how to prepare the beverages for your guests that go with the meal.

August 10th, 2017 at 4:11 AM

Dissertation Writing Services UK says:

It a great milestone for your company. The 3,000 sq. feet warehouse will be a great addition to your business enabling you to stock more products for the sales. Being air conditioned the range of products stocked could be widened.

May 30th, 2017 at 1:27 AM

orologi replica says:

I vari stili di orologi

May 22nd, 2017 at 12:35 AM says:

If some one wants to be updated with most up-to-date technologies afterward he
must be go to see this web site and be up to date every day.

May 19th, 2017 at 7:44 PM

wholesale tablets in bulk says:

For the success of every business, you should have a passion for what you do. The success behind Annie's business is nothing else. She was passionate to cooking and that made her successful as a chef. I enjoyed reading your tips for Easy Entertaining

April 28th, 2017 at 5:13 AM

Explainer Video Company says:

Mary Ann Gilchrist's advanced Welsh menus have moved with the circumstances, offering top-quality neighborhood fixings treated with care and regard. Procuring a Michelin star for her cooking at Carlton House in mid-Wales

April 17th, 2017 at 7:22 AM

Write my paper says:

A Pace by the set menu is the strategy and keeping in mind that I put it up. Likewise I shelter dish up shake technique when I have a tremendous arrangement of masses.

February 6th, 2017 at 3:13 AM

tablet rentals says:

Thanks for helping us realize how important it is to find time for your friends and family. Thought about the time and efforts for a party always distracts me from this idea. But you have really changed my point of view. Thanks.

January 6th, 2017 at 9:36 PM

Vidmate app download says:

Free download Vidmate video streaming and downloading application for Android APK, iPhone, IOS , iPad, PC and other smartphone devices officially here.

January 3rd, 2017 at 2:47 AM

Buy Assignment says:

A Pace with the menu is the method and while I put it up. In addition I lean to dish up rock method when I have a huge deal of populace.

January 2nd, 2017 at 2:43 AM

Adam Micheal says:

Once we have to maintain our life cycle to eat some good foods but we still doing such things in good ways

November 25th, 2016 at 6:26 AM

need essay help says:

This is really good way of doing such things but we have to make sure that we need to maintain some thing better for future

November 25th, 2016 at 3:58 AM

whiteboard animation videos says:

Here is a case of a late menu that I served to my companions. There were 10 of us and we ate outside on our porch on an astounding April evening. Alongside the menu is the way and when I set it up. Additionally, I tend to serve buffet style when I have a ton of people, particularly on the off chance that it is easygoing like this one! You can either set up a different table or have a different range from the eating table.

October 17th, 2016 at 12:45 AM

Pay Someone To Write My Essay - EssayCampus says:

solid dry nourishment is an ironic expression. On the off chance that you demand to sustain dry then I would prescribe enhance Evo for hairballs, shoe elm accessible in wellbeing nourishment stores. Simply sprinkle a bit on the nourishment at regular intervals. Nourishment, since there are such a variety of awful things out there, is essential to your brain wellbeing Contrary to what you may have listened, dry sustenances are useful for wellbeing.

October 3rd, 2016 at 4:19 AM

rolex replica says:

Lots of absorption has been accustomed to the actuality that best rolex replica has acquired astronomic absorption and prices gone through the roof to a akin appropriately there area Patek Philippe is, at millions. At aboriginal it was something everybody affiliated to the best replica watches bazaar was actual appreciative of. Who anytime anticipation it’s accessible that a simple animate valjoux chrono with a ‘singer’ punch is selling, at aboriginal for about 500K and some years later, endure Saturday at Phillips to be added precisely, attractive 2 actor !! Now the dealers accuse there’s annihilation to buy in the market, the accumulation is dehydration up and buyers don’t advertise anymore because they rather put added of their “sleeping” bankaccount money into best replica watches uk.

August 24th, 2016 at 2:54 AM

omega replique montre says:

All kinds of noble watches, welcome to buy

July 13th, 2016 at 7:59 PM

qiu says:

A very interesting article thanks for sharing it with all of us. Looking forword for more information.replica watches his topic has al

rolex replicaways fascinated me. Thank you for writing an article that has great content and is well written.

June 21st, 2016 at 8:48 PM

Dissertation experts says:

Always be careful when you cooked when I am not focusing on cooking I add extra things alot so I write it down everything. I have noted your receipt and will try to cook it anything which has cheese on it is already my favourite dish.

May 16th, 2016 at 5:59 AM says:

They are one of the most prestigious institutions setting the gold standard in culinary excellence.

May 12th, 2016 at 2:42 AM

essay writing service reviews says:

Pretty part of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.

March 10th, 2016 at 1:40 AM

Someone Who Can Write My Paper says:

If I am you I wouldn't slumber the night earlier than so the id is actually bushed by the next day and sleep from end to end most of the journey.

January 19th, 2016 at 4:39 AM

can i buy a college essay says:

Personality chef Mary Ann Esposito situate on a free series at IKEA in Robinson. Ms. Esposito, maker and host of the PBS progression Ciao Italia and writer of 11 recipe, will talk about local make, spices, simple entertaining.

January 7th, 2016 at 10:58 PM

led tennis court lighting says:

Greater price competition, in fact, is not desirable, healthy development of serious disruption of the power LED on the one hand, on the other hand bring severe damage to their brand.

December 13th, 2015 at 8:47 PM says:

This organization reaches out both locally and internationally. I had no idea, until I joined this group, how much impact they have. A major contributor to this organization is The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Please check out their website.

October 12th, 2015 at 1:12 AM says:

Use the edge of a plastic opening tool to pry the dock cable up from its socket on the logic board.

September 18th, 2015 at 6:22 PM

new screen for iphone 5s says:

EXCELLENT guide. Part recommended, LCD (digital assembly) was the exact fix I needed. Step by step with recommendation & tools were perfect. One of the blue plastic tools did break but my son was able to work without it after. It took him 1hour & 50 mins. I read everybody's ideas and helpful hints & all were very much appreciated. Thanks Again :)

August 29th, 2015 at 12:32 AM

wholesale iphone parts says:

There is a small rubber gasket that sits underneath the rear-facing camera. Make sure that it is properly seated before reassembly.

August 28th, 2015 at 10:22 PM says:

I recently returned from taking a professional cooking course at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. It was an intense, week-long course that is part of the institute’s “ProChef” continuing education program.

June 11th, 2015 at 3:44 AM says:

A very interesting article thanks for sharing it with all of us. Looking forword for more information. his topic has always fascinated me. Thank you for writing an article that has great content and is well written.

April 9th, 2015 at 7:43 PM

hublot replica says:

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

February 10th, 2015 at 12:52 AM

chanel replica says:

I've been trying to find out a little more about this kind of stuff, thanks for sharing

October 7th, 2014 at 1:47 AM

replica shoes says:

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

October 7th, 2014 at 1:47 AM

converse pas cher says:

September 25th, 2014 at 9:53 PM says:

topic has always fascinated me.

September 19th, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Add a comment

Email: (Will not be displayed)
  Verify the contents of this image in the box provided above to successfully submit this form
Verify Post:
Input the text from the image above to verify this post

Blog Home