TIPS ON HOW TO SET UP THE SPACE AND LAST MINUTE RECIPES FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON BY CITTÀ STYLIST SAM VAN KAN
Those dinner parties that are thrust upon you in no time! Or maybe they’ve been pre-planned but between work, kids, the gym and life in general, they’ve crept up on you like, well…Christmas! Often these are the nights to relish.
We asked three women that we truly admire on sharing the “magic” behind their last minute dinner parties and how they pull it all together. Their go-to dish, the kitchen essentials, the table setting, the music and so on.
We first sat down with fashion business woman, Karen Walker. Following was the sweetheart that she is, Nadia Lim - New Zealand’s darling of food. Sauce is excited to share Città’s stylist Sam Van Kan’s dinner party advice next. After her exciting work as a visual merchandiser in Wellington, she’s joined the Auckland office as a stylist and helps conceptualise products and translates them into stunning lifestyle imagery.
With a background in graphic design and art direction, Sam has an eye for what is beautiful and modern all at once.
TIPS FOR SETTING UP THE SPACE :
Let the natural light in… then set the ambience with seed lights as the sun goes down.
If you're short on space but big on entertaining, invest a few multi-purpose pieces of furniture. Stools work equally well as bedside tables or sofa side tables and can easily be pulled out for additional seating. I also keep a few euro pillows stashed next to our sofa to lay out as floor cushions around the coffee table for casual gatherings.
PLAYLIST JAM :
Tash Sultana #Tune - playlist by Tash Sultana
SECRET INGREDIENT :
Parmigiano-Reggiano. I love it on almost everything, but it’s especially delicious slightly grilled with wholegrain mustard and spicy pickles on toast. Or, while we’re talking toast toppings, a few dollops of sriracha hot sauce with almond butter and cherry tomatoes!
ALWAYS START WITH A BOTTLE OF :
G&T! Sloe gin with tonic water, orange peel and a sprig of thyme. A great afternoon spritzer, and best enjoyed with a few friends in the sun.
GO-TO MEAL FOR A LAST MINUTE DINNER PARTY :
A grazing platter is my go-to solution. When piecing it together, I pair flavour combinations... blue cheese, pear, walnuts and honey; goats cheese, smoked salmon, dill and caper berries. Then fill the gaps with lots of fresh vegies. Some seasonal fruit with 90% dark chocolate and candied almonds never goes astray, either.
MAGICAL KITCHEN GADGET :
My mandolin has been one of my best-ever kitchen purchases. For slicing, shaving and julienning anything (things cut perfectly instantly makes you look like a professional chef).
Or, my large ice cube trays. You can freeze fruit and herb combinations in them to infuse sparkling water, or edible flowers to make a simple G&T something special.
FAVOURITE RECIPE :
Rocket and shaved parmesan with lemon juice and olive oil. Feels fancy, so easy.
Thank you Sam & Città team xx
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