Summer Entertaining Tips from Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix

Warm weather is here, which means so is spring/summer entertaining season and of course, wedding season! Trying to decide what type of food to serve at your wedding or your next event? I’m happy to bring you some great summer entertaining tips from the fabulous and very well-recognized Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix of Brûlée Catering!

As Chef Lacroix says, spring and summer are the best times for enjoying one another, not sweating over a stove.  He suggests making the experience fun and easy for both you and your guests.

Highlight the flavor and freshness of local ingredients with simple preparations.  Serve finger foods, not slabs of meat or anything difficult to cut. Create foods which are best served cold or warm to keep everyone comfortable.

Use salmon and tuna in place of meat. Feature scallops, oysters or clams (and have someone on-hand to shuck). Offer guests white wines and champagne, but avoid red wine, as those are better for colder months. Add lemon or mint to flavored ice-water, and house it next to lemonade and white sangria, all in large glass vessels.  Provide craft beers and specialty soft drinks to elevate sipping.

Have your guests “play” with their food with interactive stations like a deviled egg bar.  Include garnishes like chopped chives, paprika, chopped tarragon and hot English mustard. For dessert, sit by the campfire with a marshmallow roast (my personal favorite!) and serve a warm chocolate cup for dipping or drinking.

When it comes to decorating, just like your food, keep it simple. Purchase sturdy recyclable plastic plates and silver-inspired cutlery. Invest in a set of reusable acrylic wine glasses, which won’t break if hit by a flying football. Take inspiration from the plants and foods in season and use local vegetables for decoration (the chef mentions he prefers red and green peppers), or decorate tables with cuts from flowering bushes in your garden. And for a bit of personalization, stamp your initials on a set of nice paper napkins.

And now you’re ready for some summer entertaining — whether it be at home or for your big day!

About Nicole Denton

With a love of planning just about anything — from her own wedding, to bridal and baby showers, to dinner parties, and more – Nicole is the Plunge Project’s founder and former editor-in-chief. A New Jersey native, Nicole has called Chandler, Arizona home since 2013, where she currently lives with her husband Michael; two pit bulls, Shelby and Link; and cat, Kity Perry. A University of Tennessee graduate, Nicole has a bachelors in communications and a career at a rapidly-growing digital marketing firm.

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