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Want to raise the bar, and a glass, as you entertain at home?

Creative and hard-working culinary masters at hotels and resorts across America are experts at creating memorable experiences in their places of business — and now, some have shared their entertaining tips for the home front. Executive chefs and other professionals know how to help deliver a relaxing vacation experience for guests at destinations all over the country, bringing the local flavor and cuisine to visitors in a memorable way.


With that in mind, here are their wise insights for those who are entertaining family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues this summer and beyond.

Keep things streamlined

Don’t create a menu with dozens of ingredients, foods, and drinks. Instead, streamline your entertainment plan with a manageable menu. One executive chef advises, “Guests will be much more impressed with a few outstanding items rather than many mediocre dishes.”

Another executive chef suggests having a simple menu so that guests aren’t overwhelmed with choices. “Your guests will be much more impressed with a few outstanding items rather than many mediocre dishes,” he said. It’s also a good strategy to spread out your menu preparation over a few days so that you’re not overwhelmed on the day of the event.

Plan your beverage selections carefully

Create a plan for potables. “Batch out a cocktail that is on theme and make a complimenting mocktail for teetotalers,” suggests one chef. For wine, choose one sparkling, two white, two red, and a “wild card.” For beer, select one craft, one imported, one domestic, and one light beer. The key is to keep the options abundant but manageable.

Choose seasonal ingredients

At this time of year, there is great stone fruit, berries, and melons available from local markets. “It always tastes better when you shop local,” says one executive chef. Classic dishes using seasonal ingredients are always crowd-pleasers.

Use the grill

If possible, use your grill and cook outdoors. Consider grilled fish with lemon and olive oil. Serve all salads and vegetables family-style to promote community and fun while cooking and entertaining.

Keep guests’ experience in mind

If your gathering is casual, the grill is a great choice. People can gather around, have conversations, and enjoy the cooking process. Picks for this type of get-together include individual steaks, marinated chicken breasts, shrimp, and vegetables.

For a sit-down soirée, choose family-style to make it easier for the host or hostess. Set up a small bar area where people can make their own drinks and have conversations. Consider using disposable plates, cutlery, and cups for easy cleanup.

For larger groups, buy larger prime cuts of meat. Suggestions include prime rib, whole tenderloin, whole pork loin, composed salads, family-style vegetables, and sides. For dessert, opt for whole cakes or pies from a local bakery.

NYNNC is a contributing reporter for Fox News Digital.

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