‘Food is a whole experience. The light, the music, the history of the dish, the presentation – it’s all very important’
Liz, chef, Paris
LIZ’S FIVE TOP DINNER PARTY TIPS
1. Be organised; prepare ahead ‘For me, the whole point is to enjoy spending time with my guests. If I’m cooking, I can’t get to know any of them. So I always try to have everything prepared as much as possible before they arrive.’
2. Create an atmosphere ‘Put on music, and change the lighting – it’s very important! Soft, indirect light is best.’
3. Decorate the table ‘I can’t change a lot in our dining area, but I do swap the cushions on the seats, and add a table cloth and two fold-up chairs, so there’s room for eight around the table.’
4. Pay attention to presentation ‘I prefer to plate up everything individually so I can control the presentation. I like to create beautiful things. And I know if people see a beautiful plate, they’ll start to enjoy it. Just from the visuals.’
5. Share stories about food ‘When I learn how to make a new dish, I want to know where it comes from, and why it’s called what it is. A plate takes on another dimension if you also know something about it.’
LIZ’S COLOURFUL BEAN SALAD
1. Bring a small pan of salted water to the boil. Add a handful of edamame beans (in their shells) and cook for a few minutes, until they float to the surface of the water. Drain and, once cooled, remove from their shells.
2. Cover a pan of beans with water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove lid and reduce to a simmer. Drain once the beans are cooked.
3. Steam one corn on the cob. Once cooled, using a heavy knife, remove the corn.
4. Dice one red and one yellow pepper. Dice one avocado and sprinkle with lime juice. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve on a platter.
5. To finish, make a dressing with 6 tbsp olive oil, 1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp lime juice, 3 tbsp chopped coriander, 2 tbsp chopped mint, 2 tbsp chopped basil, salt and pepper.
‘Hosting supper clubs at my home has been a really nice experience; I get to meet people I’d otherwise never talk to’
Watch Liz cook up her three-course Mexican feast.