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How to host a relaxed dinner party

07 March 2016

Liz loves to cook and entertain and has joined the growing number of people who open their homes to friends and strangers for supper clubs. ‘I love to share. And I want people to get to know real Mexican food,’ says Liz, who cooks Mexican feasts for groups of guests in her 4m2 kitchen! We dropped by to see how she does it.

Liz shares delicious Mexican food and cocktails around the table with her guests

‘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 juices limes into a large bowl
Liz whisking up some ingredients
A delicious green avocado salad
A dinner guest enjoying cocktails
A dinner guest enjoying cocktails
Dinner guests enjoying nachos


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.’

A colourful bean salad on a green tablecloth


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.

A portrait of Liz, private chef, Paris

‘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.

Made by

Photography: Daniel Farmer
Styling: Abigail Edwards