Cookbook Profile

Party Food:
The Essential Guide to
Menus, Drinks, and Planning

By Lorna Wing

Party Food  
All parties, even small spontaneous ones, require a certain thoughtfulness that will keep guests comfortable and in good spirits. Party Food: The Essential Guide to Menus, Drinks, and Planning Lorna Wing, professional caterer with over 5000 parties under her belt, provides definitive advice on all the ingredients required to produce a fabulous fête.

"Lorna understands how to make a party memorable, for all the right reasons," says interior design guru and restaurateur Sir Terence Conran. She has a keen eye for atmosphere, a magical touch when it comes to food, and the experience to back it all up. In this, her first book, Lorna shares tons of insider tips and advice that will ensure that both the guests and the host can enjoy a memorable occasion that lacks for nothing.

Planning is by far the most crucial aspect of throwing a great party. In Party Food! Lorna guides the novice party planner through a series of important notes that should be remembered before throwing any party, great or small. Begin, she advises, by asking yourself the five essential questions-why, when, where, who, and what. The answers to these questions form a firm foundation on which you can start to build. Then Lorna frankly and creatively addresses structural issues like budget, location, atmosphere, music and dancing, lighting, flowers, invitations, considerations for hiring outside help, cleaning up, and how to courteously deal with the neighbors.

From casual weekend brunches to once-in-a-lifetime extravaganzas, Lorna helps her reader plan menus that will impress guests, yet remain manageable for the host. Recipes are divided into two sections, Finger Food and Fork Food. Each section contains recipes for every season and any occasion. For example, for a casual summer event, try Lorna's suggested Mediterranean Cocktail Party Menu with Celery with Olive & Parsley Salad; Cheddar Crackers, Goat Cheese, Tomatoes & Basil; Camembert Ice Cream on Parmesan Toasts; Saffron Mussels in Garlic Bread; Deep-Fried Sage Leaves with Anchovies; Italian Vegetable Skewers; and Negronis. Or, substitute your own favorites like Polenta, Taleggio, & Wild Mushrooms; Italian BLT Focaccia; or a Mixed Bruschetta Platter.

A cocktail party will be a sure hit with Lacquered Sesame Nuts; Rice Crackers with Crispy Vegetable; Toasted Brioches with Crème Fraiche and Caviar; Crispy Duck Pancakes; Salmon Caviar Blini; Bay Scallops with Thai Dipping Sauce; Passion Fruit & Papaya Wontons; Chocolate Cups with Ice Cream; New Orleans Coffee with Chocolate Spoons; and Gold Vodka.

No two parties are alike, so to help readers adjust their needs to the circumstances each individual party demands, Lorna has also provided charts for calculating quantities according to guest count, as well as providing menu plans and thorough pre-party checklists.

Lorna Wing  
The stunning photographs of Jan Baldwin enhance the festive mood of the book. The food is photographed under natural light and in real party settings to set the tone for your own event

Party Food! is an essential entertaining guide that is fun and full of fabulous ideas and advice for making your party the most memorable of the year!

A premier caterer and party-thrower for the last twenty years, Lorna Wing's client list reads like a Who's Who of the famous and fashionable. Among her client list are Tom Cruise, Eric Clapton, Giorgio Armani, Terence Conran, Ford Motors, Warner Brothers, and Chanel. This is her first, much-awaited book.


Party Food:
The Essential Guide to Menus, Drinks, and Planning

By Lorna Wing
Photography by Jan Baldwin
Soma Books
Cloth, $30.00
160 pages, full color photographs throughout
ISBN: 1-57959-040-3
Information provided by the publisher.


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This page created April 1999