Photo of Pamela Salzman

The days of fine china, beef bourguignon and printed menus aren’t necessarily gone, but a more casual approach is very welcome when hosting a dinner party nowadays. After all, serving delicious food and enjoying great company is what really matters here!

But some traditions remain, like offering a stellar cheese on the charcuterie board, gifting the host and keeping the conversation flowing! We asked the renowned chef and author Pamela Salzman for her own dinner party go-tos for our first #NothingFancyDinnerParty blog. So take notes (and maybe have a snack beforehand because you WILL be hungry after reading this!)

Pamela’s #NothingFancyDinnerParty

Must-have cheese for the charcuterie board: Manchego

Home-cooked specialty: broiled branzino filets with tomato & basil (recipe available in my cookbook, “Pamela Salzman’s Quicker Than Quick”) or my Mediterranean Skillet Chicken and Rice Recipe

Order-in: ceviche from La Cevicheria in Los Angeles

Beloved beverage: tequila

Must-have hosting item from Amazon: disposable bamboo tongs

Top pick for flowers: peonies

Listening to: Frank (Sinatra) & Dean (Martin)

Go-to gift for the host/hostess with everything: Limited Edition Dos Artes Tequila or Dior Eden-Roc Candle

Dessert of choice: seasonal fruit crisp

Vegan or GF snack option: my Vegan Queso Recipe

Go-to conversation starter: whatever the hot new TV show is