How We Hosted a Genius Dinner Party for 30

August 30, 2015

We’ve partnered with Stella Artois to host Genius Recipes dinners in some of our favorite cities across the country.

Today: A behind-the-scenes look at how we entertained in New York.

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How you eat is how you live.

It’s a motto we rely on heavily here at Food52, and lucky for us, our community (that’s you!) does too. Having recipes we trust and could make with our eyes closed—in between the experimental ones, of course—is essential to our every day. And they’re even more important when we’re having guests over, especially in our new office (it’s designed to feel like home—warm, inviting, and comfortable). Entertaining is all about the details and personal touches, which connects the menu to the table, drinks, and even the music—it’s what make your space, well, your space.

When we’re gearing up to plan a menu, or just looking for something to turn to in a pinch, it’s not uncommon for us to pose the question: What would Kristen do? In which we mean Kristen Miglore, our Executive Editor and Genius Recipes columnist and author who uncovers dishes and techniques that will change the way you cook (and entertain). For our New York City Genius Recipes dinner, we served some of our favorites: a spicy carrot avocado salad, buttery Potato Dominoespan-seared chicken, grilled romaine with tangy lemon-caper dressing, and Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie. So watch the video, take a peek at our new space, and hear Kristen talk a little more about what it means for a recipe to be genius. 

Photo by Harry Kong; Video by Vacation 

To learn more about hosting beautifully with Stella Artoishead here, and use the hashtag #hostbeautifully to share photos and tips from your own dinner parties.

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From our new podcast network, The Genius Recipe Tapes is lifelong Genius hunter Kristen Miglore’s 10-year-strong column in audio form, featuring all the uncut gems from the weekly column and video series. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss out.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Nancy
  • garlic&lemon
  • Samantha Weiss Hills
    Samantha Weiss Hills
  • AntoniaJames
  • boulangere
I love oysters and unfussy sandwiches.


Nancy September 2, 2015
Agree with Garlic & Lemon & Antonia James points on the issue of advertising presented as content.
I've worked in advertising and promotion, and understand the need to stretch your dollars, impact by entering partner events. Just that some of them (especially in regards to the shop) actually have content, and are much better than this so-called entertaining guide.
Last, the problems with search functionality are old. Please, please improve the function.
garlic&lemon August 30, 2015
Usually I love the articles about what goes on in the Food52 offices, but this one left me puzzled. How did you pick the 30 guests (they all look young - was that a criteria)? What were the fried round things in the video? I did not see them on the menu list. Which pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds did you bake? Or did you get take-out from their shop? What I learned from this article is that if I want to throw a Genius dinner party for 30, I need to have a staff that will clean, decorate, plan and cook. This is not usually the style of Food52. Guys, what gives?
Author Comment
Samantha W. August 31, 2015
This post is part of a series on hosting tips and inspiration, all inspired by our Genius Recipes column. With this video, we hope to teach our community about Genius Recipes and the ethos of how we cook, live, and entertain.
Other posts speak to how to throw a party when you're away from home (https://food52.com/blog/13476-5-ways-to-host-a-great-party-away-from-home), playlists for dinner parties (https://food52.com/blog/13802-75-songs-to-make-your-next-dinner-party-the-best-yet), and how we entertained in San Francisco (https://food52.com/blog/13679-a-genius-dinner-that-proves-you-can-host-away-from-home).

While it definitely helps to have a few hands in the kitchen when you're cooking for 30, many people attending the dinner were helping out too! Emily from Four & Twenty Blackbirds graciously brought pie from her shop to share. And the fried olives were cocktail snacks—here's the recipe: https://food52.com/recipes/3169-olive-all-ascolana.
garlic&lemon August 31, 2015
Thanks for the response, Samantha. Your response illustrates some of my problems with this and the other posts in this series. I already gathered that the dinner parties are a joint venture with Stella Artois. So is that why the demographic at the parties reflects their target demographic? Many Food52 members are media literate. To present a fluff advertisement and disguise it as a "How to" piece is disingenuous. We will see through it and it is likely to alienate some community members.

You answered some of my questions: The round things are fried olives; when you are cooking for 30 make sure that x number of guests help with prep; invite someone who owns a bakery so they can bring dessert.

The Food52 community know about and love Genius Recipes already. The ethos of how Food52 staffers cook, live, and entertain as presented in these posts raise more questions than they answer. Lastly, if you are going to call a piece "How To", be sure and actually present some "how to". We Food 52ers are used to actually have content in the posts.
AntoniaJames September 1, 2015
g&l, I concur 100%. Thank you for making all of these points. You really hit the nail on the head. ;o)
AntoniaJames September 1, 2015
Interesting too that your first question was not even answered . . . that that does not not surprise me, given that the same point regarding the SF party was also ignored. That thread actually seems to have been removed (or in any event, I cannot find it via the search bar or any other method). ;o)
boulangere September 1, 2015
AJ, the Search tool is cumbersome to use under any circumstances. For instances such as you mention, it is pretty useless
AntoniaJames September 1, 2015
Cynthia, I no longer recommend the site to others because people I know who are computer literate tell me that they don't intend to visit the site again because the search functionality is so poor. ;o)
Author Comment
Samantha W. September 3, 2015
Thanks for your thoughts. The headline was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but we've changed it to avoid confusing more readers.