This summer, we opened Common Putnam and Common Lenox in Ridgewood, Queens and Harlem. These two coliving homes offer private bedrooms, fully furnished shared spaces, and spacious community areas with room to relax. Common Lenox even has two outdoor areas: a rooftop and a backyard patio — a total rarity in NYC.When we’re opening a home, we love imagining how our members might use the space. One aspect that we were particularly excited about? The potential for dinner parties, which can be so hard to host in your typical cramped NYC rental. But even with space, putting together the perfect party can be a challenge. That’s why we reached out to the cofounders of Made In Cookware, Chip and Jake, for their expertise. We wanted the lowdown on everything: what to cook, what to bring, and what not to do, especially if you’re new to hosting.
Made In Cookware
Before we jump in: if you aren’t familiar with Made In’s line of cookware, you need to be! Their high quality, American made line of pots, pans, knives are both durable, affordable, whether you’re still mastering the perfect scrambled egg or hosting feasts for dozens of friends. In fact, their products are used in professional kitchens around the country, and are beloved by celebrity chefs like Tom Colicchio and Stephanie Izard. Part of Made In’s mission is to bring back the dinner party by providing cooks with high quality tools to make meals for their friends and family.
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How to host the perfect dinner party
Why are dinner parties so amazing in the first place? What about them makes them so fun and magical?
Chip: The casual nature of dinner parties is what makes them so fun. They’re generally served family-style, so it promotes a fun and communal dining experience, you can wear whatever you want, and your dog can dine with you. It’s simply friends and family gathering around food and drinks…this is exactly what food is meant to do! Really though, the most magical part of dinner parties is that when you’re ready you can just walk into your bedroom and faceplant.
What do you think is the biggest mistake that people make when hosting a dinner party?
Jake: the one you hear all the time is you try out a new recipe the night of the dinner party. Probably not setting yourself up to look great here unless you’re a very confident cook.
What recipes do you recommend for a dinner party newbie?
Chip: A fun way to accommodate dietary restrictions is to do taco nights with fish, chicken, and veggie options. It allows you to cook the proteins and fillings in large batches and lets each guest choose their own ingredients and play with their food. You can spice it up a bit with adding fun sides like street corn, mexican rice, and grilled fruit skewers with tajin seasoning.
What’s the sign of a successful dinner party?
Jake: When people are having such a good time they just linger well after dinner. At that point, as the host, you probably have to ask them to leave or just shut the lights off and go to bed.
Is it ever okay to order takeout, plate it, and tell all your friends it’s your grandmother’s secret recipe? Asking for a friend.
Jake: As long as the restaurant you ordered from cooked it in Made In, yes. Totally ok.
What are the three essential things anyone should have before hosting a dinner party?
Jake: Ice, things to snack on as guests arrive, plenty of wine.Chip: A welcome drink is the most important thing, for sure.
What’s the best gift to bring a host as a guest to a dinner party? Besides a bottle of wine?
Jake: A porron – from spain, you drink bottles of wine out of them. It’s an amazing party trick and really gets the party started. Also can’t go wrong with bringing good ice cream for dessert.Chip: In Texas, that ice cream melts…so you can go wrong, Jake.
What’s the best dinner party you’ve ever hosted? What did you serve, who attended, and what made it stand out?
Jake: We hosted a pretty great dinner party over SXSW at our test kitchen. Comedian Eric Wareheim brought his wines (Las Jaras) and Chef Chris Kronner made his famous burger buddy. We had about 50 guests seated in our courtyard.Thanks Chip and Jake! To learn more about Made In, head to their website.
Ready to host?
If you’re wondering what it’d be like to actually have space to host a dinner party — that doesn’t require your friends sitting on your floor — check out any of our open Common homes. When you live at Common, not only will you have a high-quality spacious kitchen to cook (or plate) a delicious meal, you’ll have a built in community to share in the festivities. Potluck, anyone?