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It's not the cooking that keeps us from setting the date for our next party - it's the planning and organizing! Chefs John Sarich and Diana Dillard believe that entertaining friends and family should be fun, not stressful.
The trouble spots are usually the same. What do I serve? How much food do I need? What can I cook ahead, and how can I avoid pulling my hair out at the last minute?
Fans of John and Diana's new cookbook, Entertaining Simply, love the book's innovative and time saving planning tools. Imagine - a complete shopping list for an entire party menu. A daily to-do list that takes you from sending out the invitations to uncorking the red wine. Individualized for each menu, these guides help you know what to buy, when to cook, and how to deal with all of the other pesky details that go along with organizing a party.
"In my early days as a chef, I often realized that I hadn't spent any time chatting with my guests or enjoying the food I'd cooked," Diana laments. "Using our book gives you time to enjoy your own party."
When faced with serving 8 or more people at once, you may be tempted to fall back on Swedish meatballs and potato chips. Breathe, and look to the book. With Entertaining Simply's 12 complete gourmet menus, a host can easily select a fantastic menu for every season and occasion. "We've created 12 wonderful, seasonal menus with recipes that incorporate all that is fresh and delicious in each season," John affirms.
"Let's not forget the wine!" laughs John. "Pairing wine with the menu is a vital part of the party." Sarich relied on his decades of experience with wine and food, including his current role as Culinary Director for Washington's renowned Chateau Ste. Michelle winery, to select the perfect wines for each menu.
Entertaining Simply is John's fourth book and follows on the heels of Best of Taste (Sea-Hill Press 2001), which is a companion to his television show. His previous books are John Sarich's Food and Wine of the Pacific Northwest (1993) and John Sarich at Chateau Ste. Michelle (1997).
"I've been extremely busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way," John declares. Not only a chef and author, John is an experienced television personality, and currently hosts lifestyle/cooking series Best of Taste: Flavors of the Pacific Coast, which airs in over 85 markets nationwide.