How to Be a Good Host or Hostess

The key to a successful supper club dinner party is to make your guests feel welcomed and entertained. Some people are just good at it. One of the best is my mother. After spending a weekend at my mom’s a friend once said to me: “Your mom has a gift, she is both interested and interesting”.

Yesterday was mom’s 95th birthday and she is still going strong. Mom started college when she was just 16 and still goes to college today. Past being smart, she is a secret weapon at dinner parties. Mom is one of those rare people that really listen to her guests. She has the ability to focus on what her guests are saying and play back an interesting insight to complement her guest’s point.

One of my largest complaints in life is that brains ran in my family, but when it came to me they walked. Unlike my mom, I am not a great listener. Instead of focusing on what you are saying to me, I am thinking about what I am going to say. A great example of this is my belief that all golfers, if another golfer asks them about their round, he only pretends to listen and is really just waiting for an opportunity to talk about his round.

Beyond being interested and interesting mom is a great cook. She is famous for her Mom Mom’s Vinaigrette. She lives in Westhampton NY and gets a lot of visitors in the summer. The local produce out there in the summer is outstanding. Most of the meals mom serves center around a great salad. The cornerstone of her salad is her vinaigrette. She claims the origination is a recipe in the New York Times, but I believe the beauty of it comes form her herb garden and the fact that she never makes it the same way twice.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then this vinaigrette is legendary. My daughter Jennifer once surveyed Mom-mom’s other grandchildren and their spouses and 8 out of 10 use mom’s vinaigrette as a culinary staple. One reason is that it tastes great. The other reason is that it reminds them of their youth spending summers with their amazing grandmother.

If you can make your supper club dinner party guests feel welcomed and entertained you will be a success.

If you enjoy this blog and similar other stories/supper club lessons subscribe to get future blogs at and be on the look out for my book Impromptu Friday Nights a Guide to Supper Clubs due out from Morgan James Publishing on January 30, 2018.

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