A Chef’s Predinner Strategy, from Appetizers to an Easy Beauty Routine
Written by: Jean Godfrey-June
Published on: November 17, 2022
Photo courtesy of @jazminmonetphotography
Once you’re producing even probably the most elegant, relaxed-seeming dinner for Veuve Clicquot, Nike, or goop, you spend most of it in your feet and within the kitchen, says LA chef and entertaining expert Olivia Muniak, who founded La Cura, a hugely successful catering and events company. But entertaining at home requires an utterly different approach. “What’s the purpose of getting friends over if I can’t sit down and luxuriate in their company?” she laughs. Muniak’s strategy: Tackle all the pieces—from appetizers to a straightforward beauty routine—upfront. “That way, the evening unfolds with out a hitch, and I get to have a good time, too,” she says.
Step 1: Get up your skin
(and finesse with touches of color).
My beauty routine is no-stress, no-fuss, nevertheless it makes me feel ready,” says Muniak. “I like somewhat eye cream to clean up my eyes. Then I do a fast swipe of mascara and dab on the GOOPGENES lip balm—I even have the brand new trio, and I can’t live without the clear for long event-install days, but I like the brand new Tomato shade for a straightforward evening look.”
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“The opposite thing I at all times do is smooth on GOOPGENES body butter,” she says. “I even have parched skin, and it really ensures I’m glowing all evening. I even apply it to my hands.”
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Step 2: Keep on with dishes and love.
“Once I attempted coq au vin for the primary time just before a banquet,” says Muniak. “I had incorrect ingredients and barely enough cooking time before dinner—unnecessary to say, it was inedible. We ordered pizzas, drank wine, and laughed the entire night—which is a fantastic reminder that your guests are there to hold with you, not for the food.” Her suggestions: “Read a recipe just a few days before you propose to cook it. A banquet might be not the very best time to try something complicated you’ve never made before, so follow dishes and love. That strategy won’t ever allow you to down and can cut your stress level by 1,000,000 percent.”
“As an illustration, I make this beef tenderloin ahead so I can pop it within the oven while having fun with a cocktail with my guests,” she says. “To make it even easier on myself, I roast a sheet pan of root vegetables—tossed with the identical rosemary-garlic mixture I exploit to marinate the meat—at the identical time.”
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Step 3: Prepare cocktails in big batches.
“I prebatch cocktails so guests can serve themselves, and I set out all the pieces they could need, from glassware to garnishes and ice,” says Muniak. She adds that classic cocktails like martinis, Manhattans, and negronis can all be premixed, stored, chilled, and served in glass flip-top bottles (additionally they last an extended time within the fridge or freezer). “Cocktails like margaritas which can be made with fresh juices last two days within the fridge, so I keep the spirits separate from those cocktail mixes and arrange the bar with the bottle of mix and the suggested spirits like tequila or mezcal for a choose-your-own-adventure kind of moment,” she says.
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Step 4: Go fancy-lazy for appetizers.
“I like dishes like chips and dip, caviar, seasonal crostinis, or a vegetable tart cut into bite-size squares,” says Muniak. “Anything that may be made the morning of, then dressed right before it’s placed on the table, is ideal.”
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Step 5: Have a uniform.
“I’m a denim girl,” says Muniak. “There’s something about denim that just makes you are feeling so rattling good—a high-waisted wide-leg is chic (and cozy) for a day-to-night look. I even have been living within the G. Label wide-leg jeans paired with a straightforward cardigan; if the event is fancier, I swap out the cardigan for a chic bustier for a simple holiday-at-home look.”
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A Relaxed Holiday Menu from Chef Muniak
Herbed Beef Tenderloin and Citrus Crème Fraîche
“This festive holiday recipe is equally delicious served warm or at room temperature, and it’s the right dish to make ahead. I especially love the zippy horseradish crème fraîche with the earthy vegetables and the tender cut of beef.”
Citrus-Braised Beets and Spiced Yogurt
“The beets get a beautiful winter citrus twist from an orange juice marinade, which doubles as cooking liquid. Then they’re layered with an herby yogurt and garnished with toasted hazelnuts.”
Caviar Chips and Dip
“I at all times make this for a celebration. And ROE is the brand of caviar I like to recommend to everyone.”
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