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Chiang Mai Citylife > Articles > Dinner Parties for Dummies

Dinner Parties for Dummies

If, like me, you love entertaining at home, but have been banned (for life) by your husband from cooking, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my not-so-secrets with you. After a failed paella attempt, which turned out to resemble a mutated seafood porridge, and forced twelve dinner guests to send an emergency SOS to Pizza Company many years ago, I have humbly had to re-evaluate my culinary skills. So it was with great joy and initial cunning that I discovered home catering _ and tried, then failed, to pass it off as my own. For those of us who do not cook, the planning, cooking and presentation of a three course meal merits the accolades piled upon Hercules.

First of all our fridges are normally filled with wine bottles and leftover home delivery items moulding in Tupperware _ not milk, butter, coriander, eggs and other exotic items that seem to fill the fridges of greater beings. We are generally condiment challenged as well, and, if pressed, are able to find a dodgily dark looking bottle of ketchup or HP sauce at the back of the cupboard, sharing space with every single home delivery menu in the city. Our herb racks proudly present one salt and one pepper shake with perhaps a posh jar of all seasons mix…for every occasion. Our kitchens tend to be quite pretty, however, with lovely tableware, a good set of silverware, nicely designed candle sticks, glittering crystal wine glasses, and funky napkins. You see, we love to entertain; we just can’t do it ourselves.
As a matter of fact, to attempt to is simply financial suicide. To have to buy everything from scratch, and for most of it to be used once and cast aside, like a Loi Kroh bar girl, is simply not economical. Think about it, many of these international dishes include such gourmet ingredients as vanilla pods (80 baht an inch!), pancetta (whatever that is), butter nut (again, what?), saffron (bank breaking) and many other unfamiliar, but surely pricey imports.
So why not invite some of the city’s best chefs to come to your house, prepare their epicurean masterpieces, provide necessary serving plates and utensils, and bring staff to serve and clean up afterwards?
So, here is a list of some of my favourite, mostly tried, and others recommended, restaurants which will come to your home and solve all of your problems. I am sure there are many more, and it is worth simply asking your choice restaurant if they will do you the honour.

Mi Casa & Su Casa

Chef Kike is my regular bring-home-a-chef. From his perfect lobster paella to his tapas starters, he prepares most of his ingredients at his restaurants, cooks on premises, and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

Numbers:
4-30, Cuisine:
Mediterranean, Staff:
tick, Tableware:
tick.
www.micasachiangmai.com

Chiang Dao Nest

Chef Wicha brings her team from Chiang Dao Nest and they prepare and cook on premises. She once catered an Arabian themed dinner party for me with succulent herb infused lamb chops, mezze selections, stuffed pastry squares and other exoticas.

Numbers:
no number requirement, but minimum charge 10,000 baht, Cuisine:
French, Italian and themed cuisine, Staff:
tick, Tableware:
tick.
www.chiangdao.com, 0860171985

La Gondola and Girasole

Chef Stefano will either come himself, or his wife, Khun Jim will supervise the sous chef in creating an Italian feast _ from a selection of any of his restaurant menus’ extensive items – at your home.

Numbers:
no number requirement, but minimum charge 10,000 baht, Cuisine:
Italian, Staff:
tick, Tableware:
tick.
[email protected],
0812895214

The House & Ginger Café

The House does very impressive and professional catering, bringing a flash of style to any evening. You can either choose from their innovative Pacific Rim fusion cuisine or from the Ginger Café’s menu.

Numbers:
minimum 20 for dinner or 40 for canapés (minimum 600 baht per head for dinner and 300 for canapés), Cuisine:
Thai and Western, Staff:
tick, Tableware:
tick.
www.thehousethailand.com,
053 341 9011-3

Bake and Bite

Perfect for a cocktail party, Khun Gai will delivery (or cook on location) her themed party foods _ international, Mexican, bakery, Thai, children’s parties _ which includes sandwiches, finger foods, roasts or casseroles, and vegetarian items.

Numbers:
fifteen or more, but negotiable, with minimum order of 1,000 baht and more (extra outside the city), Cuisine:
call to discuss your requirements, Staff:
150 baht per waiter per hour, Tableware:
hardware or plastic.
081-8829545

Saenkham Terrace

Long been known for its delicious Thai dishes, if you want to offer your guests a great selection of central and some northern Thai favourites, they bring their prepared food and cook it on premises.

Numbers:
10 or more, with a minimum order of 10,000 baht, Cuisine:
European, Thai and fusion, Staff:
tick, Tableware:
tick.
www.saenkhamterrace.com,
053 838 990