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Tasting Table: Entertaining on the Fly with Susan Spungen

I’m so excited to share with you all a recent story I had the chance to write for Tasting Table on one of my personal food heroes, Susan Spungen. Susan – in case you don’t know – is one of the top food stylists in the industry. You’ve seen her work on numerous covers of magazines like Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living, as well as in movies such as Julie & Julia, Eat, Love, Pray, and most recently, Labor Day.

In addition to food styling, she’s also penned several cookbooks, including her latest What’s A Hostess to Do (Artisan), a must-read for at-home cooks, with over 300 tips, recipes, and checklists for every possible at-home entertaining scenario. (Seriously, buy the book…it’s fantastic!)

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Given that my Tasting Table column is all about at-home entertaining, I figured she’d be the perfect person to interview for this week’s topic: How to Throw a Last Minute Dinner Party. As Susan emphasizes in her book, entertaining is all about planning ahead and staying organized – but, as it turns out, there are ways to plan ahead even for last-minute gatherings. Susan shared with me all of her best tips for throwing parties on the fly: read the full story here. Hopefully you can apply a few of her ideas to your upcoming Labor Day celebrations!

xo, Anna

(Also, check out her fabulous East Hampton kitchen, which is featured in this month’s Food & Wine. Swoon.)

(Opening photo by Hannah McSwain; book cover courtesy of Artisan Books.)

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Monday Musings: What’s the Deal with Selfies?

Happy Monday everybody! I hope you all had a great weekend. We got in late last night from a jam-packed wedding weekend in Cleveland, Ohio. B's brother got married (hooray!) and as is always the case with family weddings, it was a whirlwind of activity and emotion. Everything turned out beautifully, though, and we were thrilled to be a part of the festivities. But after a 7-hour flight delay and a snafu where we nearly got locked out of our ...more

Introducing: The Cookbook Team!

Friends...this whole cookbook thing is becoming very, very real. We are just weeks away from shipping off the book to the printer and I couldn't be more excited!! The recipes are done, the testing is done, the photos are done, the initial designs are done, the text is done, the wine pairings are done, and at this point we're madly editing photos and recipes and text so we can get ...more

‘Tis the Season: Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

I love tomato season. As in really really love. And the funkier the color and the shape, the better. I was daydreaming yesterday about the most beautiful tomatoes I've ever seen (much less tasted) – in a lovely garden in the French countryside. It was two years ago, and I had the privilege of interviewing Prince Louis Albert de Broglie at his incredible ...more

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