When Hosting Dinner Parties, Elevate Your Food For Aesthetic Appeal

As fun as the final event is, preparing to host a dinner party can be incredibly stressful. Not only do you have to cook for a crowd, you have to plan a menu, buy groceries, and clean your home. You also might also feel pressured to find a way to make sure your dishes look as good as they taste. Whether there's a guest at your party you're really trying to impress, or you want to work on your culinary aesthetics for your own satisfaction, there is a simple way to boost the visual appeal of your food to prove you are the host with the most.

If you want to make an aesthetic impression, play with levels as you set out your food spread. Putting your dishes at different heights is a quick way to elevate the visual interest of your cooking — literally! You could use a cake stand, an upturned pot or casserole dish, extra plates, or any variety of nice-looking raised surfaces to complete this task. Doing so will make your party look sophisticated and thought-out.

Set your dishes at different heights to create visual interest

To take this concept a step further, you could also intersperse tall flower vases, wine bottles, or low-lying garlands around your plates to really make your spread unique. Don't forget to keep one or two dishes at table level; if all the plates are at the same height, it makes things look more monotonous.

There are a few other ways to quickly add some class to your party: Before you set out your platters for people to serve themselves, use a paper towel to wipe around the rims of the dishes to create a clean, professional look. You can easily take any dish to the next level by adding a garnish: lemon zest, chopped chives, or a sprinkle of parsley is sometimes all you need to make a plate look and taste amazing.

A dinner party can be considered a success as long as there's food on the table and everyone (including you) has a good time. But if you really want to flex your hosting skills, finding creative ways to vary the heights of your set-out dishes is a simple way to do so. You may not be hosting the world's biggest dinner party, but getting friends together to enjoy a meal is enough of a reason to make things special.