Hosting a Dinner Party 101 – It’s Easier Than You Think!

If you’ve been longing for an out-of-this-world friends dinner (even with kids around!), then this podcast episode is for you! Learn how to throw a dinner party and choose an easy dinner party menu that all your loved ones will enjoy.

  • By Jess Dang
  • March 12, 2020

Our lives are so busy these days, and so often lived virtually, that we’ve lost the beautiful tradition of gathering friends around the dinner table. To help me revive this practice, I’ve invited Anna Watson Carl, an expert dinner party thrower onto our podcast today.

Anna is a cook and writer, and the author of “The Yellow Table: A Celebration of Everyday Gatherings.” Her writing has appeared in Food & Wine, Travel+Leisure, and Tasting Table, just to name a few. A former private chef, she has cooked for countless dinner parties around the U.S. and in France. Today, she lives in Nashville with her husband and two young children.

In the episode, she shares:

  1. Her go-to 4 part dinner party menu and best types of meals for entertaining
  2. Tips for making the evening stress-free
  3. Gathering people around your table even when you have kids
  4. How to make the evening special even when the food is simple
  5. Her new dinner party philosophy

Hopefully it’ll inspire you to invite a friend or 2 over and make throwing dinner parties a regular part of your life!


If you’ve got questions you want us to answer in a future episode, comments about a previous episode, or just want to say hi and share some love, give us a call at 1-650-386-0290 and leave us a voicemail. You might just hear your voice on the podcast!

Love from our podcast community:

“My sister introduced me to Cook Smarts when my 2nd child was a baby, and it has transformed our meal planning routine! I have been a member for over 2 years now, and I love listening to the podcast and getting even more ideas for my kitchen. From healthy strategies for feeding kids, to freezer meals, to creative ways to use leftover herbs, Jess is full of great ideas! I’m expecting baby #3 next month, and I’m thankful to already be in a routine with Cook Smarts, so that we’ll continue having healthy meals for our family without the extra mental load of meal planning!”

– emoore86

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emoore86, thanks for the great review above and make sure to reach out to us at so we can ship a new tote to you.

And of course, if you know someone who has been wanting to get back to more personal, face-to-face time with good friends, please pass along this episode to them!

Links mentioned in this episode

  1. Grab a copy of Anna’s Book The Yellow Table
  2. Read Anna’s blog The Yellow Table
  3. Follow Anna on Instagram

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Dinner Party Tips with Anna Watson Carl | In the Kitchen with Cook Smarts PodcastDinner Party Tips with Anna Watson Carl | In the Kitchen with Cook Smarts PodcastDinner Party Tips with Anna Watson Carl | In the Kitchen with Cook Smarts PodcastDinner Party Tips with Anna Watson Carl | In the Kitchen with Cook Smarts Podcast


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