Food, Home & Lifestyle

Thoughts on Hosting

Yotam Ottolenghi

Lesson time 12:10 min

Yotam offers his practical tips on easing the pressure and enjoying the process of hosting. Learn how to balance your efforts in the kitchen for successful hosting.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: What Kind of Cook are You • Building a Balanced Meal • Practical Tipes to Ease the Pressure • Enjoy the Process • Get Experimental in the Kitchen


[00:00:00.00] [THEME MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:09.77] - I think many cooks feel a sense of anxiety when they go in the kitchen. You get into the kitchen, and you think, like, oh, this is a challenge. I need to impress. And what I'm just trying to do with all my recipes is actually show that there's no need for anxiety. If you've done something a few times you're absolutely fine. [00:00:33.46] But I share anxiety with-- with cooks. And I meet lots of non-professional cooks all the time. And they always say, oh, you know, how do I impress my friends? How do I make an incredible spread? How do I not cook the same thing over and over again and not bore everyone? [00:00:52.44] And I say, hold on for a minute. What-- what is the problem with cooking something that you've cooked three weeks ago to the same friend this time when they come over for dinner? Because your friend is not going to love you any less if you cook something that you've cooked for them before. They love you more if you did it really well. [00:01:10.57] So the anxiety that is often associated with cooking for a dinner party or for a group of friends is normally associate with you wanted to reinvent the wheel, and you really don't need to do that. You can cook something you've cooked before and you feel confident about. And then you sit down for the meal, and you're happy, and everybody's happy. And that's absolutely fine. [00:01:34.50] And I think it's really important to keep that in mind as an option, as a plan B, as something you can do. I think sometimes people go to friend's house-- to a friend's house to eat something they've had before actually, not a new thing, like-- like, when you go to a restaurant for a familiar dish that you love so much. Like, one restaurant makes the best mashed potato, and I'm going to go there for that really, silky, smooth, beautiful mash. Often you go to a friend's house and you know they make something really good. That's, like, their greatest hit. And you go for that greatest hit. [00:02:06.48] I've got a friend, . She lives in Israel. And she makes this killer chicken. She cooks it for a long time with potatoes, with prunes, with some mango chutney. And it's a really basic recipe that she cooks with love, and she's made it for me 100 times. And I know what I'm getting. I'm really happy when I go to her house because I'm going to get that chicken. [00:02:29.40] I think this is the approach that some home cooks should really adopt in order to get people to like their food even more and think a little bit less about impressing. But of course, that's not the whole picture because we do want to reinvent ourselves sometimes as cooks and find new ways in the kitchen and introduce a new cuisine, a new set of ingredients. And when you come to do that you need to try to lower the expectations a bit. [00:02:57.33] You're not going to be a professional chef in that cuisine immediately. It's about gaining a skill. Cooking is a skill. And we ho...

About the Instructor

One of the most influential chefs working today, Yotam Ottolenghi creates dishes that layer color and flavor for maximum impact. Now the James Beard Award winner teaches you simple steps for making and mixing Middle Eastern–inspired recipes. Learn how to make generous platters—mezze and brunch spreads to homemade condiments, stunning stand-alones, and delicious vegetables—so you can entertain with ease.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Yotam Ottolenghi

James Beard Award–winning chef Yotam Ottolenghi teaches you his recipes for delicious Middle Eastern platters layered with color and flavor.

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