Top Chef's Tips for a 'Simple' Dinner Party

And it involves pet donkeys, lots of cashmere
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2009 2:15 PM CDT
Famous French chef Alain Ducasse in the revamped Jules Verne restaurant on the second level of the 1,024-foot Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Friday Dec. 21, 2007.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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(Newser) – Alain Ducasse cooks up elaborate dishes at his ritzy restaurants. But at home, for an outdoor dinner party, he believes “less is definitely more,” he tells the Wall Street Journal. Which begs the question: What passes for “simple” tips for the average party-thrower from Ducasse? Read on:

  • If you want to copy the backyard garden at his country home, you’ll need two wandering pet donkeys. Because, really, nothing says “simple” like donkeys with French names.

  • Skip most of the décor, but make sure to add personal touches like your collection of antique butter knives from around the world.
  • If you’re inviting more than 12 people, hire a catering staff, for goodness sake.
  • The food should be similarly laid-back. Say, a nice foie gras on toast, perhaps. Served family-style!
  • If you’re really feeling crazy, you can even—gasp!—forgo tablecloths.
  • Last but not least, if you want to be like Mr. Ducasse, you’ll always have cashmere wraps and jackets for your guests, in case it gets chilly. After all, who doesn’t have a bunch of extra cashmere just lying around these days?