Michelle Cheatham, owner of catering and event planning company Invisible Chef, shares her party planning essentials.
Michelle holds a Grand Diploma from the French Culinary Institute. Her catering expertise is enhanced by a background in interior design and an internship at Restaurant Daniel in New York City. As the Invisible Chef, she produces events for clients not only in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California’s wine country but also in Aspen, Sun Valley, New York City, The Hamptons, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
Ten Event Planning Tips from Invisible Chef:
1. Find the right date and time: check social calendars and with friends before committing to a date.
2. Invite guests four weeks in advance.
3. Guest list: mix it up with an interesting ensemble.
4. Location: get creative with the venue and be sure the size of the space is appropriate for the number of guests.
5. Decide on the type of party; whether it’s cocktails, a dinner or a buffet. A cocktail party is the most versatile.
6. Choose food with flavors that burst; the ingredients should be fresh and the menu dictated by the season.
7. Presentation and decor: make a lasting impression.
8. Serve a signature drink.
9. Hire professional servers.
10. Entertainment or music is a must.
Most importantly, Michelle recommends that hosts plan to have fun.
Scenes from a party Michelle Cheatham hosted for 150 friends at her own home in St. Helena, California:
Photos by Drew Altizer Photography