I host everything from dinner parties to play dates. The Chinese in me likes the cooking and happiness in the gathering. The American in me likes the thoughtfulness. From my experience as a guest, here are my tips for being a perfect host.
Goal: Each guest leaves full, happy, and feels like you wanted them to have a great time.
Abundance of good food. In Chinese culture food is a symbol of care. Homemade food will always trump store bought food in a Chinese household so try to cook as much as you can yourself. To gain face, serve the best tasting food and double the amount you need.
Clean home. A messy home is never a good look. A clean home is how to gain face. And it’s ok to hide everything in an upstairs bedroom or bathroom during the event.
Timeliness. Americans are much better at this then the Chinese. Most of the Chinese wedding banquets I’ve been to did not start on time (including my own). Serve meals at mealtime, desert at desert time, snacks at snack time. Have fruit on the table afterwards so your guests continue to feel welcome and can leave when they are ready.
Entertainment. You want your guests to have a good time and not check Facebook on their mobile phone. Entertainment can be anything from great conversation to singing karaoke to an art project. Do what you like and feel most comfortable.
The Dumpling Mama xo