The holidays usher in a sense of celebration and opportunities for lavish seasonal gatherings. Award-winning Chef Michael Voltaggio knows how to create an experience that will not only entertain, but also thoroughly impress. When it comes to holiday hosting, Michael integrates seasonal ingredients and offers finishing touches that will leave a luxurious, lasting impression.
Take a holistic perspective and use expert forethought when planning a festive dinner party. Similar to designing a new restaurant, Michael sees a night of entertaining as an opportunity to create a comprehensive dining experience. At the start of the event, greet guests with a cocktail topped with fragrant garnish, and introduce attendees to a curated evening with unexpected details, such as a passed amuse-bouche atop a slate serving platter. Consider ambiance from every angle — choose classical music for formal affairs or upbeat jazz for an evening of seasonal glamour and complement a crackling fireplace with tabletop candlelight to set the tone.
Every touchpoint of an event should exude the same level of luxury, from the carefully chosen linens to the culinary tools used to prepare the menu. For Michael, this is especially true of kitchen faucets. Whether it’s the main fixture, a pot filler or a prep faucet, these are his essential tools for the entire entertaining process. The Artesso SmartTouch Pull-Down Prep Faucet by Brizo offers visual intrigue in a newly expanded Brilliance Luxe Gold finish, bringing a gilded warmth to the space and offering intuitive touch technology — perfect for event preparation.
From hors d'oeuvres to after-dinner aperitifs, pay acute attention to detail and establish pairings that will create an evening of opulence. Offer elevated ambiance and refinement for the table by placing candlesticks of various heights to accent bone china and complete the tablescape with a faceted decanter and glassware to enhance the overall aesthetic. Take cues from Michael, who enjoys selecting thoughtful wine pairings with seasonal dishes, such as a butternut squash soup complemented by the flavors of a robust Chianti.
When choosing courses for a dinner party, tell a story with each plate, adding finishing touches that will set the menu apart. To Michael, cooking and entertaining are opportunities for creative exploration. Ornament an autumnal risotto with shaved truffle to bring rich depth of flavor or infuse a wintry dessert with liquid nitrogen for an unexpected dining experience. Continue to surprise and delight guests with personalized, calligraphed place cards, and end the evening with brushed gold champagne flutes for a group toast that will leave a lasting impression until next season.