8 Must-Have Products to Throw a Dinner Party, According to a Caterer

Having these on hand will take some of the load off of hosting a large format meal.

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November 03, 2022

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Photo by: Kelvin Murray/Getty Images

Kelvin Murray/Getty Images

For many people, the holiday season means friendship, togetherness, and throwing a get together or two. The challenge? Enjoying the company of those you love, while also topping off their drinks. Ultimately, being a good host and remaining present comes down to careful planning and having the right tools at your disposal. We asked Edy Massih of Edy’s Grocer, a Lebanese market and caterer in Brooklyn, to share his favorite products and tips to help home cooks put together large format meals seamlessly, whether you’re putting together a festive cocktail party or braving Thanksgiving at your house.

$16.49
Amazon

Massih is known for his Brown Paper Boards, which involves arranging an assortment of mezze like dips, cheeses and sweets on top of brown kraft paper. “It’s the best thing to do when you have a big group of people,” he says. “That way if your guests get hungry at different times, they can just graze. It also allows you to get everything ready a day or two in advance. About an hour and half before everyone arrives, put the board together — then you can have fun and not be in the kitchen during the event.” The best part: this low-key set-up requires fewer dishes, creating less mess to clean up at the end of the party.

$18
Target

While the idea of a Brown Paper Board is to put as much food directly on the table as possible, you will need some serving platters for certain dishes like salad. Massih favors these melamine ones from Target. “Melamine might seem a little gauche, but I think it’s fantastic,” he says. “It doesn’t break, is easy to wash, and not heavy.”

$4
Edy's Grocer

Massih also likes to use melamine bowls for dips like hummus, guacamole and salsa when entertaining. “They look great,” he says. “Because they’re wider than the typical bowl, they feel a bit more full on the table and add some nice color.”

$40
Great Jones

Great Jones’ cult favorite baking sheets offer another pop of color and an unexpected way to serve up hot dishes like branzino or chicken skewers from the oven. “They work really well as a platter and you can set them straight on the table,” says Massih.

$5
Target

Pre-batching drinks so your guests can serve themselves — and you can enjoy their company — is a no-brainer. “I pre-batch drinks the day before and put them in these cheap and cheerful bottles that you can label,” says Massih. “A big thing I’ve learned is to mix the drinks without ice so that they don’t get diluted.”

$19.99
Tossware

When it comes to glassware, I love to use Tossware for my catering events,” says Massih. “They’re not breakable and super cute. You can throw them out, but if you have the space, you can definitely wash and reuse them.” The glasses come in a variety of sizes, and are customizable for a special touch.

$30
Food52

Massih’s solution to the inevitable pre-dinner rush: this cutting board with a convenient groove for your cell phone. “That way when people are texting you, you can still respond while you’re chopping vegetables and getting ready. Plus, if you flip it over, the second side without a hole can double as a cheese board.”

$249.95
Amazon

Looking to impress your guests with juicy lamb chops or perfect, medium-rare steak tenderloin? Sous vide machines offer instant master chef status by cooking your protein in temperature-controlled water. “You’re not going to have to worry about anything,” says Massih. “You know your meat will be tender and delicious. Your house isn’t going to smell. You just have to open the bag. The sous vide machine made by Joule is fantastic because you can control it with your phone.”

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