New Yorkers Head Back into Their Kitchens: Tips for Home Entertaining in Any Space

Tough times, pricey restaurants and the harsh temperatures of the coming winter are forcing many city dwellers back into the tiny kitchen of their already tiny apartments. For example, a Zagat survey reports that since the recession, 61% of New Yorkers are cooking more at home, while 56% have increased home entertaining. Keeping this in mind, an unlikely source has provided some unique and welcome advice on small-space entertaining.
Meet Rosemary Lindberg. Rosemary is the first mate and chef aboard The Pentesilea II. The 48-foot catamaran boasts four cabins, crew’s quarters and the world’s smallest kitchen. In running a profitable charter boat operation, Rosemary is constantly cooking and entertaining for as many as ten guests every night. Consistently operating in a 5 ½’ by 6 ½’ kitchen, with only 2’ of walking space, Rosemary has become an expert on limited space entertaining.
Here are some helpful and practical tips from Rosemary for planning your next dinner party:
Plan out your meal accordingly

Carefully plan out serving sizes for each guest: Try to gauge exactly how many guests you will have and how much they plan on eating. This will help keep you organized, and keep leftovers to a minimum.
Know what exactly you need to buy: Writing a list of every possible thing you could forget helps you stay organized and gets you ready for the prepping process.
Prepping kitchen & necessary foods ahead of time
Prep your kitchen first: When cooking in small kitchens it is best to keep your counter space clear. Keep knives & coffee maker off the surface or stowed away.
What are you preparing: Foods that have a longer sitting life (i.e. salad without dressing, cold dessert) should be made ahead of time and then stowed away.
If using anything frozen: All thawing should be done far in advance.
Starting your main courses: Do all chopping/cutting beforehand, and set aside ingredients in small bowls. Getting all the chopping out of the way ahead of time gives you more space for actual cooking.
If making a dessert: Make it before you start doing anything for the main meal. If it needs to be served hot, prep dessert then put it in oven while others are eating – ready to serve when the main course is finished.
Keep dishes and dish use to a minimum
Stick to one cutting board: When doing all of your chopping ahead of time, at the same time, sticking to one cutting board can greatly reduce kitchen clutter.
Reuse pots and pans when possible: Try to rinse out and reuse a pan after initial use. It will keep for a cleaner kitchen and give you more space with less clean up.
Keep silverware/plating to a minimum: You do not want to overcrowd your space with lots of plates and silverware. If making an appetizer/main course put things out on one big plate and offer napkins as small plates.
Make serving beverages a breeze
Make sure the bar is stocked: When entertaining guests, running out of alcohol is a no-no. Make sure to offer plenty of wine and beer, and if you can offer a special mixed drink.
Offering mixed drinks: If providing a cocktail, making a large or multiple pitchers before hand can ease stress level, keep guests happy & keep bar space clear.

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