Hosting a successful fête is quite an achievement for a home chef, but for a 20-year industry veteran like Benjamin Berg, it is just another day at the office. Berg, founder, and CEO of Berg Hospitality, opened B&B Butchers & Restaurant in 2015 and the restaurant has been a staple in Houston’s upscale steakhouse roundup ever since. Berg has since opened a second B&B Butchers & Restaurant in Fort Worth and several concepts in Houston, including ultra-sophisticated Turner’s and a revamp of Café Annie - both projects with James Beard award-winning chef Robert Del Grande.
After so many years in the hospitality industry, Berg takes the job of infusing his guests’ experiences with fun and delicious food. Whether he is at one of his restaurants or entertaining at home, he believes both are at the heart of any good gathering. After so much forced time apart, the next time it is safe to gather should be as memorable as possible, so we asked Berg to share his favorite tips on how to turn a fun evening into a party your guests won’t want to leave.
- Create a great ambiance with music, lighting, and candles.
- Have champagne and wine ready to offer as people arrive. It sets the mood and puts everybody at ease.
- Have great appetizers passed or on display when guests arrive so they can snack on them. When I am entertaining in my home, a cheese and charcuterie platter from The Butcher Shop at B&B Butchers & Restaurant is always an appetizer. Other universal crowd-pleasers are pigs in a blanket (you would be surprised how fast these go at a party) and mini crab cakes.
- Plan the meal out a few weeks before, and make sure you accommodate any dietary restrictions.
- Always have plenty of ice and a fully stocked bar. If it is a large party and, in your budget, hire a server and bartender to help. It makes the party feel more festive and causes less stress for the host, and the bartender also helps control the alcohol consumption.
Being in the restaurant industry, I have a passion for hospitality and love being a part of helping friends and family create new and lasting memories