Your Autumn Dinner Party Is Served


Article by Lisa Moyer

Photography by Janie Jones

Catering experts Chef Kyle and Hannah Williams, owners of Savor & Swirl culinary company, create an outdoor dinner party with chef-driven perennial dishes served in beautiful seasonal settings.

For this alfresco Autumn Dinner Party, Chef Kyle draws on favorite fall recipes updated for a modern palate and paired with wine selections to complement the bountiful feast. Hannah creates an iconic autumn ambience using artisanal table settings and mixed flannels for each guest to blanket any chill on a brisk evening. Whether for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving or a new November tradition, it’s time to get outdoors again surrounded in sweater-weather coziness while sharing bites and clinks with family and friends. 

“Think flannel blankets, wooden tables, fire pits, open grills, string lights and candles to create a really cool environment you haven’t been able to do all summer.” 

Insider Tips for Hosting:  

  • Build a menu around the season. “In November, people crave turkey, sage stuffing and cranberry sauce,” Chef Kyle says. “Autumn dinners mean bigger-course meals with varied proteins, like turkey, duck and sirloin, hearty starches, and good fall produce, especially root vegetables such as butternut squash and pumpkin.”
  • Always greet guests with a beverage and appetizers. “Offer champagne for wine-lovers or a sparkling drink or signature cocktail. It’s all about serving guests to the highest caliber,” Kyle says.
  • Draw inspiration from the season’s changing colors, cooler temps and lower humidity to move back outdoors. “Think flannel blankets, wooden tables, fire pits, open grills, string lights and candles to create a really cool environment you haven’t been able to do all summer.” 
  • “You can’t go wrong with fresh flowers,” Hannah says, “but keep bouquets low to not interfere with conversation flowing. For fall, I like richer, jewel-toned florals to mix and match and keep whimsical. I vary glass vases with burnished brass for warm fall vibes.”
  • An easy but thoughtful detail is to put a simple menu at each place setting, so guests know what to expect. “Add a pen, so guests can jot tasting notes, especially for wine pairings or multiple courses,” Hannah says. “Guests can share comments, then take the menu home as a sweet reminder of the event.” 
  • Follow the French principle of mise en place or everything in place before your event. “This is actually our company’s name,” Kyle says. “It’s that important to us. Make sure the wines are all open, cocktails are pre-made, place settings are out, candles are lit and music is playing. When guests arrive, it gives that wow-factor and shows you intentionally made them feel special.”
  • To build confidence as a host, start small and practice. “Keep the menu and guest list small,” Kyle says. “Choose recipes you already have confidence in. If you make a great Beef Stroganoff, then go with that. People will love it!” 
  • As fun as it is to dine outside, always have an indoors back-up plan. “We’ve had to bring it indoors before,” Hannah says. “It’s still fun.”

For this fall dinner party, Chef Kyle created the perfect dinner menu to tantalize guests' taste buds. For a complete list of recipes, scan the QR code below.





aged goat cheese, thyme, figs, local honey, petite greens




Roasted Whole Duck 

Brined & Smoked Turkey breast 

Grilled Bone-In Ribeye Steaks 

Chef’s Sage Gourmet Stuffing

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Hardwood Smoked Bacon

Heirloom Root Vegetable Hash

Red Bliss Buttered Mashed Potatoes 


Cranberry Orange Zest Sauce 

Fresh Baked Dinner Rolls & Whipped Butter 


Traditional Pumpkin Pie, Whipped Cream  


According to Savor & Swirl, wine pairing doesn’t need to be overly complicated for a casual outdoor dinner party. Have a lighter and fuller body style of white and red available with some sparkling thrown in.

“Lighter to medium-bodied wines from Rhône Valley, Italy or California would be a good place to start,” they state. “Viognier is one of our favorite wines that goes great with fall-inspired cuisines. Pinot Noir wine goes great with just about any food. Lean towards California or Willamette Valley for a new-world style and go with France for a more earthy, old-world style. A big bold Napa Cab would fall in perfectly for the grilled ribeye steak! Cheers!” 

Savory Autumn Duck 

Yield: 4-8 servings 

Duck, whole, Mallard, large (free range or wild) – 1 each 


2 gallons water  

1 cup sugar  

½ cup salt  

3 sprigs fresh sage 

3 sprigs fresh thyme 

1 fresh tangerine, quartered 

3 cinnamon sticks  

5 star anise, whole  

5 cloves, whole 

1 teaspoon fennel seeds  

1 teaspoon peppercorns  

Duck Seasoning:

2 tablespoons olive oil 

Salt – to taste 

Pepper – to taste 

1-2 teaspoons 5 spice blend (list from brine) – ground in grinder 

1 fresh tangerine, quartered  

5 sprigs fresh thyme 


1 bunch fresh thyme

2 fresh tangerines, quartered 

7 fresh figs 

Method of Preparation: 

  • In large refrigerator storage container, mix all brine ingredients and season to taste. Should be a hint of saltiness and sweetness. Can add more salt and/or sugar if needed. 
  • Add duck to brine, cover and brine for 24-48 hours. 
  • Pre-heat oven to 450°F on convection setting (475°F conventional).
  • Remove duck from brine and pat dry. 
  • For 5 spice blend, add 1 tablespoon each of fresh spices of cinnamon, clove, star anise, fennel and peppercorn to food blender and grind on high to create a powder. 
  • Season whole duck with oil, salt, pepper, and light amount of 5 spice blend. 
  • Stuff duck cavity with tangerines and thyme and place on oiled baking pan uncovered. Add ¼ cup of water to pan to create moisture.  
  • Place pan in oven and sear duck for 10-20 minutes until golden brown. 
  • Reduce oven heat to 325°F on convection setting (350°F conventional). At any point in process if duck is getting too much dark color before it is finished cooking, cover with aluminum foil to prevent any burning. 
  • Cook until internal temperature reaches 165-175°F. 
  • Remove from oven once finished cooking and allow to rest for 30-60 minutes. Remove cavity filling and discard. 
  • Garnish cavity with fresh tangerines, thyme sprigs and place whole duck on platter. Place whole figs around the edges.   
  • Enjoy.  

Chef notes: 

  • May omit 5 spice blend if a more traditional classic flavor profile is desired. 

Fresh Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Hardwood Smoked Bacon 

Yield: 6 servings 

4 cups Brussels sprouts, raw, halved 

1-2 tablespoons olive oil 

¼ cup yellow onion, sliced  

1 tablespoon garlic, sliced thin 

1-2 cups bacon, smoked, thick cut, large dice  

Salt, pepper to taste 

2 tablespoons real butter, unsalted 

Optional garnish - 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped  

Method of Preparation: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 °F for convection setting, (425 °F conventional).
  2. In mixing bowl, add oil and cut raw Brussels sprouts. Season with salt and pepper.  
  3. Place seasoned sprouts on baking sheet and bake in oven until done, about 20-40 minutes (soft yet still with good texture and crispy edges with some dark brown color). Remove from oven.
  4. Place large sauté pan on medium heat and render bacon. Add a splash of olive oil to get it going, if needed. Cook until bacon is crispy and golden brown, 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Add onions to pan and cook until soft, 5-8 minutes. 
  6. Turn heat to high and add garlic and butter and cook for 1 minute. 
  7. Add roasted Brussels sprouts to pan and toss all together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  8. For optional garnishes, add fresh chopped parsley. 
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Chef notes: 

  • If Brussels sprouts are large, cut in quarters. 
  • Rendering bacon means extracting the bacon fat which adds a lot of flavor to the dish.  

Cranberry Orange Zest Sauce  

Yields 4 cups   

3 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen 

1 cup cranberry juice, sweetened 

1 piece orange peel 

1 each orange for zesting 

½ cup orange juice, freshly juiced  

3 each cinnamon stick 

¼ teaspoon clove, ground 

¼ teaspoon allspice, ground  

½ cup sugar 

Pinch salt 

Method of Preparation: 

  1. In medium saucepot on high heat, add everything except orange peel and orange zest. Bring ingredients to boil, then reduce to a simmer with lid. 
  2. While simmering, stir occasionally with rubber spatula ensuring bottom does not burn. Simmer for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens.  
  3. Remove lid and add orange peel and season to taste. Can add more sugar or spice if needed. 
  4. Once sauce is thickened and most liquid has evaporated, remove orange peel and cinnamon sticks and remove pot from heat. 
  5. With hand-held blender, puree sauce, keeping some texture.  
  6. Freshly grate in orange zest, stir and season to taste. 
  7. Transfer sauce to jar and place in refrigerator to cool overnight. 
  8. Enjoy! 

Chef notes: 

  • Enjoy with all types of poultry and game birds.   
  • Do not use ground cinnamon. 
  • Can puree with blender if you do not have hand-held blender. 
  • Consistency should be thick sauce and not a jelly. 

Heirloom Root Vegetable Hash 

Yield: 6-10 servings 

2 cups heirloom organic carrot, cubed  

2 cups heirloom organic rutabaga, peeled, cubed 

2 cups heirloom organic parsnip, cubed 

1 cup heirloom organic turnip, cubed 

2 cups heirloom organic marble potatoes, halved 

3 tablespoons rosemary, fresh, de-stemmed, chopped 

1 tablespoon thyme, fresh, de-stemmed, chopped 

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

Salt – to taste 

Pepper – to taste 

Optional Garnish 

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped  

Method of Preparation: 

  • Pre-heat oven to 400°F on convection setting (425°F conventional).
  • In mixing bowl, add oil and raw cut vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
  • Place seasoned vegetables on oiled baking sheet and bake in oven until they are caramelized and tender, about 30-60 minutes. Will be soft yet still with good texture and crispy edges with some lightly charred areas.  
  • Remove from oven once finished cooking.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley. 
  • Enjoy.  

Chef notes: 

  • Buy all organic heirloom vegetables if possible. 

About Savor & Swirl 

Chef Kyle Williams has over 22 years of experience in the elite culinary industry, including 2 Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy, resorts in Hawaii, and alongside prestigious NYC celebrity chefs Todd English, David Burke, and Daniel Boulud.  

Savor & Swirl has recently expanded to include nationwide mobile catering. Book online, and they will bring their expertise to you, including customizable, in-home dinner parties or luncheons for holidays, events, business gatherings and surprise pop-ups.

“We love to gather with people who value breaking bread together around a table with the special people in their lives.” 

Website: savorandswirl.com  

Instagram: @savorandswirl, #savorandswirl

Photography: @uncommon.jane

Bon appetit! Chef Kyle Williams, Savor & Swirl 

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