Ah, summer – clear blue skies and hot, humid weather. Not to mention, the bugs.

And yet, people still enjoy having parties/events or functions during the summer. Here in Perth, it is no exception. People enjoy summer or tropical themed events that allow them to go as casual as they can, bare as much skin as they can and party outdoors as much as they can.

Today’s blog is a 3 part series about hosting a summer party, and for today, let’s talk about creating your menu.

When you organize a party, especially if there are a lot of people attending, you would naturally be concerned over the quantity of food that you will be able to serve. Yet, this particular area of planning is easy if you hire a professional chef or a catering team for the job. Please know that if your party is small and on the intimate side, you can opt to hire a private chef for this.

A professional chef or catering team knows how to plan and budget so that you will avoid run-outs. Since you would want quality to be highlighted in your party, in the right hands, you will be able to relax and be mentally present as well, for your guests.

Hiring a professional chef or catering team is one vital way to help ensure your party’s success. But as a host, there are some things that you will still need to participate in along the way.

How then do you create your summer party menu?

1. Base it on your guest list

The warm season is a given, and typically, during warm seasons, people prefer eating light and cold dishes to counter the heat. I say typically because some countries, like China, for example, people prefer eating hot dishes during the summer. They believe that spicy food forces people to sweat, which then helps to expel heat and excess moisture that can cool the body.
But most of the time, people seem to prefer food that is refreshing to the palate. Classic choices are fresh salads, noodles, delicate fish and dishes with hints of citrus. For desserts, you can serve fresh fruits, gelatos, sorbets, and ice cream – basically any cold desserts.

Of course, you’ll need some hearty main dishes, but it’s better to stay in-season as much as possible, especially if your event is taking place outdoors.

Know the percentage of meat eaters vs. Vegetarians or vegans on your guest list.
Some people prefer food that reminds them of tropical beaches, therefore serving seafood is a popular choice.

The end goal is to provide options for everyone, no matter what their dietary preferences are and that they will not leave the party feeling dissatisfied or worse, hurt and offended.

2. Base it on whether the party is indoors or outdoors

After being cooped up in the colder season, when summer comes, people prefer to party outdoors. Either in covered venues or shaded ones that are open to fresh air.
The outdoor-friendly menu usually includes grilled foods, flatbreads and pizza, therefore, consider having chefs handling BBQ grills.

Side dishes would go well with barbecued meats and vegetables. Try some grilled fruits like grilled watermelon for something unexpected.

Ice dissolves faster outdoors so if you are thinking of preparing iced drinks or desserts, make sure you have enough freezer space to accommodate ice. Know a nearby store who sells ice ahead of time where you can get some, in case you run out.

Some food dissolves like crazy in the hot sun like mayonnaise or jello so be mindful of that.

They are excellent for cooler evenings or indoor parties, but keep them off your list if you know it will be sunny.

Heat also means thirsty (and sweaty) guests, so make room for some water bottles in your coolers or bar cart.

3. Base it on the quality of your hired chefs or caterer

Consider planning with your hired chefs or caterer. If you are unsure of what to do from the beginning, they should be able to suggest dishes that not only are appropriate for the weather but dishes that will complement one another. If on the other hand, you already have something in mind, they can help you refine the menu and personalise it accordingly to make it unique and representative of you. They can also guide and tell you which dishes would require much preparation ahead of time and which dishes would be best cooked closest at party time.

As the host, you would want your party to be enjoyable and memorable for the right reasons – that your guests enjoyed your food and maybe got interested in a certain recipe or preparation.
You want to make sure the company you hired is going to bring their A-game and do everything in their power to make your gathering a memorable and enjoyable success.

This is precisely why we established AnytimeChefs! We want to make a difference in the chef agencies hospitality industry by providing a very professional service while attending to the different and the particular needs of each venue we serve.

I am proud to say that we have been successfully providing A-service to our clients since we opened and will continue to do so for our future ones. Having an understanding that each venue is different and may require different talents is important and our service makes sure that those requirements are met… And more!

Enjoy your summer party!

Ciao for now,


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