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How to Make Your Dinner Party Sparkle

With summer now here, there will be more and more opportunities to get together with friends and family. Due to the schedules being less hectic, it’s a good time to get together for more dinner parties. Going to dinner parties gives you the chance to try new dishes and get new recipes under your belt. It’s rare that I leave a dinner party without the thought of, ‘I need to make that dish!”.

When hosting, it’s all about the planning, being prepared for anything you or your guests might need to make the time a success. 

To help create magical evenings, Food Network Chef Michael Smith teamed up with Cascade Platinum to share tips on how to make your dinner party sparkle, while cutting down your clean up time! Want your dinner party to sparkle? Follow these tips from Chef Michael Smith and your guests will be blown away:

How to Make Your Dinner Party Sparkle


1. Spend time to save time. Prep as much as you can in advance – from food to your table. Smart preparation will allow you to spend more time with your guests.

2. Make your guests feel special. Thoughtful details tell your guests they are special. Set the mood with music, place cards, flowers and sparkling dishes and glasses. I use Cascade Platinum in every cycle to make sure everything is ready for a big event.

3. Start with a bang! Do something collectively right away. A group activity subtly reminds everyone “We’re in this together!”

4. Give your guests something fun to do. At some point, engage your guests in an interactive activity, something hands on, that’s not work.

5. Clean as you go. Get the mess out of the way, and load the dishwasher as you prepare dinner. With Cascade Platinum, you don’t need to worry about pre-rinsing – it will clean stuck-on food in one wash.

6. Share the work. Many hands make light work. After the main meal and before dessert, encourage everybody to pitch in with clean up.

7. Grand finale. End the evening with something spectacular, something memorable, or my favourite—something flammable!


Check out Food Network for more tips and recipes from Chef Michael Smith and Cascade Platinum.

Quite honestly, my dishwasher is one item I just can’t do without. Next to washing walls, washing dishes is my most dreaded chore. Not only is it just a pain, my skin disagrees with the job PLUS after a night of entertaining, dishes is the last thing I’d like to do. My game is to start the dishwasher and relax with a glass of wine. Now that’s a successful dinner party!

Do you have any other dinner party tips to share? 


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  1. Do most of your prep work ahead of time and clean as you go to give you more quality time with your guests.

    1. Make every moment special and be as carefree as possible. Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect. Guests appreciate a laid back hostess, and being relaxed will make the event way more fun!

  2. Do as much prep as you can in advance and don’t complicate the meal. You want to be able to enjoy it too!

  3. I love to prepare in advance if possible,prep if needed,have table set early and be sitting with a glass of wine when company arrives and while they enjoy their drink I set the table with food.

  4. get things prepared as early as possible, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from hubby, lol!

  5. have everything prepped and ready before everyone gets there so you can enjoy yourself to

  6. My tips are to prepare as much in advance as possible or go potluck style and ask your guests to bring a main course or dessert.

  7. Clean up as you go and enlist help so that you are not left with a big mess and no time to chat with anyone!

  8. try and prep ahead so can spend time with guests..also make sure things for the young ones, snacks, things to keep them busy

  9. I like to get things prepared a day before a dinner party that way i don’t have be running around the house going crazy getting everything done at the last minute!

  10. Always do a dry run first – you never want to try a new recipe at a dinner party!

  11. I always like to plan ahead and prepare as much as possible so that I can actually enjoy our guests and then I leave them mess up to Cascade! We love their products! Thanks for an awesome prize pack 🙂

  12. Order in! lol! Prepare what you can in advance so it’s just a matter of heating and serving during your party.

  13. Don’t try out a new recipe on your guests, and prepare as much in advance, as possible.

  14. I prepare as much as I can in advance so I can spend more time with my guests. I hate not being able to sit and chat.

  15. Prepare as much as possible in advance. Delegate tasks to other members of the family.

  16. Doing as much as you can the day before, even setting the table can really help. Also setting a reasonable menu, of foods you have made before, is key for me. I try to eliminate as much stress as possible, it’s supposed to be fun!

  17. Organization and preparation are the keys to a successful dinner party, in my opinion. Give yourself more time than you think you will need and do as many tasks as you can before the day. Little touches mean a lot. Welcome your guests as a rest and unhurried hostess.

  18. some of the most successful dinner gatherings are ones that include guests in food preparation (e.g., make your own pizza – provide the base, basic sauce, and choices for toppings). being flexible with what you’re making really helps. thanks

  19. My best tip is to make as much food as you can in advance. That makes it much more relaxing.

  20. I make a list of things to be made and done before the day and schedule them in in the days before – same with making food; set up and end time and work backwards based on how long to cook. Has worked for me for 15 Christmases/Mom’s Days/Easters/Thanskgivings etc.


  21. My tip is to prepare as much as you can ahead of time and to go with tried and true recipes so you aren’t stressed about them turning out right

  22. Prepare as much as possible in advance so that you have more time to spend with your guests 🙂

  23. Prepare before hand so you can actually be with your guests instead of in the kitchen the entire time.

  24. don’t make too many items that require being served hot – it’s stressful to juggle lots of reheating or timing items to finish at the same time when hosting guests

  25. Prepping as much as you can ahead of time takes a lot of the stress out of entertaining guests 🙂

  26. Plan, plan and plan again so you can delegate and not have to worry something won’t get done.

  27. My best tip is to try and get as much as you can prepared beforehand, so you have less stress when everyone arrives. Don’t forget to ask for help if you get overwhelmed, and remember to enjoy your dinner party !!!!!!

  28. I always try to get everything that I can prepared before everyone comes. This way it makes it a lot easier. If you get overwhelmed, ask for help and remember to enjoy your dinner party!

  29. Stay calm and use paper plates LOL Less clean up after so you can enjoy your company and a glass of wine by the fire !

  30. Plan ahead, make as much as you can ahead and make a list. When I have not made a list I have forgotten to put out things I made. Also accept help from your guests if they offer. It can be fun all working together to get everything out to the table and it saves you a lot of steps so you don’t tire out.

  31. Keep it simple, you don’t need to do fancy smanshy. People want the conversation, the food is secondary

  32. Do all the prep ahead of time and make use of slow cookers for potatoes, veg. and meats to keep warm until dinner.

  33. Prep work is key for me for a stress free party. I also tidy along the way so there isn’t a huge disaster to clean at the end of the night.

  34. For me I get all of the prep work done early – I do not like to be fussing with much once the guests arrive, so the table is set, food is prepared as much as possible (and all the clean up from prep already done), drinks are cold, glasses are out etc.

  35. My best tip is to invite a diverse group of people and don’t sweat the small stuff.

  36. For the best dinner party plan lots of make ahead dishes so you can enjoy as much as the company does.

  37. I always prep ahead and try not to make dishes that require me to be in the kitchen a lot.

  38. Create most of the dishes ahead of time so you aren’t struggling while your guests are there

  39. Spread your house cleaning out over the week before your guests arrive so that you don’t exhaust yourself.

  40. I like to have as much food prepared before hand and ready to go so I can spend time visiting, not cooking. I also like to find out allergies before hand to avoid any problems (as a shellfish allergy sufferer I know how hard it is to eat when there is stuff that can kill ya :))

  41. Don’t try a new recipe for the first time and ask your guests if they have any special dietary requirements 🙂

  42. Prep the night before if you can, especially things like dessert. And enlist help with cleaning the place – you don’t have to do it all by yourself.

  43. My tip is to prep as much as you can the night before. Having to rush around during a party is the worst.

  44. Make a list to do ahead of time. Also, freeze some of the appies.
    Clean up as you go. Remember to have fun.

  45. Try to prep as much as you can ahead of time so you can sit back and enjoy your guests!

  46. I like to have things prepared ahead of time if I know the event takes place the next day. Such as fruit and sandwiches depending on what kind. I also like to have a place for garbage so it’s not all around the house. To clean as I go so there’s no a ton to do layer on. My dishwasher is my best friend when I have gatherings with friends and family. Dishes are not my favorite but it helps when you know they will be clean with Cascade Platinum.

  47. I find the clean as you go works very well. Great tips you posted though. I love them all.

  48. Spend some time preparing things ahead of time. Such as chop veg and have ready or make something like lasagna where you can make ahead of time.

  49. Plan everything ahead of time and have everything ready when your guests arrive. Try to accommodate everyone’s special needs.

  50. Food prep ahead of time, and cleaning as I go along so there’s not an accumulation of clutter while cooking/entertaining….

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