Leo Schofield on entertaining

Vogue Living Australia’s January/February 2011 issue features an interview with Leo Schofield, described variously as a food critic, patron of the arts, “writer and arts personality”. His tips on the  ideal dinner party atmosphere, and ways to steer a conversation, follow.

“I like my guests to feel a positive sense of enjoyment, and a rewarding stimulation of the grey matter and the palate. I like a sense of occasion, and I want people to have fun.”

“Margaret Fink once said that the two essential ingredients for a good party are French champagne and famous people.”

[The secret ingredient is] “Laughter! Handsome accoutrement is one thing but chemistry at the table is more of a priority. I don’t have rules but I follow a practised method of avoiding touchy subjects, gently redirecting chat. There is no formula – it’s not like making mayonnaise. It’s just about being sensitive to the comfort of your guests.”

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Leo Schofield on entertaining