My Dinner Party: Drew Elliott
You'll want to score an invite to the Thanksgiving soirée prepared by 'Paper' magazine's chief creative officer.
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Since he's the chief creative officer for Paper magazine (this is the guy responsible helping Kim Kardashian's backside #BreakTheInternet last year), we wouldn't expect anything less than, um, creative from a Drew Elliott-hosted dinner party. In addition to his innovative day job, Elliott is also known for his presence on the New York nightlife scene, hosting a popular Saturday night party in Manhattan each week. But he's just as happy to host guests inside his home, too. That's why we asked Elliott to give us a preview of the upcoming Friendsgiving party he's planning to host this week. One of his favorite tips on hosting a dinner party is to help guests leave with leftovers. "I always buy those Chinese-style to-go boxes so they're at the ready," he says. "There's nothing worse on the diet than having leftovers around—and no one wants to return Tupperware." Check out Elliott's other must-haves for a successful Thanksgiving dinner party below.
On The Menu
"I'm from the Midwest so I like to do things traditionally, of course with a spin. This year I will host Friendsgiving, and given that I live in New York City, people have a variety of food restrictions. I am a vegetarian, so I know all of this too well. So we will have a little something for everyone. The menu will include turkey, stuffing—with a vegetarian option available, and sweet potato mash—which is a crowd pleaser. I'll also have white dinner rolls—I know they're not healthy, but they are such a treat!"
What We're Drinking
"I am a teetotaler, but I like my guests to have fun! It's all about a fully stocked bar that is accessible to guests. All of the ingredients will be found at a DIY bar and you can knock yourself out—responsibly of course. I'm seeing that people are liking the brown spirits, specifically as we move into the winter months, so that will be the feature. A bottle of bubbly is always tucked away and chilling just in case we need a toast!"
"It's all about the buffet for Thanksgiving. I always plan the buffet look and feel first. Different vintage and antique platters and bowls will be used. I'll play with heights; it makes it easier for guests to serve themselves and, presentationally, it's much more exciting. I'll mix in flowers, gourds, and branches. It's also very important to make sure you tell people what is in each dish. I'm going to use old notecards to make it look like Granny’s recipes so everyone knows exactly what they can and cannot eat. This year will be relaxed; we aren't doing a formal dinner table. I'll have four seating sections, where people can sit and hang out, ranging from a small formal table to a more intimate section for two. Maybe we can make some love connections."
The Guest List
"The guest list will be eclectic. From 60-year-olds to 20-year-olds. Most of my guests don’t know each other, so that will be part of the fun! Friendsgiving is great because not only are you having a traditional American holiday meal, but you are also going to meet some people you have never met before. I have even invited a few strangers who are not able to make it to their hometowns, so I will meet some new people as well."
What We're Listening To
"The soundtrack is critical. I build these year-round, and I suggest that everyone do this as well. I constantly have people over, so I like to have a variety of playlists on hand: dinner music, jazz classics, the hits, and nostalgia—think Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac. I like to build these in Spotify and when I come across a song that would fit in, pop it into a playlist. It will save you some time afterwards."