From a rising food star, a toast to the art of the dinner party
Hosting a dinner party is a special kind of occasion. You welcome old and new friends into your home and gather around the table. You put out platters of food prepared just for that table of people, passing them around until everyone’s had their fill. This sense of sharing and togetherness feeds more than just bellies. It is what helps us stay connected, form new relationships, and build lasting bonds with our chosen families. During socially distanced times, the perfect dinner party might have felt like a lost art, but in For the Table, up-and-coming food writer Anna Stockwell provides all the tools needed for bringing back the ritual of hosting memorable yet modern dinner parties.
Stockwell has written a cookbook for a new way of entertaining that’s simpler, better, healthier, and more fun. Organized by season and full of helpful hosting advice, Stockwell provides accessible and modern menus; each is built around two large platters to pass around the table and includes suggestions for no-recipe side dishes. Dinner parties don't have to be formal or fussy, or even a lot of work, to be celebratory and gratifying. This book teaches you how to plan and prepare great-tasting and impressive-looking menus that are easy to pull off, as well as offers expert advice on toasts, prep-ahead strategies, and tips on handling guest lists and dietary restrictions. With its mix of innovative food presentation and old-fashioned, homestyle technique, For the Table is a testament to the art of the dinner party and looks forward to the festive dinner gatherings of the future.
About the Author
Anna Stockwell is a food stylist and editor who most recently was a senior food editor for Epicurious and Bon Appétit. While at Epicurious, Stockwell hosted a popular weekly Instagram story called “ At Home With Anna.” She has also worked at Saveur and has experience cooking in the test kitchens for Every Day With Rachael Ray and Real Simple. Stockwell holds a degree in classic culinary arts from the International Culinary Center, and her video series “No Recipe Required” was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2017. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.
“Anna Stockwell’s dishes are just the type of food I want to serve to friends—or have them serve to me. Flipping through the book, I feel as though I’m at the best dinner party ever. It’s one uncompromisingly chic book that I’ll be turning to again and again to impress everyone I know.”
— Ben Mims
“Anna has an intuitive sense of how to create simple food that looks and tastes anything but. This book might just be what brings back my entertaining spark.”
— Christopher Morocco
“Anna Stockwell’s For the Table is a cookbook actually designed for feeding a crowd, with full menus all planned out from apps to dessert and consideration for a range of dietary needs. I flagged the vibrant green-and-red spinach and ricotta dumplings in a Calabrian chile-tomato sauce to make ASAP. It’s impeccably organized and delightful, just like Anna.”
— Alex Beggs
“In the dinner party Olympics, Anna Stockwell takes the gold—and this is her training manual. Here, she shows us how to host with style, with grace, and without stress. It starts with snacks, of course (potato chips served alongside ice-cold cherries!). And it always, always finishes with dessert (“very wiggly” yogurt panna cotta). And in-between those two things is the core of Anna’s approach: a two-platter technique that gets an impressive dinner on the table, yet also allows a host to do all the other little things that make an evening matter. Like lighting candles. Or writing name cards. . . . In this way, For the Table isn’t just a collection of recipes—it’s a full-blown dinner party philosophy, a blueprint to using food as a way to connect. If we follow it, not only will our parties be stronger, our relationships will, too.”
— David Tamarkin
“Anna Stockwell is the most natural-born host—both in real life and on the page. Her recipes sing with flavor, her table sparkles with candlelight, and wherever she is, there follows laughter and joy. For the Table is the no-nonsense guide to entertaining for everyone who wishes to have more fun and eat better while hosting family and friends.”
— Sarah Copeland