New Year’s Eve ideas from the chef

How does a chef plan a New Year’s Eve party? It depends on the individual, of course, but here’s what Certified Angus Beef ® brand Chef Scott Popovic had to tell us about his upcoming holiday celebration.

Q: What three things should be on every New Year’s Eve party food table?
A: Great beef, something refreshing and light (think fresh vegetables, fruits or even a cold soup), and for interest, many different flavors (Thai, American, Japanese). Make it a worldly affair.

Q: Do you prefer appetizers, tapas-style meals or a full on dinner?
A: I love to pick. New Year’s Eve parties typically last for hours and since it’s going to be a long night, appetizers are a must for me.

Q: Can you recommend a couple of recipes that could be prepared for the big night and/or made ahead and served during the party?
A: Holiday Sliders, Thai Spring Rolls and Loaded Potato Skins

Q: Can you suggest any additional dishes or accompaniments for the recipes you suggested?
A: I like meat and cheese plates, couscous, and a variety of sauces and spreads for different styles of crackers.

Q: Is it the decorations? Lighting? Music? In addition to great food, what makes for a successful party in your estimation?
A: To me it’s all about the people — and that includes you. Try to make it easy on yourself. I do everything the day before so it goes smoothly. I go as far as setting up tables, selecting the right music and even decorating. Get that stuff out of the way so you can enjoy the party. I’m all about spending the time with my guests.

Q: And lastly, how do you celebrate New Year’s Eve?
A: To be honest, this year my wife and I are just going to chill at home, by ourselves.

And even if it’s a party of two, you can bet the couple’s kitchen will yield some tasty vittles on New Year’s Eve. Chef Scott’s wife, Angela, is a pastry chef!


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Jennifer Kiko

Jennifer lives on a rural route with her husband, kids, horses, cows and faithful Labs, Cash and Carter. She's an aspiring foodie and enjoys making good food for great friends. She lives next door to a winery, plays the piano, and admits to growing too many tomatoes.

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