Thursday, October 22, 2009

Throw the Perfect Holiday Party with The Entertaining Encyclopedia

Entertaining friends and family is one of the best gifts you can give them; parties are the stuff of memories, and far more valuable than anything you can buy. And one of the best gifts you can give yourself is to learn how to enjoy your own parties, making them more fun for everyone. With THE ENTERTAINING ENCYCLOPEDIA: ESSENTIAL TIPS AND RECIPES FOR PERFECT PARTIES (Robert Rose; October 2009; Softcover/$24.95; ISBN: 978-0-7788-0219-8), author Denise Vivaldo has provided 200 of her carefully tested recipes and hundreds of time-proven party ideas and tips, making this book THE go-to guide for entertaining.

As a seasoned food professional, Denise has been serving up her own unique brand of food and fun to celebrities and dignitaries through her company, Food Fanatics, a catering, recipe-development, and food-styling firm she founded in Los Angeles in 1988. THE ENTERTAINING ENCYCLOPEDIA is filled with her can’t-miss tips, techniques and recipes that ensure the success of any event that anyone can host, any time. Denise has included all the ideas, menus, and recipes to create a cozy movie night or to host an exotic dinner party featuring foods from around the world.

“I’ve spent much of my career as a professional caterer, handling everything from celebrity dinner parties to over-the-top weddings, to the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball — hey, I do live and work in Los Angeles! But when I’m not working, there’s nothing I enjoy more than entertaining friends and family,” Denise says. “My professional experiences developing recipes, creating innovative menus, and styling food for print and television have been instructive, to say the least. Over the years, I’ve discovered hundreds of ways to make parties delicious, beautiful, and memorable — yet totally doable.”

In her book, Denise covers every element of party planning from choosing a theme, creating the invitations, decorating, preparing and serving the food, and selecting the music. Denise has even taken the guesswork out of menu planning. She has grouped recipes in unique and fun menu themes such as:
§ Italian Pasta Party
§ Barcelona Bash
§ Turkish Twilight
§ Afternoon Tea
§ Super Bowl Party
§ African Ivory Coast
§ Kid’s Treasure Hunt
§ Oscar Night
§ Chinese Banquet
§ Girls’ Night In
§ Backyard Campout

Some of Denise’s tried and true recipes include:
§ White Bean Rosemary Dip with French Baguette
§ Chicken Eggplant Rollups
§ Coconut Shrimp with Mango Salsa
§ Ginger Shrimp Pot Stickers with Hot Mustard Dipping Sauce
§ Cauliflower Linguini
§ Quick Fried Chicken with Peach Salsa
§ Roasted Wild Salmon
§ Spiced Lamb Kebabs
§ Campfire-Roasted Hot Dogs and Sausages on a Stick
§ White Chocolate Ricotta Tart
§ S’Mores and More
§ Rustic Apple Pie
§ Lemon Cumin Cookies
§ Death by Chocolate Cookies

Denise also shares her entertaining secrets and tips such as: Getting the House Party-Ready, Do-It-Yourself Flower Arranging, Getting Ready to Cook, Plating and Serving, and Stocking the Bar: Beyond Liquor and Ice. Denise even provides advice on how to gracefully usher out guests who have overstayed their welcome.

Just in time for the holidays — THE ENTERTAINING ENCYCLOPEDIA has everything needed to put together any party or event and enjoy the process.

About the Author

Food and entertaining expert-extraordinaire, Denise Vivaldo, has been teaching all things culinary to enthusiastic audiences for more than twenty years. Denise has created and catered more than 10,000 parties and served guests such as Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, Prince Charles, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Bette Midler, Cher, and Aaron Spelling. She began her culinary training at the Ritz Escoffier and La Varenne in Paris, and then graduated Chef de Cuisine from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Denise spent numerous years as a professor at UCLA’s Culinary Program and at her alma mater, The California Culinary Academy. Denise and Food Fanatics has catered events for the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball, Sunset Magazine’s Taste of Sunset, and Hollywood wrap parties. She has also served as the food stylist for countless local and nationally syndicated television shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NapaStyle with Michael Chiarello, and Inside Dish with Rachel Ray. Denise has been a featured guest on television shows such as Good Day LA, ABC Morning News, The Food Network, Home & Garden Network, TV Guide Channel, and Lifetime TV. Denise teaches catering and food styling seminars and workshops across the country and internationally. She is the author several best-selling books such as: How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business, which has sold more than 150,000 copies and is in its 5th printing, How to Start a Home-Based Personal Chef Business, Do It For Less! Parties, and the 2009 IACP Cookbook Award winner, Do It For Less! Weddings. She is currently working on The Food Styling Handbook, a book based on her decades of wide-ranging food styling experience. To learn more about Denise, visit

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