Ted & Amy Supper Club, run by Kara Masi. She has hosted several hundred guests at various locations in Brooklyn, cooking sophisticated menus with and without the help of local chefs, purveyors, and her friends. There is a suggested donation for every meal, and people can reserve spots online. Nearly every dinner sells out, a testament to her dinner party prowess. Masi is a wealth of information and inspiration when it comes to entertaining (you can find more tips here), as you'll see in today's Q&A. Thanks, Kara!
1. Name, occupation, and city
Kara Masi, digital strategist for non-profits by day/host of Ted & Amy Supper Club by night, Brooklyn
2. When was the last time you threw a dinner party, and who was invited?
Last Friday night and it was an open invitation via my Web site
3. What is the best menu you've ever made for company?
Last year, my best friend (who is from Portugal) and I made a fabulous traditional Portuguese feast with plenty of homemade chouriço, fava bean soup, cataplana-cooked clams, free flowing Port and a hint of classic fado in the background. It was the perfect blend of a good, not overly fussy menu with really wonderful company.
4. What's your preference: wine, beer, cocktails?
5. What's your favorite dinner party soundtrack?I'm addicted to a Pandora station mix I have of Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, DeVotchka, Three Dog Night, Mumford & Sons, Nouvelle Vague, Sharon Jones, Bob Marley and the Band. It's a little bit of an odd mix, but it works! (You can find the playlist online here.)
6. Some friends are coming over for a last-minute dinner. What do you make?
Mussels--it's my go-to entertaining dish. So affordable and easy, but impressive. And my neighborhood fish market, Provisions, always has a fresh batch in stock.
7. Do you usually cook everything yourself, or do you have help?
I bring in my friends as well as guests chefs to cook with me at the supper club. I love sharing the kitchen and seeing how someone else uses the space, or takes my ingredients and does something I would have never thought of doing. I've learned a lot from these people!
8. Do you ever buy store-bought food, or is everything on your table made from scratch?
I take smart shortcuts. Also, some of my friends make and sell artisanal products. I love being able to purchase their treats, support their businesses, and introduce my guests to amazing local finds.
9. What do you like to serve for dessert?
I bought a whole bunch of ramekins a few years ago, and since then I've been really into panna cottas, flans, creme brulees, mini cheesecakes. After a long meal, I love to be able to bring out a beautiful looking dessert, all pre-cooked and ready to serve, no slicing or portioning needed.
10. If you could invite anyone over for dinner (living or dead), who would it be?
I'd love to have over some of the big current thinkers on food policy--Marion Nestle, Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, Michele Simon, Paula Crossfield...
[Photo credit: Melissa Sands]