- Series: Williams-Sonoma Entertaining
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Oxmoor House; Gift edition (October 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0848727819
- ISBN-13: 978-0848727819
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.2 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Williams-Sonoma Entertaining: Inspired menus for cooking with family and friends Hardcover – October 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
I believe a strength of this book is the instructions which feel more like suggestions which you just fall into and you do and they make the entire evening a success. There may well be other books that do this but I would say that this book is moving to the head of my class of my over 60 cook books.
The recipes are terrific but more importantly, the book includes table settings and ideas for party favors and gifts for your guests. It's a beautifully photographed and thoughtfully written book with a wealth of great ideas about how to entertain. It has something for both the novice and seasoned party giver. Buy it, read it, and throw a dinner party--that's my advice! Then you can bask in the glow of your guests' admiration.
First, it is organized by menus. If you are going to cook one of their 5 or 6 course meals you are in luck. But if you are searching for, say, appetizers you are not.
And second, and much worse, almost every recipe ends with the words "serve at once" which to me are the recipes I do NOT want choose to entertain. It seems that the people that wrote this cookbook quickly forgot that they were compiling recipes for entertaining. They just want to put stuff that tastes good and will impress your friends with no regard to the logistics of the preparation. Occasionally, they will get back on theme and include a sensible recipe but for the most part these recipes require a lot of time in the kitchen during the party. I can't imagine picking one of their "menus!" You would be MIA in the kitchen for the whole party!
As for their "Work Plan[s]" that other reviewers herald, they completely support my argument that you will be busy in the kitchen during the event. Here's a quote from one of their work plans on what to do "Just Before Serving." "Grill the corn, potatoes, chicken and ribs, put together the slaw, Assemble the corn and potato salads." Are you kidding?!!?!? And that's nothing compared to this one... Just before serving, you are supposed to "warm the stuffed dates, reheat and finish the soup, make the galette and vegetables, sear the duck and make the sauce, assemble the salad and cheese course, and bake the cakes." It really says that! If I was doing all of that during a dinner party I wouldn't have any friends left afterwards.Read more ›
Menu Holders. Did I just write "Cork Menu Holders"?? That's SO Williams Sonoma. But I love W.S. The unstated advantage of actually making things like "CMUs" is that you will have to drink several bottles of wine (one for each guest's menu holder) to get the required number of corks. Nothing wrong with that now is there? The recipes are good too. Confession: I bought this book (used of course) for the pretty pictures and the chance to enjoy planning an event that will exist only in my imagination. Although, I might just surprise some friends and family with the CMU dinner just to see their reactions. I'll keep a camera handy.
In fact, if given a choice, I would choose this 2004 Entertaining book by Chuck Williams over the more recent one called EASY ENTERTAINING.
The reason I say this is because, as stated above, the ideas in this 2004 book are timeless and will not go out of style in the near future. Also, the photos are absolutely inspiring, as are the ideas on table-settings, flower arranging, and theme planning.
A novice cook may find some of the recipes in this 2004 Entertaining book a bit overwhelming, but I would suggest that for the novice, they choose some of the more elaborate recipes from this 2004 Williams Sonoma Entertaining cookbook, and then possibly substitute them with other less elaborate recipes of their choice (eg: there are 100's of easy Williams Sonoma cookbooks available for the novice cook, as I own many that I find extremely valuable).
I would still keep the actual ideas intact from this 2004 coobook, though, (eg: the flower arranging, & color combos) since those ideas could be incorporated, even in a novice's entertaining repertoire.
For the more experienced cook, the recipes will inspire,though.
I also liked the courses that Chuck Williams chose for some of the themes in this cookbook. Yes, some are intricate for sure, but if a person wants to show off their cooking talents, then the recipes in this 2004 book will inspire & satisfy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like these books from Williams- Sonoma. They are more geared toward recipes than entertaining ideas. I still enjoy them.Published 18 months ago by T & P
My husband and I enjoy throwing dinner parties so this was a perfect cookbook for us. The book is divided into seasons with themed parties (ie. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Vu Nguyen
Very nice book. I bought two! One for me and one for my daughter!Published 24 months ago by Maggie May
This edition is another great one. Has everything from simple touches to make things nice - to some lavish ways to make a big impact meal. Read morePublished on August 4, 2013 by cbaker
Do read this a few weeks before a party or special event. Don't read it two hours before you expecting guests. I like the design sensibilities shown here as well as the recipes.Published on May 10, 2013 by Catherine
I love shopping at Williams-Sonoma for kitchen equipment, specialized ingredients, and to get new ideas. Read morePublished on January 20, 2012 by Bryan J. Bowers
I was hesitant to purchase this book, even with the great reviews. But when I recieved this book and read it, all of my fears were put to rest. Read morePublished on October 30, 2009 by Nik
I first picked up this volume as an engagement gift to a young couple, but then bought one for myself - this book speaks both to the novice and to the hostess with the mostest. Read morePublished on October 15, 2009 by Tina Morris