The place: The Armani Hotel Dubai. Located in the famed Burj
Katie Lee HamptonsKatie Lee: How to Throw a Hamptons Party
By Hilary Sheinbaum
Katie Lee knows her way around the kitchen. Fittingly so, as she’s one star of the Food Network show “The Kitchen.”
On Saturday July 12, Katie will co-host Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, which is part of Dan’s Taste of Summer, at Sayre Park in Bridgehampton (156 Snake Hollow Road). Here, attendees can taste the best from restaurants on the North and South Forks.
When Katie isn’t hosting events or TV shows, she’s hosting parties of her own (in the Hamptons, of course)!
In an exclusive interview, she told us everything we need to throw a super summertime soiree.
Galavante: What things are essential to hosting a party in the Hamptons?
Food. Decide on a menu that is easy to execute. There’s such amazing produce in the Hamptons and everything is so fresh you don’t have to do a lot to it. Create a menu that features the fresh ingredients available.
Ambiance. Votive candles are always great to add ambiance to your party. I like the LED kind that you can just turn on. Decorate with wild flowers from nearby farm stands or add some sand from the beach to fill your votives. I also love the seashell store in Sag Harbor where you can buy starfish and beautiful shells to decorate your table with.
People. Make sure your guest list features a nice variety of people, that way everyone will enjoy getting to know each other.
Alcohol. Rosé is a summer party essential. Make sure you have plenty! It’s also fun to have a signature cocktail; a pitcher drink is easy. I like to make a Watermelon Rum Punch or pitcher of Pink Grapefruit Margaritas.
Music. Create a fun playlist on your iPod or use Spotify/Pandora for an appropriate musical channel while you’re eating. Remember to play the music at an appropriate level so no one has to shout during dinner.
Galavante: What is your staple Hampton's Party recipe?
Katie Lee: I like to prepare a large piece of fish such as a salmon, halibut, or sea bass. I’ll serve it with a side of tomato relish, which is bright and flavorful – it tastes like summer! I usually do a buffet so people can take as much or as little as they’d like. Another dish I always serve are my Deviled Eggs, which I always have for cocktail hour.
Galavante: Where are your favorite places to food shop in the Hamptons?
Katie Lee: I buy a lot of produce from the Green Thumb. For seafood, I like The Seafood Shop in Wainscott, and North Sea Farms for chicken.
Galavante: How about favorite place to shop for party decor in the Hamptons?
Katie Lee: I usually go to a nearby farm stand to buy flowers or the seashell shop in Sag Harbor.
Galavante: How big is your guest list, generally?
Katie Lee: Usually 10-12 people for dinner.
Galavante: What is the biggest difference between planning a day party and a night party?
Katie Lee: During the day, you need to think of temperature and have plenty of shade for people. You don’t want to have people over for lunch and not have shade while people are eating. As for the evening, I’ve been to parties where it seems people have forgotten that it gets really dark and you can’t see anything or anyone. Lights are important! So, when I have nighttime parties, I like to go to Kmart in Bridgehampton and buy tiki torches or hang Christmas lights.
Galavante: What are your favorite hostess gifts to give and receive?
Katie Lee: For both, I like things are useful, but not intended for the night of the party. I like to make them a basket of fresh vegetables and fruits, or I’ll pick up some Tate’s cookies, or maybe I’ll make some homemade granola, or bring coffee so they can enjoy the next morning. If you bring someone flowers, make sure they're already in a vase so the host doesn't have to stop and find something to put them in.
Galavante: What is the best summer cocktail to make for guests?
Katie Lee: I love to make a Peach Fizz and use fresh summer peaches when they’re in season. (Yields about 5 ½ CUPS / 4 servings. Prep time: 8 minutes.)
· 6 fresh peaches (about 2 pounds), peeled and roughly chopped (about 5 cups)
· One 6-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
· ¼ cup gin
· ½ cup ice
· Fresh mint sprigs
1. Combine peaches, lemonade, gin, and ice in a blender. Make in batches if necessary.
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour into cocktail glasses and garnish with mint sprigs.
Galavante: For three meals to eat in the Hamptons – breakfast, lunch, dinner – where should someone go and what should they order there?
Katie Lee: For Breakfast, Go to the Round Swamp to buy some of their muffins and take them to the beach or sit on a bench right in town and people watch. All of their baked goods are really incredible.
For Lunch, Go to Tutto Il Giorno in Sag Harbor and you should order the Chicken Milanese. I love it there because you can take a walk by the boats and sit outside on their beautiful patio admiring the harbor.
For Dinner, Dave’s Grill in Montauk ,and have the Cioppino. The seafood is incredibly fresh and it feels like you’re on vacation, plus the staff is great!