Breaking Bread: 5 Brilliant Reasons To Host Dinner Parties
- David Chang
You could cut the tension with a butter knife.
or, more accurately.
We were cutting tomatoes with a butter knife.
So, as tomato juice sprayed across white walls, I locked eyes with Greg. He nodded. We were thinking the same thing.
Why did we throw this dinner party?
Who bought this tomato?
And, if our shirts were covered in red stains, could we still ask Greg’s proctor for a sharper knife?
But, there was no time for musings. Our first guest had arrived.
Three hours later, Greg and I returned to the kitchen to wash that dull knife. Our salad had not been a crowd favorite. The walls had faded to a light salmon. And one guest had labeled our pasta a “valiant attempt”. But, we were happy.
Our first dinner was a success.
For the past semester, Gregory Foster and I hosted a biweekly dinner: Breaking B(re)ad. We began these dinners as a simple way to see friends. But, as we’ve hosted more, they’ve grown into a tradition that’s defined our sophomore year.
This wasn’t a coincidence. As we learned, dinner parties are a unique setting for connecting. The combination of good food and good friends is surprisingly intimate. So, as people talk, great conversations grow.
As host, you make this happen. This takes work, sure. But, the benefits far exceed the cost. You create a community you care about. And you eat great food in the process.
Need more convincing?
5 brilliant reasons to host dinner parties.
See People You Love
No doubt about it, this is the reason to throw dinner parties. Dinner parties are small (generally 6 -15), so you can’t invite everyone. But, the people you do invite matter. Invite your closest friends (And your newest friend crushes.). When you host an event you choose who to see.
Connect on a personal level
Remember your last dance party. Do you remember a conversation you had? Yeah. Me neither. Most social events in college focus on dancing, drinking, or hooking-up. Dinner parties, on the other hand, emphasize long conversation.
Both are fun. And both have their place in college. But, if your social life leans towards the former, host a dinner party. You’ll be surprised at the type of connections you make. ‘’
Grow Tradition In Your Life
Many of us lack regularity in our lives. College is a time of transition. So, there are fewer consistent moments for loved ones to come together.
You have to make these opportunities. A regular dinner - whether once a month or once every two weeks - creates this space.
Improve Your Culinary Skills
Think cookings not important? Think again. In a 2010 study, researchers showed that cooking skill is strongly correlated with health. As young-adults became better chefs, their day-to-day diet improved.
But, cooking isn’t just for your health. It’s an important life skill.The better the chef you are, the better the food you eat. As well, the more friends will want to attend dinner.
So, how can you improve? Practice. Holding a dinner party pushes you to try new things. As you prepare for new people, you’ll attempt different cooking styles. Hold a regular dinner party. Then watch your culinary skills improve.
Connect Your Friends
Think of your friends. Now, think of friends who don’t know each other, but should. Have you ever thought “Person A and Person B should meet. But, how?”. Dinner parties are a great way to bring friends together. With minimal effort, you can connect the different circles in your life.
Super connectors do this. As Forbes reported in 2013, one-on-one connections are important. But, the best connectors bring people together in groups. As you bring more people together, the number of possible interactions grows.
So, you like the idea. You want to cook. And, you want to see friends. But, when should you begin?
Your dinner party will not be perfect. But, as you do it more, you’ll find it easier (and more fun) to hold.
Start your tradition now. Hold your first dinner party. And please. Please. Do send me an invite.