Late Summer French Appetizer Party

Late summer is the perfect time for French-inspired eating. Gather friends for a shared appetizers-as-dinner get-together. A perfect excuse is a celebration of Julia Child's birthday, August 15. You can watch the movie Julie & Julia or enjoy some trivia games. There will be plenty of laughter—life's best medicine—and good food!

Plan and Work Ahead

  • Issue French- or cooking-inspired online invites with a link to the recipe each guest will prepare.

  • Or, gather friends for coffee or over lunch at work. Divide the recipes among you.

  • Find more French-inspired appetizers and other recipes giving you entertaining inspiration no matter the season.

  • Remind guests bringing appetizers to have preparation completed as much possible before they arrive. Note ahead if refrigerator, oven or counter space will be needed.

Serve Buffet Style

  • Mix-and-match neutral dinnerware and linens since people are bringing appetizers or desserts on their own serving plates. An arrangement of pots of herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme makes a fun neutral centerpiece. Or use sunflowers just like in a Claude Monet painting!

  • For a buffet, all the food is set out in one place and guests take a plate and help themselves.

  • Set up a drinks table outside the kitchen. Keep it simple.

Party Fun & Games

  • Watch the recent movie Julie & Julia or selections of the original TV series The French Chef with Julia Child, now on DVD, with your friends.

  • Everybody likes trivia. Search the Internet using search words ‘Julia Child’ and ‘trivia’ for plenty of help putting your own game together.

  • Who of your friends can do the best Julia Child impersonation à la Dan Aykroyd? Who can tell the most entertaining story of their own experience preparing one of Julia’s recipes? Award prizes of a cooking gadget like a whisk.

  • Use this appetizer menu when your book group reads one or both of the books that inspired the movie: Julie Powell’s Julie & Julia or Julia Child’s My Life in France written with her nephew Alex Prud'homme.

  • Or, once ‘Julia fever’ has calmed down, treat your friends to an all-things-French gathering while discussing books like Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française or Sara Houghteling’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

  • Watch a movie together, like one based on a book by the French writer Colette, such as the recent Chéri or the classic Gigi.


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