David Tutera, Author, Charles Maring, Photographer, Jennifer Maring, Photographer . Bulfinch $29.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8212-6165-1

Tutera has honed his party-throwing skills with books on the subject and with his new Discovery Channel show The Party Planner with David Tutera . This book, based on the show and loaded with photos of Tutera smiling as he decorates a cupcake or toasts a marshmallow, covers cocktail parties, dinner parties, holiday entertaining and special occasions, showing two examples of each that Tutera has thrown for his clients. In every case study, Tutera concentrates on engaging each of the senses, with thematic decor, scent (from flowers and candles to aromas from the kitchen), tabletop displays, food and music. For example, for a party to celebrate a couple's new boat, Tutera planned a cocktail party on a dock, with striped beach towel blankets (he includes instructions for making them), mini-burgers on the grill, salty fries, bite-size lobster rolls, summery drinks and a playlist loaded with Beach Boys tunes. Each of the book's sections offers tips, though some are quite vague (e.g., Tutera suggests garnishing a Snowy Cosmopolitan with a snowflake-shaped apple slice but gives no instructions for doing so). And the author's role as party planner to the stars (clients include Jennifer Lopez, Elton John and Star Jones) may account for the extravagant tabletop decorations, which may not appeal to everyone (or their budget). Still, the book can provide inspiration for parties at any level. 210 color photos. Agent, Frederica Friedman. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/11/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
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