As gourmands well know, food and love are inextricably intertwined; and, says Rosengarten, dinner parties enhance that connection. Such events involve a great deal of work for the host, but Rosengarten has gone to great lengths to think of, and address, every detail of 16 themed fêtes representing a variety of cuisines and settings, from "It's Tapas Time" to "Zydeco Thanksgiving." Rosengarten honed his skills during his seven-year stint on Food Network's Taste
show, and he has authored several cookbooks, including The Dean and Deluca Cookbook
. Here he combines creative yet doable recipes with clever decorating suggestions and tips for entertainment and beverages. For each party, he focuses on "The Ingredient": the one, perfect food that will make the party authentic and, well, fabulous. Rosengarten's knowledge of food esoterica is broad and impressive; a discourse on Spanish ham, for example, is detailed and fascinating. The author's enthusiasm for entertaining is evident in both the specificity and care taken with each party plan, and the exuberant asides that make readers feel like cooking compatriots ("One taste of the old-fashioned antipasto salad... laden with crunchy hearts of iceberg lettuce, and you'll likely say—as I've been known to— 'Exactly what is so great about radicchio?' "). Photos. (Oct. 18)
Wiley is hoping to score holiday sales, supporting the book with a 20-city radio tour and national ads.