Book Reviews

Book Review: The Entertaining Encyclopedia.

Hard economic times prevent many of us from hosting parties in hotels or restaurants. People who are lucky enough to live in large homes or apartments or enjoy the use of large backyards organize and host parties saving substantial amounts of funds.

Yet, in order to “throw” a party, regardless of size, you must know how to cook to please a large number of people, or choose an appropriate alternative, consider dietary restrictions, create a pleasant atmosphere, choose the appropriate music, invite compatible people, buy alcoholic beverages, and determine appropriate quantities of ice, decide on flower arrangements, and rent dishes and other equipment if you don’t own sufficient quantities.

The chores seem endless, but the reward can be extremely gratifying. This is where The Entertaining Encyclopaedia comes in.

The author, an caterer, has created a very useful book for all who like to organize parties and entertain their friends, family or business associates.

Young people wanting to start catering companies would also benefit from the contents of this valuable book.

She starts with a chapter on essential party elements and themes, then continues to discuss a variety of appropriate venues, décor, china, centrepieces, flowers, and follows up with choosing guests, seating arrangements, or for buffets or receptions.

Chapter three outlines food preparation possibilities from buying ready-to-serve from a restaurant, to hiring a caterer to look after everything including service, bartending, and clean up, to what the host must do to put everything together with starting the idea, to the menu, to determine quantities of food and beverage to buy, what can be prepared in advance, and everything else that must be addressed.

The most extensive part of this monumental book deals with specially selected recipes that anyone with a little knowledge and inertest in cooking can accomplish. Each recipe contains practical tips to ensure success.

Richly illustrated with colour pictures, this is a book for all who like to entertain, brides planning their wedding banquets and/or reception, backyard party organizers, young cooks considering starting a catering business, restaurateurs thinking of starting a catering branch and entrepreneurs looking for business opportunities.

This is an excellent, thoughtfully, and professionally conceived book that deserves a place on any public or home library.

Highly recommended.

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