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Snack Chat with Nathan Turner

My friend, talented designer and Entertaining expert extraordinaire, Nathan Turner recently debuted a brand new show! For those of you who miss watching Nathan on Million Dollar Decorators, you’ll want to subscribe to his new series, Snack Chat on The Design Network. Nathan chats about entertaining and shares delicious recipes as he spends time in the kitchen with some of his friends, including Mary McDonald, Jeffrey Alan Marks, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, and Estee Stanley among others. Nathan and I recently chatted about the impetus for Snack Chat as well as some of his tried and true tips for effortless entertaining. Enjoy!

{Nathan on an Episode of Snack Chat with Mary McDonald}

Paloma Contreras: What inspired the concept of Snack Chat?
Nathan Turner: The Design Network approached me about doing a chat show where I talked with other designers and tastemakers, which I thought was a fun idea. I wanted to put my own spin on it, and since I love to cook, I thought what if we chat while cooking, and Snack Chat was born.

PC: You have a passion for entertaining and are the consummate host. What defines a good party?
NT: My idea of a good party is one where there’s great food, people I adore and lots of laughs. The whole point of entertaining is to share time with loved ones, so always keep that in mind when planning your dinner or party.

PC: In your book, Nathan Turner’s American Style: Classic Design and Effortless Entertaining, you explore the idea that the areas of design and entertaining are related. If you enjoy entertaining, what should you keep in mind when designing your home?
NT: When starting a new job I always ask my clients how they entertain and if they cook. This information determines how I layout furniture and helps determine the function of the rooms. I think different rooms serve different purposes when entertaining. It depends on what you’re doing. I love a small dinner in the kitchen, big buffets in the living room. Cocktails outside….use your whole house, different rooms for different get togethers.

PC: What is your favorite meal to make?
NT: I love pasta! Simple pasta dishes with a few ingredients or couples sauces that cook all day…..really never met a pasta I didn’t like.

PC: If you only had one day and $250 to throw together a party for 10 friends, what would you do for the decor and menu to ensure your guests had a memorable time?
NT: A one pot meal is great. A lot of Ciopinno or chili with different toppings so guests can “create their own” is always fun and casual. A little can go a long way with table decor. On a budget one type of flower in several bud vases with votives can make a statement without having to buy tons of flowers.

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Snack Chat with Nathan Turner


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