We are so excited for today’s post because we have chef Camilla Marcus sharing some incredible recipes and tips to impress your guests.
Camilla is the founder of west~bourne, an activist and a former restaurateur who is passionate about clean, sustainable ingredients. It was a no brainer to have her on to share some simple recipes and decor tips that will make your guests feel like they’re fine-dining.
With that, let’s welcome Camilla to the blog.
Summer Recipes and Decor Tips to Impress Your Guests
Hi! I’m Camilla Marcus- chef, entrepreneur, activist, mother, and former restaurant owner. As the founder of west~bourne, the go-to brand for zero waste, planet positive provisions, I’m here to share how to craft a relaxed, sustainable gathering. The key to any event is the energy around us, so here are some ideas for how to make the hosting experience approachable and mindful.
Today, I’m so excited to share with you 3 simple recipes that will impress your guests and some tried and true decor/vibe tips.
5 Decor Tips For That Restaurant Touch
♡ Keep it simple
Don’t overdo it with decorations. A few carefully chosen items can make a stronger impact.
♡ Use natural elements
Bring in the outdoors by incorporating plants, flowers, and branches into your decor. Whether you source them at a farmers’ market or your own backyard, these natural elements are a simple way to add color and texture to your space. You can also use various fruits and veggies as the centerpiece, and encourage guests to take some home with them.
♡ Set the mood with lighting
Soft, ambient lighting can make a big difference in creating a welcoming atmosphere. Try using tea lights, candles, moody candelabras, or lanterns.
♡ Mix and match
Embrace the eclectic, varying color palette and a varied mix of linens of different tones and textures for a more lived-in feel.
♡ Get creative with serving ware
Instead of traditional plates and bowls, try using unique vessels like wooden boards, ceramic bowls, or glass jars. It’s a fun way to add personality to your table.
Entertaining can and should be fun. With a little bit of planning, creativity, and curation of what you already have on hand, memorable gatherings feel seamless.
3 Summer Recipes to Impress Your Guests
Simple Summer Grilled Carrots
Elevate the humble carrot with this delicious recipe. Toss whole carrots, including the stems, with avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Grill until charred and tender. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice
+ 12 whole medium carrots, scrubbed with skin and stems on (skins on for this recipe —not only do the thin skins pack lots of nutrients, but you’ll also get a better char and crispy-edged texture).
+ 3 tbsp avocado oil for coating carrots
+ 1 tbsp smoked paprika, to finish
+ 1 tbsp EVOO to finish
+ ½ cup crème fraîche
+ dash of sea salt to taste
Prepare a grill for medium heat. Toss to coat carrots with avocado oil and season with salt. Grill carrots, turning occasionally, until lightly charred in spots and tender, about 15 minutes.
Plate: Transfer carrots to a wood board. Spoon crème fraîche at the side, top with a drizzle of EVOO and a dash of smoked paprika. Serve carrots warm or at room temperature. Enjoy.
Bright Fresh Pea Gazpacho
This refreshing soup is perfect for a summer gathering. Blend fresh peas, cucumber, mint, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Top with a drizzle of avocado oil and breadcrumbs or dukkah for crunch.
+ 2 ½ cups of fresh peas
+ ½ onion, chopped
+ 1 small garlic clove
+ 1 ½ tsp avocado oil
+ ¾ cup water
+ 2 ½ tsp salt
Herb Chive Oil:
+ 1 bunch of chives, cut into 2-inch batons
+ ⅓ cup picked mint
+ ⅓ cup picked Thai basil
+ ¾ cup of avocado oil
+ Sprinkle of breadcrumbs, to top
Sweat the onions and garlic in avocado oil until soft. While the onions and garlic are sautéing, bring a small saucepan of water to simmer and drop in your peas. Cook just until the peas are tender, 6 – 8 minutes. Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool. Once cooled, purée the onion stock, add ice, and stir to continue. Add peas and puréed onion stock to a blender. Blending from low to high, until smooth.
Herb Chive Oil:
Combine the herbs and blanch in boiling water until leaves turn bright green, about 30 seconds. Use a strainer to pull the herbs from the water and immediately shock in an ice water bath. Once completely cooled, squeeze the herbs dry as much as possible. Combine the herbs and oil in a blender and blend on high until you get a fine puree. Be careful not to over blend, as that can leave the oil a less vibrant green. Strain the oil into a container. Let the oil strain for a couple of hours until the solids feel dry and most of the oil has passed through to the container. Store your herb chive oil in an airtight container.
Pea Tendril Salad:
In a small metal bowl, toss pea tendrils and radish with avocado oil, salt, and lemon juice. Build the salad on a plate in the mound you envision it will be plated in the middle of the bowl.
Plate: Portion your soup between 4 bowls. Gently place the salad in the middle of the soup, garnish soup with dressed pea tendril radish salad, drizzle herb oil, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Grilled Caramelized Pears
This simple yet elegant dish is perfect for any occasion. Cut ripe pears in half, brush with honey and avocado oil, then grill until caramelized. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts for added texture.
+ 6 golden beets
+ 2 pears
+ 2 cups kosher salt
+ 1/2 cup crème fraîche or Greek yogurt
+ 1/2 cup honey (softened with hot water, if needed)
+ 4 tbsp avocado oil
+ drizzle of EVOO
+ pinch of Maldon sea salt
Salt Roast Beets:
Salt roasting beets preserve their color and nutrients. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Prepare salt with enough water to have the moldable texture of snow. Cover the bottom of a cast iron pan with the salt, about 1/2 inch thick. Place scrubbed clean beets on top and then bury them entirely in salt and pack it down. Bake for 1 hour. Remove beets from the oven (insert a paring knife through the salt crust and into a beet to check if done, and if not, re-cover and bake for another 10 minutes). Crack the crust with a spoon, remove beets and scrape the salt off them. Rinse to remove excess salt (salt can be refrozen in an airtight container for future use). Allow to cool and then peel carefully with a spoon and cut into quarters. Coat gently in avocado oil.
When the beets are nearly done, remove stems and cut pears in half, and scoop out seeds. Grill or sear cut side down until golden brown and flip. Fruit should be charred and softened but not burnt or broken down. Spoon crème fraîche into a bowl and arrange cut beets and pears atop. Drizzle with honey, avocado oil, and a pinch of Maldon sea salt, to finish.
I hope you all love these simple recipes.
They will totally give your guests that restaurant experience in the comfort of your own home.
Be sure to check out west~bourne, the go-to partner for entertaining; our avocado oils can be used as a rich and flavorful substitute for butter or seed oils, Tograshi Crunch is the perfect treat for guests to snack on, and our Omakase Berry Butter is a sweet addition to warm, toasted bread and cheeses.
If you’re looking for a quick dessert, our House Pie Crust Mix can be whipped up in a matter of minutes, and our House Muffin Mix can be used to make a perfect, tasty cake. You simply can’t go wrong with fresh, whole, flavorful ingredients, and we give you the added peace of mind that everything inside the package has been sustainably sourced, and the package itself can be composted (aside from our glass bottles, of course, which are recyclable).
Be sure to follow Camilla on Instagram. Her feed is beautifully curated and gives us so much inspiration to live a more sustainably.
x, The Skinny Confidential team.
+ check out this post for more quick & easy meals on the go.
++ if you’re planning a girls night, this post is a must-read.