A first-time host’s guide to celebrating the Festival of Lights.
Stephanie Nass is a bona fide multihyphenate: chef, culinary influencer, designer, and the founder of New York-based tableware, accessories, and catering company, Chefanie. No doubt an entertaining expert, Stephanie also happens to be the creative brain behind our beloved blue and white Oy Vey Yiddish cocktail napkins and Star of David taper candles—perfect additions to your Chanukah celebrations in 2021 and beyond. Here she shares her go-to tips and tricks for anyone hosting their first (or 15th…) Chanukah party.
1) Choose a color palette. I usually go with blue and white for Chanukah, evoking the colors of the Israeli flag.
2) Chanukah, being the Festival of Lights, is the perfect moment to pull out your most beautiful candles. In addition to putting them in your menorah—with one candle representing each night of the holiday—opt for candlelight throughout your space to create that desirable warm glow and ambiance.
3) Display menorahs if you have a collection. Like cocktail napkins, eclectic menorahs are a conversation starter.
1) Chanukah celebrates the miraculous longevity of a small amount of oil. As a nod to the oil, we eat fried foods! I recommend pre-frying the donuts (sufganiyot) and potato pancakes (latkes), and then reheating them as guests trickle in. This way you don’t have to worry about oil temperature, someone getting burned, or constant flipping.
2) Prepare a “Latke Bar” where you offer classic latkes along with tasty schmears and toppings. Apple sauce, sour cream, pastrami, pickled onions, mustard, chives, crème fraîche, smoked salmon and caviar to name a few!
3) Be cognizant of dietary restrictions. Some guests might keep kosher and not mix meat and dairy, and I would recommend making this a dairy event with lots of sour cream for the latkes and frosting for the donuts. Offer kosher wine too, my favorite brand is called Yatir.
To keep up with Stephanie, follow her on Instagram @chefanienass.