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Langdon Hall's Jason Bangerter's Tips for Hosting the Perfect Dinner Party

HG Entertains

Langdon Hall's Jason Bangerter's Tips for Hosting the Perfect Dinner Party

Ask a Chef


Throwing a dinner party doesn't have to be overwhelming if you have the right tools at your disposal. Not convinced? We asked Jason Bangerter, one of Canada's most renowned chefs, to share a few tips on how to host a stress-free dinner. Having worked alongside some of the world's leading chefs and currently Executive Chef at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel, Bangerter's knows a thing or two about pressure. Here, he deconstructs what it takes to throw an elegant yet easy evening.

HG: What’s your secret to throwing a great dinner party?


JB: Keep it simple. Prep, prep, prep! Get all the work done before the party so you can enjoy time with your guests.


HG: An appetizer that’s always a hit?


JB: A chilled fruit or summer vegetable soup is unusual, full of flavour and always a hit. Several — such as watermelon gazpacho — or my  are featured in Langdon Hall: A Cookbook. They're simple and delicious! My soups double as a base for a cocktail or martini. Take the watermelon gazpacho - it's a delicious base for a margarita with gin or tequila and a splash of lime, mint or cilantro muddle. 

Chilled Golden Vegetable Soup from Langdon Hall: A Cookbook

HG: Favourite dinner party music (pick a playlist, artist or genre)


JB: Ha, it changes with my mood and the guests. I love dinner with Adele, jazz, the Tragically Hip, even Drake — I like it all.  Lately, I've been listening to Adele while I cook.  I love music from the '80s, so pretty much anything from that genre will get me going.


HG: Assigned seating or not? 


JB: No, I want people to visit with whomever they like and to be comfortable. I might suggest a mix-up but I don’t do assigned seating.  If the guests are regulars, they usually have their special spot selected.

HG: Your favourite wine right now? 


JB: I just did a Tour de France tasting for charity. I became very intimate with burgundy vineyards and sipped some of the best Chablis, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir around. My favourite sips in the last while have been French Chardonnay from Burgundy, specifically Chassagne Montrachet.


HG: Do you feel obliged to open a guest’s wine? 


LH: I give them the option, and ask if they would like to enjoy it with me. They usually let me know if it is something they would like me to save for my wife and I to enjoy on another occasion.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies from Langdon Hall: A Cookbook

HG: Favourite crowd-pleasing dessert? 

JB: Lemon crinkle cookies, full stop.

HG: Biggest mistake people make when entertaining? 

JB: Making it too complicated.

HG: Best de-stressing advice to give a host feeling frazzled? 

JB: Follow all my previous advice and have a glass of Montrachet. Cheers! Happy Cooking.

Alongside food critic Chris Johns, Jason Bangerter's collection of seasonally inspired recipes come together in Langdon Hall: A Cookbook, featuring stunning local ingredients, seasonal recipes and inspiring photography. If you can't make it to the country estate, this book will transport you there. Recipes range from simple to ambitious.


HG Entertaining Essentials