Let’s hope dinner parties can return in 2022. Photo: Kelsey Chance

Here’s to 2022!

And just like that, 2022 has arrived. Magazines are full of plans to lose a stone in a week with the latest diet craze. I think I have seen it all – the juice diet, sauerkraut diet, Hollywood Plan (half a grapefruit anyone?) and even the sour crème diet.

From indulgence to starvation in just a few weeks. Sports and health centres are gathering new members who are starting off so strongly just to wither away after a few weeks.

The start of a new year allows us to wipe the slate of the old year clean and start afresh – making plans, dreaming of better things to come and being hopeful in general. I never make new year’s resolutions as I never stick to them (yes, I am one of these people) and having no illusions about myself, I only plan ahead in business.

With restrictions still/again in place, planning any food related events is moot as we just don’t know what is going to happen. So ideas for events have to be moved to late summer/early autumn.

My head and idea book are full of plans, sketches and concepts for events – all I need is this flaming pandemic to end! Looking back, it is simply amazing how resilient our food producers, chefs, restaurateurs are and how they grabbed the bull by its horns and soldier on.

Most chefs will be looking forward to Valentine’s Day as the next biggish event to cater for and menus are being created to bring the best of the kitchen onto the dining tables for romantic couples. Planning ahead is good and I love planning, especially when planning a dinner party (haven’t had one in over two years and nothing planned yet).

In March 2020, I had people invited for a Turkish night – which we had to cancel due to the start of the pandemic. The menu was ready and I had planned the table setting, music and all and the other day, I found the notes for it.

Looking at them, I was really detailed in my planning. I had started creating the timetable, shopping list and notes on when to start the dough and pre-cook items. It reminded me how much work these dinner parties can be but how satisfying it is to cook for your friends.

Here’s hoping that we will be able to invite people over again for these long evenings when the food is being enjoyed, the wine flows and laughter fills the air – when you look around the table and have your friends with you to share what you love and prepared for them.

Here’s to an amazing 2022 – may it be filled with enough of everything we need, may we meet old friends again and make new ones. Happy New Year my darlings!