Friday, October 27, 2023

Q&A with Tim Mulligan




Tim Mulligan is the author of the new cookbook A Perfect 10 Party Edition: Full Menus and Activities to Make Hosting Parties a Breeze. His other books include the cookbook A Perfect 10. He lives in Palm Springs and Los Angeles.


Q: You describe seven different kinds of parties in this book--how did you decide which types of events to highlight?


A: For this book, I tried to showcase seven different parties that are pretty common in my world - and also ones that could easily be substituted for another type of party.


For example, I live in Palm Springs - we are all about the Brunch, the Pool Party, and the Happy Hour. The brunch could become a breakfast party, the Pool Party could become any sort of BBQ or outdoor party (like the 4th of July, End of the School Year, etc.), and the Happy Hour could become any type of adult reception or cocktail party (Book Club, Retirement, Pre-Theater Soiree, you name it). 


The Birthday Party of course could be a killer birthday party - or it could be any sort of celebration or get-together with friends. The Awards Party could become a Football Game/Superbowl, Grammys, Oscars, Tonys, Survivor Finale - any occasion to get together and watch an event on TV with friends!


Q: Are there certain rules to hosting a party with ease--no matter what type of gathering it might be?


A: For me, it's important to take note of all the things that are stressful about hosting a party - and eliminate them.


That includes last-minute food prep, cooking while the guests are here, not having a plan for cocktails/bar service, not having drinks ready when guests arrive, not having activities for your guests ready to go in case there's a real lull in the party, last-minute music selection, flow of the room, etc. 


Then, take each of those and plan accordingly. Prep your menu a few days in advance, including what can be done that morning or the night before.


What is an easy cocktail that could be ready to go when your guests arrive? What will your guests be doing at this party, where will they be standing/sitting? What's the flow of the night? What music should you play.


If you can have all those done at least an hour before the party starts, then you can really let your hair down and enjoy yourself along with your guests.


Q: You also include some games and activities in the book--how do they complement the food?


A: For any activities, you have to really visualize in advance how these games will be played - do they need a table, a host, lots of space, what’s the time commitment, how will rules be explained, etc.


Also, can they be played while eating - or do you need to have a sort of schedule of when in the event the games will be played. If you can have a connection to the food - great. I think, however, more importantly is how will they be played, with the food being served.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I still post a weekly blog every with new recipes every Thursday - those are found on my website and Insta site. There are now over 18 months full of weekly posts with recipes and pictures.


Other than that, I'm also a playwright, and my new play, Witchland, will have its New York off-Broadway debut in April of 2024.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Both of my Perfect 10 cookbooks are full of recipes I've curated and perfected over the years - not just the party menus in this book, but also my Perfect 10 top ten recipes for each meal period in my first cookbook. I love to share my food and recipes with others. 


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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