Part of the reason people like to host parties is because it gives them a chance to show off a little. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have that moment, especially if it is a talent that a person has. Let's face it, everyone has been to a party that should have been great but just was not because of the host, just like everyone has dreaded going to an event only to have it turn out to be the event of the season. Just because a great host can have that effect, however, does not mean they have to take it all on themselves.
Think of hosting a party like building a dream house. The person whose house it is will come up with all of the details, but they are going to be smart enough to let experts take care of actually putting it together. Then when the house is done, the owner can proudly show it off to their friends. Building the perfect party can work precisely the same way, and the first expert to be hired should be a professional caterer.
The truth is that, with rare exceptions, very few people are capable of putting out a full array of food for a party at the level of perfection that a caterer can. Many people who like to host parties typically have one or two items they are known for, but everything else suffers in comparison. Some people take care of that by simply offering their one signature item and nothing else. At that point, it does not matter how good the rest of a person's hosting skills may be, people will be remembering that party for what it was not and not for what it was.
A professional caterer can handle all of that, and the perfect caterer will work with the host or hostess to make sure the menu being offered is one that reflects their tastes. Some caterers have a very limited focus as to what they do and will try to force their way. This partnership should never make it past the initial meeting. When a potential host sits down with a potential caterer and says, "This is my mission. Can you do this?" if the caterer says anything other than yes, shake hands and move on. It is important to remember that the caterer works for the host and not the other way around.
By definition, to host a party or event means to be there showing guests around and ensuring that everyone is enjoying themselves. A person cannot do that if they are too busy running between the kitchen and the dining room. Let the professionals handle the work and hire a caterer to handle all of the dining needs. When they do their job right, it will only help make you look like an even more magical host.
Jack Terry is a freelance writer who has been covering the food and beverage industry for more than 20 years. http://www.osorioslatinfusion.com