Georges Perrier's 5 Tips On Cooking For Company
"Bonjour mademoiselle."
"Bonjour, Monsieur Perrier."
"Call me Georges."

And that was how I met Georges Perrier this spring, at a press party for the

Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA)

. Surprisingly, Monsieur Perrier had arrived early.  Surprising because he's a world-renowned chef whose restaurant

Le Bec Fin

has been called the best French restaurant in America, voted the best restaurant in the country in any cuisine and and held a 5-star rating Mobil Travel Guide rating for 23 of its 41 years.  I would have expected this famous Frenchman to sail in at the last moment, entourage in tow, for the event, where French chefs who had been invited to cook at Philadelphia restaurants were meeting their chef hosts for the first time. 

Mais non

, here was Monsieur Perrier--


--mingling casually and then coming up and greeting


.  I took advantage of the moment to ask Chef Perrier, who has cooked for stars and celebrities, what he would cook at home for company.  And what tips he would give on home entertaining to someone like me (and maybe some of you) who loves good food but does not necessarily love to cook.  His advice:

Georges Perrier's Tips On Cooking At Home For Company
1. If you are working from a recipe read it through thoroughly.
2. Cook a dish for yourself before you cook it for guests.
3. What you make depends on who you are entertaining.
4.  Mix things up, give your guests something unexpected.
5. Perhaps involve your guests in the cooking.  Pasta Bolognese is a good dish for a group of people to prepare.

Bon appetit!

Georges Perrier (center) et amis in front of the mini Eiffel Tower set up at the Kimmel Center for PIFA 2011.  Photo by Doreen Creede.

"Use the good china for breakfast."