3 Calgarians Share Their Party Hosting Tips

These local hosts with the most share some tried-and-tested tips for party food and decor.

Aly Velji – Principal Designer, Alykhan Velji Designs

Illustration by Tyler Lemermeyer.

“When it comes to holiday entertaining, my go-to is to always have fresh florals on the table, in the powder room and around the house. If I am running short on time, I sometimes will pop into a grocery store and pick up a few bunches, take them apart when I get home and then create my own arrangements to make them a little more unique and custom. Fresh florals always just add a level of sophistication to any get-together and make it look like you put some effort into the party.”


Julie Van Rosendaal – Writer, Cookbook Author, Radio Personality

Illustration by Tyler Lemermeyer.

“I like to throw a cheese party. Everyone loves cheese (and there are some amazing vegan ones for the plant-based crowd) and it requires minimal effort. I put cheese boards, baked cheeses, fondue and Cheezies all over the house, arranged with accoutrements — cracker-y things, pickles and preserves — and everyone is happy. Even better: ask everyone to bring some cheese, as they will want to bring something anyway! And the best part is the cheese leftovers I have to graze on during that week between Christmas and the new year.”


Karen Kho – Co-owner Empire Provisions and Lil’ Empire Burger

Illustration by Tyler Lemermeyer.

“One hack we have at the shop is that when we roast potatoes, we toss them in mayo (aioli if you want to be fancy) before we roast them. It makes them crispy and glossy on the outside and helps to keep them moist and flavourful. We toss them in a bright lemon-herb vinaigrette while they are hot to give them an extra boost.”

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This article appears in the November 2023 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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