Dining Design Diary: The Easiest Dinner Party You Will Ever Throw

This past weekend my mother was in town, so I've been doing more shopping, cooking and cleaning than usual. The dinner parties were a blast, but it's no wonder I could barely get up for work once Monday morning rolled around. I was beat. So it seemed the patron saint of entertaining stepped in when I was invited to a dinner hosted by KitchIt on Monday evening.

KitchIt is the latest smoking' startup to emerge from the Tech Golden Triangle of Stanford, Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Brendan Marshall, Ian Ferguson and George Tang are the three recent Stanford grads (so fresh from campus I swear they were still worried they were breaking dorm curfew) behind the company, which aims to up the ante and lower the stress and mess of throwing a killer dinner party. They've enlisted a stable of chefs that come with a smattering of specialties (and price tags), and on KitchIt.com you can click around until you've customized your perfect dinner party. They shop, they cook, they serve, they even clean. And before you shrug off the concept as yet another fun option for the city's deep-pocketed one percenters, get this: prices start at around $25 per head.

Monday's event was presided over by Christopher Kostow of the The Restaurant at Meadowood, Napa. As he and his team prepared impeccable cremé fraîche pillows and puffed kale with kale chorizo, is was clear that Kostow wasn't on the $25 bargain shoppers list. (Me: What if I wanted Chris Kostow at my house on Thursday? Chris: Well, you'd have to be able to pay for Chris Kostow at your house on a Thursday. Me: Gotcha.)

The dinner was nothing short of amazing. Hosted by Lisa Hasen of OpenTable in her SoMa loft, the five course menu included minestrone soup with pickings fresh from the Meadowood garden, broiled lamb, and gnocchi with chanterelles—dishes that probably would have impressed mom more than my pasta surprise, and came with a workload that would have had me hitting the snooze button a few less times. Check out KitchIt and get your own party underway.

What do you think? Would you use a service like KitchIt?

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