I'm so excited to share with you all a recent story I had the chance to write for Tasting Table on one of my personal food heroes, Susan Spungen. Susan – in case you don't know – is one of the top food stylists in the industry. You've seen her work on numerous covers of magazines like Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living, as well as in movies such as Julie & Julia, Eat, Love, Pray, and most recently, Labor Day.

In addition to food styling, she's also penned several cookbooks, including her latest What's A Hostess to Do (Artisan), a must-read for at-home cooks, with over 300 tips, recipes, and checklists for every possible at-home entertaining scenario. (Seriously, buy the book...it's fantastic!)


Given that my Tasting Table column is all about at-home entertaining, I figured she'd be the perfect person to interview for this week's topic: How to Throw a Last Minute Dinner Party. As Susan emphasizes in her book, entertaining is all about planning ahead and staying organized – but, as it turns out, there are ways to plan ahead even for last-minute gatherings. Susan shared with me all of her best tips for throwing parties on the fly: read the full story here. Hopefully you can apply a few of her ideas to your upcoming Labor Day celebrations!

xo, Anna

(Also, check out her fabulous East Hampton kitchen, which is featured in this month's Food & Wine. Swoon.)

(Opening photo by Hannah McSwain; book cover courtesy of Artisan Books.)