The Life of the Party

Last week, I joined a group of hopeless hopeful hostesses at New York Vintners in Tribeca for an intimate event hosted by entertainer-extraordinaire, Liza Utter. The restaurateur-turned-author-turned-teacher was giving a class on the art of entertaining. With the holidays fast approaching, I needed fresh inspiration. And I got some — plus a whole lot of laughs — during this two-hour crash course.

Liza is the life of the party. She’s got stories to tell and personality to spare. And having hosted some of the biggest names in Hollywood throughout her career, she’s not afraid to drop a name or two.

While a large portion of the class is dedicated to instilling confidence in the party planner, (to sum it up in Liza’s own words: “It’s about connection, not perfection”), I most enjoyed learning a few new recipes.

Liza’s signature “pizzettes” are beyond easy and insanely delicious. All you need: organic whole wheat tortillas, olive oil, shredded manchego cheese, and a sprinkle of creativity. My favorite toppings included caramelized apples and dried pomegranates.

We drank champagne, tasted our “hard” work, acquired a few decorating tips, and swapped stories. Time flew and everyone left smiling. Was it the bubbly or was it Liza’s infectious charm? Probably both. But one thing is for sure: Thanks to Liza, I’ll be a much happier hostess this holiday season.

For information on a Liza’s classes, visit