A successful dinner party is one of the greatest achievements the home chef can claim. Sure, entertaining can be stressful, but don’t let that stop you. These 5 rules will help guarantee your success:

image: Kinfolk dinner party

1. DO make as much as far in advance as you can. Even if you’re a daredevil. Think of how precious those moments are before the doorbell rings. You can catch the dogs and lock them in the bedroom, you can pour yourself a glass of wine, you can remember to tell your partner not to mention that thing to that guest.

2. DO read the ingredient list and directions thoroughly. So you’ve made this chicken 25 times? It’s still a good idea to remind yourself of its specifics-like the fresh parsley you forgot to buy

3. DO take your guests’ dietary restrictions into consideration. Although your lamb and eggplant shepherd’s pie will be amazing, it will limit your vegetarian, non-nightshade-eating friends to salad and wine.

4. DO start cooking a little earlier than you think you should. People are happy to wait on dinner…but not until 10:30. Unless you live in Madrid.

5. DO consider seating. If you’ve invited eight or fewer guests, allow them to seat themselves; with more than eight, be prepared to give direction, if not place cards. Yes, place cards.

image: Nanton Stoneware Serving Board Set