What’s the recipe for the perfect dinner party?

Well, to start, a great cocktail on arrival, amazing food created from the best ingredients and of course the best tunes creating an ambience in the background.

But if the first two steps seem like a challenge, there is a new foodie collaboration that will have you throwing the ultimate dinner party in no time.

Tanqueray Gin is joining forces with Matt Preston and meal kit delivery service Marley Spoon, to create the Tanqueray x Marley Spoon ultimate dinner party box. The first-of-its-kind limited-edition dining box will provide home diners everything they need to host a dinner party to impress and will be available for pre-order from today.

The Tanqueray x Marley Spoon ultimate dinner party box will be available in two exclusive menu variations – Korean and French. It will be jam-packed with all the recipes and ingredients needed to serve a three-course meal for six including Tanqueray London Dry Gin cocktails and hosting hints and tips from Matt Preston – encouraging hosts to get their friends and family around for an exceptional evening at home, for $269.

Those who want to elevate their dining experience, even more, can upgrade their box to include a bottle of Tanqueray Nº TEN, a small-batch gin crafted using fresh citrus fruits for $299.

Tanqueray’s partnership with Marley Spoon and Matt Preston has been designed to make dinner parties a breeze, new research reveals the increasing popularity of at-home entertaining and dining, with more doing so than five years ago*.

In addition, the ultimate dinner party box contains locally sourced, pre-portioned ingredients to create the ultimate evening for family and friends with zero food waste.

“The Tanqueray x Marley Spoon ultimate dinner party box contains everything hosts need to take
their dining occasions to the next level and add a little magic to an evening with their nearest and dearest, from recipes. Matt Preston said.

“I’ve created exclusively for this collaboration to exciting new twists on the Tanqueray gin and tonic.

I love entertaining guests at my home; there is something very special about taking the time and care to entertain your loved ones and It’s even better if someone else has done the shopping for you!”

In a recent interview with Tanqueray Matt gave an inside glimpse into his world of cooking, entertaining and why he made the decision to take on this project …

What are your top tips for hosting a dinner party? (please provide 5 min)

  1. Plan ahead – create a list of what you need and what needs to be done
  2. Seems obvious but invite those that you enjoy being around to add the ingredient you can’t buy – laughter!
  3. Create a generous menu which enables you to prepare the majority of the meal in advance
  4. Show your guests that you’ve really thought about the details, not just the food. You could create a unique cocktail which compliments  the food they are set to enjoy, for example with the new Tanqueray x Marley Spoon ultimate dinner party box I have curated a food menu to impress, plus the recipe and ingredients to create an exciting twist on a gin and tonic – the flavours of which complement the Korean-inspired meal: 30ml x Tanqueray London Dry Gin, 150ml x Fever Tree Tonic, Slice x Ginger, 3 x Shiso Leaf – wonderful!
  5. Always ensure dessert is a crowd-pleasing show-stopper that will finish the meal on a high note!

How do you welcome guests?

A kiss on the cheek and a cold drink!

What is your ultimate dinner party icebreaker game?

The games I like to play are ‘Finske’ or ‘Klop’ – from Finland, or ‘Perudo’ from South America. It’s always fun introducing my guests to these unique games from far flung corners of the world. I am also partial to the ‘Name Game’.

Do you like to create a seating plan for your guests? And if so, why?

I think seating plans are crucial. Aim to seat your guests next to those with similar interests; part of the pleasure of the evening is watching guests connect and sitting back to watch conversation flow.

 Give us three songs on your dinner party playlist?

I have an album of songs! ‘Music from Another Platter’ is one of my misadventures from the madness of my early TV days! Songs I love to play during a dinner party are:

  1. The Church by Under the Milky Way
  2. One Crowded Hour by Augie March
  3. Fade into You by Mazy Star

… or anything by Lizzo.

Let’s talk dinner party etiquette, what are some manners you need to check?

As a guest, you should be enthusiastic and engaged and always aim to have discovered more about your fellow guests than you have told them about yourself.

As a host, your aim should be to spoil your guests, introduce common links between those who don’t know each other well and try and prepare as of the meal as you can in advance so you can spend plenty of time with them.

What would be your biggest advice to first-time dinner hosts?

It can be overwhelming cooking and hosting friends and family, especially when you are trying to make a good impression. Minimise the stress by planning ahead and try not to leave anything to the last minute. This is the aim with the Tanqueray x Marley Spoon collaboration I’ve been part of. Designed to make dinner parties a breeze with pre-portioned ingredients and step by step recipes, leaving the entertainment and enjoyment up to you.

Who would you invite to your Ultimate Dinner Party?

Lizzo, Megan & Harry, Sam Pang, Adam Gilchrist, Melissa Doyle & Fifi Box.

 What were your biggest influences when creating the Tanqueray x Marley Spoon Ultimate Dinner Party box? 

I’ve joined forces with Tanqueray and Marley Spoon to ensure the new dinner party box contains everything hosts need to take their dining occasions to the next level and add a little magic to an evening with their nearest and dearest. I’ve designed recipes exclusively for this collaboration and my inspiration came from my own dining occasions.

I want to ensure hosts can provide guests with a remarkable dining experience – impressive and delicious food, accompanied by complimentary drinks such as exciting new twists on the Tanqueray gin and tonic. And of course, both menus had to be generous because generosity is one of the first rules of a great dinner party!

With the first menu from the collaboration, which is available to pre-order from 10 February, I introduce home cooks and foodies to the possibilities of Korean cooking – a cuisine so delicious that it should be part of everyone’s culinary repertoire. With Marley Spoon delivering everything you need for this menu, there is no tedious tramping around town looking for those tricky but truly authentic ingredients.

The recipe includes Bao buns and Gochujang eye fillet accompanied with Kimchi – a menu set to wow guests, accompanied by Tanqueray gin and tonic recipes which will to compliment the incredible flavours of the meal.

The second menu from the collaboration, available to order from 30 March, is a French-inspired feast which I hope people find moreish and comforting, with a few cheeky surprises. The menu starts with my delectable pissaladiere with anchovy and capsicum and black olives, followed by a filling roast chicken with duck fat potatoes and my mum’s bread sauce. The accompanying Tanqueray gin and tonic recipes with ingredients like tarragon and grapefruit are perfectly paired to cut through the meal.

Why have you chosen these featured recipes?

The featured recipes in the Tanqueray x Marley Spoon ultimate dinner party box provide dishes that are achievable for both novice and more experienced home cooks, whilst also teaching hosts new techniques.

Whether it’s achieving the perfect crunch on the duck fat potatoes with golden roast chook or introducing new innovative flavour pairings – such as chocolate mousse with mandarins poached with Earl Grey tea and thyme – accompanied by gin and tonic. It’s a little known fact that all of these ingredients have incredibly complementary flavour profiles, the thymol in the thyme really helps bring these all together, don’t ya’ know!

What’s the story behind your mum’s bread sauce recipe? 

Bread sauces have been a traditional European accompaniment to roast white meats since the middle ages. My mother isn’t quite that old, but Sunday roast chook was always deemed incomplete without it. I can’t wait for people to give it a go.

How will this new box help people throw the perfect dinner party?

We have done all the shopping and thinking for them – now it’s just a matter of following the triple-tested recipes, pouring the perfectly paired cocktails and enjoying the fresh quality ingredients we have included in the box.

How does Tanqueray perfectly complement any dinner party event?

If you come to my house, invariably, I’ll start by serving you a Tanqueray based cocktail to welcome you. A Tanqueray G&T is always such a crowd pleaser but garnishing with something more than just a wheel of lemon can take this classic spirit to exciting new places.

Now, that’s Ginerous’!

Are these cocktails paired to certain dishes or courses?

Each Tanqueray cocktail recipe is designed to be enjoyed before, during or after the dinner. Whatever suits your palate.

In terms of glassware, how do you best serve a Tanqueray and tonic?

Tanqueray and tonic should be served in a tall chilled glass (just put some in the fridge). Add lots of cubed ice and garnish at the top of the glass, so the first thing that hits you are the aromas as well as the fragrance of the Tanqueray gin lifted by effervescence of the tonic.

The first dining box is available to pre-order from 12 February – 29 March, with deliveries from 9 March to 5 April.
Those interested in finding out more information about the collaboration can visit the Marley Spoon Website: www.marleyspoon.com.au/specials/tanqueray