Tiffani Faison’s Five Must-Haves for Spring Luncheons

The Boston mega-chef swears by these hosting essentials. (Spoiler alert: She'll never send guests home empty-handed.)

Photo by Aram Boghosian

When the crocuses start to bloom, mega-chefs like Tiffani Faison get excited to host spring luncheons. And with five restaurants under her belt, including local fave Sweet Cheeks Q and newcomers Dive Bar and Bubble Bath, this Food Network Chopped judge and four-time James Beard Award finalist knows how to throw a good party. That includes personal touches such as placing a bucket of bubbles and juices on her outdoor steps so guests can enjoy the sunshine and using sidewalk chalk on her front walkway to write little notes and drawings welcoming them to her home. Here are five other fresh ways she gets ready for the big event.

Courtesy photo

1. The Servingware

“I like to use cake platters for side dishes to give the table height. I almost always serve family style; individually plated dishes feel stuffy for lunch/brunch and keep me in the kitchen. I prefer to spend time with my guests.”
Hay crystal food stand, $109, Design Within Reach.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

2. The China

“I buy one-offs when I’m traveling and bring them home. So if the party is more casual and light, I’ll set the table with different plates. I’m drawn to the eclectic, so I’ll have an Hermès plate next to one I got in Bangkok on the street next to an Haviland & Parlon—I keep it all funky, bright, and intentionally overstated.”

“Voyage en Ikat” presentation plate, $630, and “Passifolia Dinner Plate No. 1,” $285, both Hermès.

Courtesy photo

3. The Tablescape

“I usually buy and arrange my own floral accents. My favorite locales are the New England Flower Exchange in Chelsea or Table & Tulip. I’m drawn to grasses, purples, and deep pinks to evoke the richness of spring. Next, I’ll head to a thrift store to find unique glasses and jars for individual place settings. I attach a note to each arrangement reminding that person why I’m grateful for them or reviving a memory of us.”

“Color-Burst” hyacinth bouquet, starting at $85, Table &Tulip.

Courtesy photo

4. The Party Favors

“I always send guests home with the floral setting at their seat. At more intimate parties where the guests know one another, I will have them write a note to the person sitting to their right or left with well wishes for spring personalized to them. I also send pre-made small sandwiches that are filled with something from the menu so they can enjoy snacks that evoke the gathering the next day.”

“The Swag” cotton lunch bag, $13, Boston General Store.

Courtesy photo

5. The Drinkware

“Sleeker stemware is the way to go when the rest of the table is looking like Alice in Wonderland. The cocktail for a spring lunch is always bright, front-forward, and balanced. I’ll use a bit of tinted corn syrup on the outside edge of the glass and apply edible flower petals to it.”

Vintage Sasaki cocktail coupes, $145 for four, Weston Table.

First published in the print edition of the April 2023 issue with the headline “Tiffani Faison’s Spring Soiree.”