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Chefs Dinner Party

Decorating Ideas For A Chefs Dinner Theme Party

The key to a successful dinner theme party is creating an atmosphere that makes your guests feel relaxed and encourages conversation.  A chefs dinner party theme is all about food, cooking, and dining and offers unlimited fodder for dinner dialogue and decorating.

Let the chefs and traditions of Tuscany, Southern France, and New Orleans cooking and dining be your inspiration for a backdrop that will complement virtually any menu.

Chefs Dinner Theme Party Decorating Basics

There are four basic rules we follow to achieve a delicate balance of a relaxed and engaging atmosphere that will also convey taste and style:

1)  Strategic placement:
  • Choose locations your guests will visit to place your decorations.
  • Arrange accents where guests are likely to "stumble upon" them.
  • Plan to unveil your decorations over the course of the evening.
  • Key strategic positions include:

Make a great first impression and set the mood to food & fun for your arriving dinner party guests with a hanging chili pepper ristra on the front door.

The colorful, realistic greeting placed in this very visible location will go a long way in creating a lasting memory of your event.  Then, hang the ristra as a kitchen decoration after the dinner party is over. 

Use a painted wreath door hanger to eliminate the need for tape or tacks.


The pre-dinner cocktail hour is an ideal time & place to introduce subtle hints of the dining event to come, because all of your guests will visit or mingle nearby at some point.
Add enchanting theme accents on the bar or drink serving area with a group of 3 French grocery shopping chefs on a bicycle, scooter, and pulling a wagon all with their produce selections for preparing a meal.

Also, place a chef accent on your hors d'oeuvres tray, such as this chef on lettered blocks spelling "GOURMET", then add a chef master holding a "Kitchen Open" sign along side your appetizers or in the bathroom.

For cocktails, fill a beverage decanter with sliced lemons and citrus vodka or decorate the bar with a hurricane vase of fresh whole lemons for a colorful presentation. Highlight your dinner party food theme with "Fresh Lobster" beverage napkins or use the traditional favorite, Red Gingham lunch or drink napkins. Add a pinch of festivity with a few sprinkles of metallic red tomato confetti.


Like the bar, virtually every guest will visit the bathroom at some point, making it an excellent opportunity to delight visitors when they are least expecting it with distinctive decorations.

Tastefully coordinate your bathroom decorations with a combination of food and chef items in a display of towels, soap, and an extra surprise, like the chef holding a "Kitchen Open", include:
Not only will you have a captive audience, but it keeps your dinner party interesting as guests discover surprises throughout the evening.

Sprinkle a few pieces of red tomato confetti for continuity and a dash of shimmer and shine.


Create a memorable dinner party with detailed, fun, and engaging table decorations that relax the mood and inspire conversation. Wow your guests with a large jolly chef centerpiece with a big smile and roast chicken. Coordinate with his black and white checkered pants with matching check cocktail napkins in the center of each plate or charger. Pour a red aperitif in a shot or sherry glass and place in the center of the cocktail napkin for color & fun.

Continue the food theme with brightly colored realistic vegetable candles, including a red pepper, green peas in the pod, purple turnip, yellow corn, orange squash and dark purple eggplant.

Use a white tablecloth to make your decorations stand out. Then wrap your white dinner napkins in fire-engine red party beads for a unique napkin ring and a little festivity during dinner for those guests that want to wear them.

Two Italian chefs, each carrying a bottle of wine, carry on the theme and also serve as entertaining chef salt & pepper shakers, alternatively use a ceramic salt & pepper shaker set shaped and painted to resemble 2 miniature bottles of wine labeled "Merlot" and "Chardonnay". Sprinkle metallic red tomato confetti (sparingly) for another exciting twist to make your dinner party anything but boring.

Check out out the dinner party section for more dinner party planning tips.


Your guests will be delighted and amused as they discover your carefully planned details.  Add continuity and interest with a few sprinkles of metallic red tomatoes throughout the evening. Add sparkle and happy thoughts by scattering confetti sparingly on the bar, in the bathroom, and on the dinner table. 

Coordinated with your food theme and colors of black, white, and red, red tomato confetti will let your guests know it's okay to have fun. If you are mailing invitations or thank you notes, add just a sprinkle of confetti surprise in each envelope.


Use votive candle holders in your theme colors liberally to add indirect lighting. Alternate colored votive candle holders of red, black, and frosted white.

For the ultimate display of detailed originality, decorate the dining, cocktail, or patio area with a string of chef hat string lights. Plus, you can use them over and over for your many dinner parties to come.
2)  Repetition:  Choose colors, motif, and cooking & food icons, then repeat them as often as possible to reinforce your dinner party theme.
  • Color: Black & white with red accents make an excellent color combination for a chefs dinner party theme.
  • Motif: The obvious motif is a chef in a white jacket and chef hat.  Look to repeat any patterns and shapes, such as the black & white checks of a chef's pants with napkins or the shape of the chefs hat with string lights.
  • Icons: Decorate with food and/or cooking items, shapes and symbols.
  • Whole lemons in a hurricane vase
  • Dried chili pepper ristras
  • Glass canisters of pasta, rice, & beans
  • Groupings of brightly colored vegetables
  • Bowls of onions, garlic, & tomatoes
  • Sliced fruit in a beverage decanter
  • Jars of spices
  • Bread or cheese on a wood cutting board
  • Olive oil in a bottle
  • Taper candles in Chianti bottles
  • Cookbooks
  • Knives, forks & spoons
  • Whisks
  • Wooden spoons
  • Spatulas
  • Chefs hats
  • Pepper mill
  • Hanging pots & pans
  • Iron skillet
  • Rolling pin

3)  Tasteful decorations:
  • Buy quality and understated accents that are thoughtful and clever.
  • Seek out the unique and distinctive to make things memorable.
  • Avoid gaudy, in-your-face decorations.
  • Pass over common and cheap-looking paper and plastic items.
4)  Neutral background:
  • Use white whenever possible as a background for your decorations.
  • Contrast black on the white background, then add splashes of bright red accents.
  • Remove competing colors and objects in the party areas that distract from your dinner party theme colors.
  • Use neutral colors, such as beige or gray, or natural materials, such as wood or metal as the backdrop for decorating.