L’Auberge Del Mar Executive Chef Nathan Lingle plans the ideal summer party with his favorite playlist, go-to specialty stores, and an easy, make-at-home recipe for one of his signature summer drinks: white peach sangria. “The most important aspect of a great dinner party is to invite a group of interesting compatible, yet diverse people, and immediately put all your guests at ease by a warm greeting and serving fun noshes and drinks,” explains Lingle. “Three things to have to start a dinner party off successfully are tempting salty and spicy snacks, inventive ‘ice-breaker’ finger foods and great beverages, all setting the mood for a relaxed, fun-filled evening.”
Your go-to playlist?
My go-to source is XM Radio Chill Station. This channel plays groove-based down tempo or chillout music with mellow tracks from alternative artists such as Coldplay, Cat Power and Radiohead, as well as new mixes of retro and modern tunes. I think it’s important to play different music throughout the evening to match the vibe-of-the-moment.
Top decor items?
I like to have a chimenea or some sort of fire pit providing a nice warm and cozy option for people to gather around and enjoy the night while toasting marshmallows and making gourmet s’mores. It definitely brings a bit of romance and a new element to the party.
Your favorite, local sources or stores?
Specialty Produce is by far the best produce company in San Diego. The entire warehouse is open to the public and you can purchase items at wholesale prices. BevMo! has an excellent selection of wine, craft beer, and liquor at good prices. And, Leucadia Farmers Market in Encinitas purveys the best available selection of local seafood and great cuts of meat at a great price point.
Nigel’s White Peach Sangria recipe
½ cup sugar
3 pounds of white peaches, sliced
2 bottles of Viognier
1 Meyer lemon, juiced
3 tarragon sprigs
Fennel slices for garnish
Gently stir the first 5 ingredients in a glass pitcher until all the sugar is dissolved.
Pour over ice into tall drink glasses or wine glasses and garnish with a fennel slice.