The era of the harried home cook, working alone behind closed doors to prepare a formal dinner, has largely come to an end. The new entertaining paradigm is fun, casual, interactive. This December holiday issue celebrates that enormous change with great ideas for parties, and wonderful recipes and wines to match.
For the Christmas meal itself, we visit a potluck hosted by the owners of Baked, a nouveau-retro bakery in Brooklyn, New York, for staffers who can't travel home to their families. As it turns out, the Baked crew are as talented at making cheese fondue and potpies as they are at baking cakes and cookies.
In another unusual approach to potluck, two women in Napa Valley who call themselves the Cheesewhizzes invite their guests to both BYOB and BYOC (Bring Your Own Cheese). For the party on our pages, they focus on sparkling winean unexpectedly good partner for cheese and, of course, a super holiday choice.