Christy Rost: Travels Lead To Inspired Gatherings

In the early spring, I attended The Inspired Home Show in Chicago, where houseware brands from across the world assembled to introduce their newest products to media and retail buyers. Many of these products will find their way onto store shelves this summer.

For indoor seated dinners, backyard gatherings, cocktail parties, picnics, and pizza parties, I saw everything I could want to “up” my game when hosting memorable occasions. Color was everywhere, but restful hues replaced last year’s vibrant shades. 

Stainless steel cookware and utensils demonstrated that shiny surfaces are still popular, but matte finishes on everything from bakeware to herb grinders illustrated the trend toward softer finishes. White was everywhere, from glossy white fondue sets and mini-charcuterie board handles dipped in white ceramic to matte white cookware.

Manufacturers were also focused on ease of use without sacrificing style. I fell in love with a compact Italian espresso machine by Espressione that grinds coffee beans and produces a rich cup of espresso in seconds at the touch of a button. Cocktail parties remain a strong beverage category in the U.S., while consumers who prefer wine will always gravitate toward attractive stemware that runs the gamut from informal to glamorous. I discovered a brand called Joy Jolt that stylishly answers the call no matter what consumers are sipping.

One of the highlights of this year’s show was the “Meet & Greet” Microplane hosted for me in its booth. I’m a huge fan of its graters and kitchen tools, whether cooking, baking, or garnishing, and I loved chatting with the attendees who joined us for my presentation.

My next stop was Bismarck to deliver the keynote during the North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association annual conference. I’m passionate about buying and cooking with local ingredients, so I took the opportunity to share the fun and benefits of farmers markets with North Dakota audiences during two television guest segments. For North Dakota TODAY viewers, I prepared coffee-rubbed North Dakota bison, thinly sliced and served over a bed of local greens and sauteed peppers. The following day, I showed KX TV Studio 701 viewers how to create a farm-fresh salad board with honey vinaigrette. A take on a charcuterie board, the ingredients are grouped in a mouthwatering display for guests to customize salad apps, side salads, or main dish salads. It’s an easy, clever addition to year-round gatherings, especially while our Dallas-area farmers markets are loaded with beautiful, fresh produce.

Christy Rost is a cookbook author, host of Celebrating Home cooking videos, and longtime Park Cities and Preston Hollow resident. Her ‘At Home with Christy Rost’ cooking series for Eat This TV Network airs on AmazonFire, Apple TV+, Roku, Samsung TV, and YouTube. Please visit for details and recipes

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Christy Rost

Public television chef Christy Rost is the author of three cookbooks and a longtime resident of the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. For additional recipes and entertaining tips, please visit or follow her on Facebook and Twitter @ChristyRost.

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