A couture model-turned-entrepreneur, “Haute Hostess” Elizabeth Scokin is the celebrity event planner you want to know. Born in the South, with all the elegance and charm that’s known to bring, Elizabeth is a prominent member of the Nashville social and philanthropic scene. As President of Elizabeth Scokin Productions, she has thrown parties for celebrities like Lee Ann Womack, Candace Bushnell and Georgette Mosbacher, and even chaired Lexus’ Halston Borghese Archives Fashion Show. Most recently — with her couture Haute Hostess Aprons leaving A-list fans like Oprah, Rachel Ray, Jessica Simpson and Naomi Watts clamoring to get one of their own — Elizabeth brought “couture” to the kitchen with her exquisitely-handcrafted “Glam It Up,” “Glam It Up LUXE” and Give Me Sugar” apron lines.
And with half of summer still ahead, we wanted to catch up with the Haute Hostess and learn how to throw a sizzling soirée like the best. Straight from the source, here are Mrs. Schokin’s tips and tricks for hosting a haute summer BBQ that’s sure to impress:
Let the Games Begin: “Activities are a great way to entertain early arrivals and wake the party up after one too many tacos, but traditional backyard ball games won’t cut it for the Haute Hostess. Go for the “wow” factor with a purse psychic, a mendhi (henna) artist, roller skating wait staff or an old-fashioned photo booth. I like to have at least two activities for guests to alternate between.”
Food Truck Fun: “Cool, casual and sure to stun, a food truck is a fun way to feed hungry mouths stress-free. From burgers and hotdogs to gourmet grilled cheese and tiny tacos, these trendy trucks can serve up a wide array of delicacies for your guests to nosh on. I prefer standing-friendly, small dishes that people can easily manage with a glass of bubbly in hand.”
Signature Sips: “No Haute Hostess soiree is complete without a signature cocktail. For a backyard BBQ, I recommend the ‘Southern Beauty’ — made of fresh watermelon, one large can of frozen limeade, a handful of mint, two cups of crushed ice and a cup of light rum. The night before the big event, scoop out the inside of the watermelon, put the pulp in a Ziploc bag and freeze it overnight. The next day, blend it all together and serve it in martini glasses with a sprig of mint. (Don’t be afraid to make the ‘Southern Beauty’ non-alcoholic — it’s just as refreshing without the rum!)”
Surprise Champagne Bar: “Stock your spare bathtub with oodles of ice to turn it into an oversized champagne bar; complete with a delightfully-delicious bubbly boy to serve guests.”
Midnight Munchies: “After hours of activities and a couple cocktails, guests will inevitably be craving a sweet treat. Set up a station with mini munchies like churro bites, milk and cookie shooters and key lime tartlets so attendees can have ‘just a bite’ of everything.”
Take-Home Tunes: “Let your guests relive the special evening whenever they want by providing take-home tunes. Treat everyone to a retro CD filled with songs from the evening’s personalized playlist.”