The Brown family
 
For the Brown siblings, easy is the only way to entertain. Case in point: this spectacular make-ahead feast at their Napa Valley vineyard. This simple menu comes from Dave Cruz, chef de cuisine at Napa Valley's Ad Hoc restaurant, the most casual jewel in the crown of Thomas Keller (who also owns The French Laundry, Per Se, and Bouchon). Dave lets his food shine by picking intensely flavored ingredients like prosciutto, lobster, and in-season produce and refusing to bury them under sauces. Every dish can be served chilled or at room temperature, so the host gets to attend her own party. What an idea!

Get the recipes for the full menu.