THERE ARE two rules of entertaining that have been around for generations. The first is: "Never serve your guests a meal that you haven't practiced and perfected." The second is: "If your guests are your friends, practice on them. The company is more important than the food."
I'm pleased to report more successes in cooking for company than failures, but must also admit there have been a lot of things that didn't get tried a second time.
Ken Upton, of Ken's Creative Cuisine in Annapolis, will walk a middle road to entertaining at an evening seminar at Anne Arundel Medical Center Medical Park next week.
He'll focus on making a dinner party simple, fun and elegant -- adjectives that need not be mutually exclusive.
His presentation is the second in the medical center's series, "Great Chefs of Our Community."
Mr. Upton, a caterer, has had a long career in area restaurants and major Baltimore hotels. His current focus, beyond wonderful food, is encouraging the host to let his or her own personal taste and interests be reflected in all aspects of an evening.
His seminar will include tips on invitations, flowers and table arrangements, as well as preparation of a fish course, entree (rack of lamb, tentatively scheduled at this writing) and dessert, all with an eye to guidelines on heart-healthy eating. And he's going to convince us that it can be simple and fun, as well as elegant.
The presentation will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Education Building at the Medical Park off Jennifer Road, near the Annapolis Mall.
There is a class fee of $10, and reservations are recommended. Call 753-5490.
Come out and see some musical stars of tomorrow at the eighth annual All Maryland Vocal Competition at St. John's College Feb. 4, sponsored by the Annapolis Opera.
Ten finalists will appear in Francis Scott Key Auditorium. All contestants are Maryland residents or study voice in Maryland. They are between 20 and 32 years old.
Prizes include the Public's Choice Aris Allen Memorial Award and the prestigious Peggy and Yale Gordon Trust Award.
Tickets for the 3 p.m. concert are $20. An additional $20 includes a 12:30 p.m. "bruncheon" in the FSK Hall. A reception for the winners and their sponsors will follow the program.
For reservations, call 263-2710, or 267-8135.