Hosting a dinner, whether it’s for a group, your family or a potential date, can be nerve-wracking. Everything, in essence, should be perfect. You want the dish to taste good, of course, that’s paramount. But you also want to make sure it’s a delicious meal for everyone, not just you. It should also be adequately filling–no one wants to be forced to make a stop at McDonalds on the way home from dinner just to fill up. Presentation, as well, is a key facet of any meal. A meal that looks like something you’d find in a gutter won’t be overly appealing no matter how good it tastes. And, if you’re not the best cook in the world, nailing a dish can be difficult.

Choosing a dish is an entirely different matter. Cooking can be difficult, but recipes can be easy to follow. There is no recipe, however, that tells you what to cook for your guests, only how to cook it.

Luckily, I’ve chosen three recipes that are sure to wow just about anyone you bring over–each recipe is a signature dish from a world-renowned chef and none are overly complicated, convoluted or incredibly difficult to make.


Gordon Ramsay’s Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington is an absolute classic main dish that will impress the eyes and noses of your diners, and delight their tastebuds. There is certainly a reason that the dish is a mainstay on the television show Hell’s Kitchen–while it’s not a particularly easy dish to perfect, even a slightly over cooked or not properly cut Beef Wellington is a perfectly palatable dish.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 x 400g beef fillets
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 500g mixture of wild mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
  • 500g puff pastry
  • 8 slices of Parma ham
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten with 1 tbsp water and a pinch of salt
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g beef trimmings (ask the butcher to reserve these when trimming the fillet)
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • Splash of red wine vinegar
  • 1 x 750ml bottle red wine
  • 750ml beef stock

For the full recipe, click here.

Follow Ramsay’s recipe to a T and you’ll find both you and your guests impressed with the aesthetic and the taste of this classic filet dish.

Mario Batali’s Bucatini all’ Amatriciana

While the name may be a bit of a mouthful, you won’t be spending too much time talking once you get a taste of the finished product. According to Mario Batali’s site, the dish is named for the town of Amatrice, Italy, where some of the country’s best chefs call home. Once you’ve cooked the  surprisingly simple dish, you likely won’t spend much time arguing that fact, as the simplicity shines through and creates a fantastically hearty and filling pasta-based dish that will delight everyone.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces thinly sliced guanciale pancetta, or good bacon
  • 1 red onion, cut lengthwise in half and then into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce
  • 1 pound Bucatini
  • Freshly grated Pecorino Romano

For the full recipe, click here.

Emeril Lagasse’s Double Cut Pork Chops

Pork chops themselves are an easy dish to make, but Emeril “kicks it up a notch” with this recipe, which adds a Mexican influence to the dinner staple to create a unique–and fairly simple–dish for your next outing.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 tablespoons seeded tamarind paste (Available in Latin, Indian or Indonesian markets)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons dark cane syrup or corn syrup, if cane is unavailable
  • 3 tablespoons dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Southwest Seasoning
  • 4 1-pound loin pork chops, each about 2-inches thick
  • 4 teaspoons Southwest Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the full recipe click here.