Entertaining Etiquette Interviews

Victoria de la Maza: On Entertaining

It is with great joy that we introduce you to Ms. Victoria de la Maza! Victoria de la Maza is a hostess extraodinaire, cookbook author, and TV personality. Ms. de la Maza was born in Spain (she is the daughter of Count and Countess de la Maza) and has recently relocated to Charleston, South Carolina after many years living in New York and Palm Beach.

Victoria de la Maza

Welcome, Ms. Victoria de la Maza, to The Not-So Desperate Housewives community. We are delighted to have you with us today! How would you describe your hostessing style? Could you tell us some of your entertaining secrets?

Thank you so much for having me! I think entertaining at home is a lifestyle choice. I just adore inviting friends over to my house – it is really where I feel most comfortable. It is about making an effort and thinking about others – what they like, how comfortable they are going to be, what makes them happy, etc. My style is a comforting, elegant but casual, embracing of friends mixed with my passion of serving great, simple food.

Victoria de la Maza

As for any secrets – here are a few tips that make my life as a hostess easier:

  1. Have everything ready before the guests arrive, including an empty dishwasher. Leave only a couple of things like tossing the salad and taking trays out of the oven just before serving.
  2. Light the candles, serve the warm bread, and pour the water before guests sit at the table.
  3. Wear FLAT shoes!
  4. Create a menu that is easy on you. You want to be relaxed and enjoying your party. If you are freaking out and nervous about the food, your guests will notice.
Victoria de la Maza

And finally, DON’T drink until after dinner. There is nothing worse than a tipsy hostess!

You now live in Charleston, South Carolina. Has traditional southern hospitality influenced your way of entertaining or would you say they were very much in line with your own spanish flair? What do you think of traditional southern food?

I love southern food, in fact, I used a lot of recipes from the low country in my articles and books ( Delicious, ” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener” aria-label=” (opens in a new tab)”>Delicious Flavors, and Palm Beach Entertaining) as I totally relate to the wonderful hospitality, great simple ingredients, and wonderful recipes that have stood the test of time.

Everyone has been so welcoming here and I love the pride that people have of their houses, recipes, food – it is just wonderful! The history of Charleston is fascinating. And there is so much going on from literary festivals, food & wine events, music, theater – it is just non-stop.

What is your go-to recipe when you’re pressed for time but need to serve something delicious and visually appealing to guests?

I have to admit that arroz caldoso is normally what I make for quick lunches. It takes about thirty minutes to make and you can just about put anything you have in the fridge. I make it with seafood, peas, and lobster broth – and I also make it with sausages, different colored peppers, garlic and onion – really, it all goes. Serve it with a large dollop of aioli and some bread. Add a green salad and you are done!

Don’t drink until after dinner. There is nothing worse than a tipsy hostess!

Victoria de la Maza

Are there any favourite cooking books or entertaining books that you can’t live without?

I love all the super classics: La Marquesa de Parabere, Marcella Hazan, and of course Julia Child. For new recipes and ideas I love Ottolenghi and my new favorite entertaining book is by Suzanne Pollak, The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits.It should be in everyone’s library as it is incredibly funny and elegant at the same time.

Any upcoming projects you could tell us about?

Yes, I am working on a couple of projects here in Charleston. One involves giving entertaining lessons under the “Fifty-Fifty Secrets” name. Teaching how to create full menus where half the recipes are made from scratch and the other half using really good, high-end brands.
The other project is a series of podcasts all relating to entertaining at home and food. It will also include protocol, manners, etc. What we all need to know but often forget.

Victoria de la Maza

That sounds really exciting – Looking forward to it!

You can follow Victoria de la Maza on her instagram accounts at VictoriadelaMaza, Diary of a Serial Hostess, & Fifty-Fifty Secrets.

While you’re here, why don’t you check out our interview with the Marvelous Mrs. McCartney?

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