By Shani Silver

Published on November 6, 2015

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

text by  SHANI SILVER
photography by  MICHAEL WILTBANK
styling by  JENNY KAPLAN

recipes by  DAVID KAPLAN

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

We’ve called on Jenny Kaplan and her brother David Kaplan for entertaining advice before. At the moment, fall festivities present us with an interesting challenge. We love tailgating, but the typical tailgate doesn’t exactly offer Instagram-worthy visuals, amiright? Making it look effortless, Jenny and David styled a tailgate befitting die-hard fans and tough party critics alike. Explore stylish Sunday afternoon ideas below, proof that even the most casual events can be chic as hell.

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HOW DO YOU APPROACH HOSTING AN EVENT LIKE TAILGATING, THAT’S A BIT MORE CASUAL THAN SAY A DINNER PARTY? OUR REAL QUESTION IS: HOW DO YOU MAKE CASUAL LOOK CHIC?

This was fun a project since Jenny went to a design school in the city and had never experienced a tailgate, and David went to a big PAC 12 school (Go Cats) where tailgating was a Saturday ritual. Whenever we entertain in general our vibe is pretty casual but we keep a strong focus on presentation. A way to turn a tailgating party into a more chic gathering can be done by fine tuning a few quick details. Such as adding floral to the crudites platter or setting up a fun bar station.

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WHAT COMMON (EASY-TO-FIX) MISTAKE DO YOU SEE AT MOST TAILGATE PARTIES?

Design a menu that can transport easily and taste great served at room temperature. Also, you can never have enough ice and cold beer!

THERE ARE SO MANY CUTE COMPONENTS OF THIS SETUP, IT’S HARD TO KNOW WHERE TO START. WHAT WAS THE EASIEST PART OF THIS EVENT?

Making your tailgating creative and fun! We used a lot of found objects from our homes to create a “not so average tailgate”. The rug and tablecloth for example were items we already owned that inspired the overall look.

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AND THE MOST CHALLENGING?

Tailgates are generally in a really confined space like a parking lot. Also, these types of events take place in a destination. The most challenging aspect is working within a small space and planning ahead. Make a checklist of all the supplies you may need before hand to make the day more enjoyable.

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HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THE RECIPES SHOWN HERE?

We wanted to keep our menu true to an all American tailgate with a twist. Normally food at these events can be really heavy and bland. The giant crudities platter is super easy and fun to create –it makes eating vegetables more beautiful! We both love vacationing in Jamaica and the wings were a take on all the amazing jerk you eat there. Korean food is something we can eat everyday and the potato salad is inspired by the little banchans that are served at traditional Korean restaurants. As for the drink, we wanted to come up with a beer-centric cocktail that could be served in a glass or simply in the beer can itself. The Mezcal Michelada made sense because tailgating usually starts early, and what better way to kick start your day with a Mexican variation of a Bloody Mary.

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ANY ADVICE FOR TAILGATERS HOPING TO PULL OF AN EVENT THAT LOOKS (AND TASTES!) LIKE THIS?

Keep it simple and don’t over complicate it! Use what you have and try to keep your spending on food and drinks. As for recipes, don’t be afraid to incorporate exotic flavors into more traditional dishes.

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Green Goddess Dressing

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 avocado
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula as needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week.

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Kimchi Potato Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 pounds red bliss potato, cut in quarters
  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoons kimchi, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Place potatoes in a pot of salted water. Boil until potatoes are tender enough to pierce with a fork, about 30 minutes. Drain.

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.

While potatoes and eggs are cooking, mix the remaining ingredients. Toss warm potatoes in dressing and season with salt and pepper. Chill for at least two hours before serving.

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pounds chicken wings
  • 4 scotch bonnet peppers, seeds removed
  • 8 scallions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Clean and pat chicken dry, set aside.

Blend all remaining ingredients together, until it forms a smooth paste. Pour marinade over chicken; massaging into every piece. Cover and chill for at least one hour and up to two days.

To cook, place chicken skin side up on a medium-high preheated grill, or oven set to 425. Cook covered, turning often, until skin is crisp and lightly charred, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a platter and tent loosely with foil; let stand for 10 minutes.

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Mezcal Michelada

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon cracked pepper
  • 3 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • Lime wedges (for serving)
  • Banana peppers (for serving)
  • Chilled Mexican lager
  • Mezcal

INSTRUCTIONS

Make “red sauce”; mix tomato juice, lime juice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and cracked pepper together, set aside.

Mix salt, lime zest, and chili powder on a small plate. Rub rims of glasses with lime wedges and dip in salt mixture. Add 2 tablespoons of red mix to each glass, fill with ice, and pour in beer Top each glass with a one ounce floater of Mezcal; garnish with lime wedge and banana pepper.

SEE MORE FROM JENNY & DAVID:
@dkappy@jennykaplan
www.anaestheticpursuit.com