Stephanie Nass, a.k.a. Chefanie, is the first person we’d want at any dinner party. She’s built a career and a brand that combines her passion for food and eye for design (she has a BA in Art History from Columbia University) to create truly bespoke experiences. With signature touches including head-turningly gorgeous tablescapes and sweets that are almost too beautiful to eat—not that we’d ever pass one up—a Chefanie event is nothing if not memorable. Read on to learn more, and make sure to follow her on Instagram to add some serious color and culinary inspiration to your feed.
Tell us about your background and how you ended up doing what you do now.
I have always been passionate about art, food, and how they fit together. I earned by BA in Art History at Columbia and then my Grand Diplôme in Culinary Arts at ICC. In my early twenties, I started Victory Club to bring young professionals together over the culinary and visual arts. That project led to my catering business and product lines.
Where do you start when designing a tablescape?
I always start with an overall concept, including color palette, mood, and formality. I plan out which components fit into it and lay them together. When I actually get to the work of setting the table, I lay the placemats/chargers and glassware first. This way, I know what space I have to play with.
What’s your advice for people just starting to collect tableware
Quality over quantity. Good stuff will last forever, and collecting is not a race.
What’s your favorite dish to cook?
I love making big beautiful cakes; they connote celebration and therefore remind us how special life is.
What would you consider to be essential components of a memorable dinner party?
Great food, wine, decor, music, and a killer guest list.
Do you have any tips for hosting a social distancing-friendly gathering (virtual included)?
In Covid times, I prefer outdoor drive-by gatherings to virtual Zooms. Human interaction is too magic to forswear. Serve everything individually packaged—from “Jarcuteries” (mini charcuterie boards in a jar) to ice creams to mini bottles of champagne.