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Summer Entertaining

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Produced by Jordan Schaps

Text by Robin Raisfeld

In the summer, speed is of the essence where cooking is concerned. How else are you supposed to have time to swim, relax on the beach, play tennis, shower, watch the sunset with cocktail in hand, and have dinner for your houseguests on the table by the time the kids are in bed? Easy living is not as easy as it looks. Rule No. 1 is that you can't go into an impromptu dinner half-cocked. Wylie Dufresne, the chef at 71 Clinton Fresh Food, maps out a strategy for winning the dinner-party struggle -- three elegant courses in one hour flat. Fish is another summer ally -- you have to cook it fast. Eight of the city's top chefs contributed favorite recipes for local fish, from humble fish and chips to Mario Batali's sea bass in a crust of salt, a stunning (and surprisingly simple) triumph. Lidia Bastianich, New York's prima cuciniera, invites you into her home for a taste of Italian summer. A clutch of New York's most celebrated hosts share their dinner secrets. And for dessert, there are floats: colorful, alcoholic, and easy as -- no, easier than -- pie.

Lidia at Rome
Floats used to be kid stuff. But the tart, racy ones turning up -- in full Technicolor -- on New York menus are strictly adults-only.

One-Hour Elegance
Speed needn't kill sophistication, as this elegant menu by 71 Clinton's Wylie Dufresne proves.

A.B. Sea
Eight fast, fantastic recipes from eight top chefs -- using fish caught in local waters -- prove that fish is the summertime champion.

Floats
Floats used to be kid stuff. But the tart, racy ones turning up -- in full Technicolor -- on New York menus are strictly adults-only.

The Dinner Dance
Party artists Han Feng, Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler, Nina Griscom, and Clodagh share stage secrets.


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