Dennis Basso Hosts A Cocktail For Alex Hitz’s Occasions To Celebrate

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Award-winning celebrity chef and tastemaker Alex Hitz has just released his third book, Occasions to Celebrate: Cooking and Entertaining With Style. Filled with tips on how to give elegant yet relaxed dinners, the book is a roadmap to making sure that one’s guests have the best time possible.

What better way to celebrate a book about celebrations than to give a party? Dennis Basso did just that last Thursday night, to a packed house at his Madison Avenue flagship.

“I love to entertain, and I love beautiful things,” said Basso. “My husband Michael and I prefer to cook at home, and we prefer not to use caterers. The recipes in Alex’s book are wonderful, we love him, and he is an amazing host. I wanted to give this party for him because I feel connected to his book – the book is gorgeous.”

Friends came from far and wide to join in the fun and buy a book, but if they arrived on the late side, they were out of luck: copies that night sold out.

Blaine Trump, up from Miami, was singing Hitz’s praises.

“Alex is a Southern boy,” said Trump. “In the South, there is a whole different attitude about entertaining, hence the expression ‘Southern hospitality.’ I’m a foodie – I love the recipes and the way Alex sets a table. He entertains beautifully.”

Candy and Tori Spelling, who made their way from Los Angeles, were delighted to be there for their friend.

“Alex knows what everyone likes, and what they want,” said Candy. “He’s the best at it.”

Carol and Earle Mack, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Emilia and Pepe Fanjul, Ashley McDermott and Caroline Dean enjoyed browsing through Basso’s exquisite eveningwear, and catching up, as Hitz furiously signed books.

“Alex has a genuine love for fine food and Southern cooking,” said Danielle Rollins, who knows Hitz from his hometown, Atlanta. “It’s a perfect combination for a host, because it’s all about comfort and elegance. He gave the best dinner for Nancy Reagan’s 90th birthday. It was the perfect mix of people, great conversation, beautiful silver – and we had fried chicken, as only Alex could do.”

Sara Dodd traveled from Houston, along with Ann and Mathew Wolf, all dear friends of Hitz.

“Alex is sublime as a host,” said Dodd. His attention to every detail is unsurpassed. The recipes are absolutely divine! I use the coconut cake from the first book all the time.”

The evening would not have been complete without some insider tips from the author himself on what makes a great host.

“Never stop smiling,” said Hitz. “Anything can and will go wrong, things far out of your control. But a smile fixes everything. I quote Horace, circa 65 B.C.:‘A host is like a general…Calamities often reveal his genius.’”


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