Design Your Dinner Party

With Alison Attenborough
MaY 29, 2021

Nourish worked with Alison Attenborough when producing our very first beauty story. The concept was to ‘bring the outside in’ and create a garden theme in our studio, adorning beautiful models with an array of flowers. Alison was the perfect specialist to bring on board. With her background as an award winning food stylist, she makes every plate look almost too good to eat! After leaving school at the tender age of 17, Alison trained with the very best for several years and hasn’t looked back since. She has produced numerous cookbooks, celebrity dinner parties and thousands of beautiful food styling shoots.

As summer is finally upon us, and garden dining and celebrating with friends is back on track; we thought it the perfect time to ask Alison for a few of her favorite recipes and decorating suggestions for beautiful platters, or small plates for your summer dining experience.

Here are some of her favorites, accompanied by beautiful herbs and delicious edible flowers.

SHEET PAN FISH DISH with tomatoes and saffron.

Very easy to cook, looks great and is super healthy.
Use 1x 6oz fillet fish per person
Serve with sautéed greens or salad

Cod, pollock or bluefish, rinsed and dried
1.5lb tomatoes (styling tip- different sizes and colors always look nice)
1 clove of minced garlic Sea salt and pepper (tip - I like to use malden flakes and ½ teaspoon Pimenton de Espelette, a mild smokey chili flavor)
Fresh herbs, about a handful (tip - I use some sprigs of tarragon or basil scattered over the fish before baking, with chopped fresh herbs like dill, tarragon, parsley or cilantro to finish. If you can, try to find pretty flowering cilantro or basil)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Lay the fish on a sheet tray and sprinkle with salt, pepper and crumbled saffron.
Add tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil.
Bake for 25-30 mins until the fish is cooked through.
Garnish with chopped herbs and a little more olive oil.
Serve with fresh sauteed greens.

green beans

Watermelon with Mint and Kumquat

1 small, seedless watermelon, cut into rectangles
8 kumquats, large seeds removed, sliced thinly
Handful of mint, torn
Salt & pepper
Extra virgin oil
Citrus blossom (if available)
1 tablespoon of orange blossom water

Scatter the kumquat and mint over the watermelon.
Season salt and pepper.
Drizzle with extra virgin oil and orange blossom water.


Cucumber skewers with minted yogurt dip

8 Iranian cucumbers, quartered lengthwise
1 cup Greek yogurt
Salt & pepper
Handful of chopped mint
Dried rose petals

Combine yogurt and mint, season with salt and pepper.
Crumble the dried rose petals and scatter over yogurt.
Sprinkle the cucumbers with sumac.


Fried Halloumi with minted peas

8 oz Halloumi, cut into ½ inch slices
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4oz fresh peas or fava beans, shelled and blanched
½ cup of soft herbs such as parsley, mint, dill, chervil or chives.
Zest and juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper
Cornflower blossoms

Brush the halloumi with olive oil.
Prepare the cast-iron pan on a medium heat.
Grill the halloumi for 2 minutes each side, until lightly charred.
Mix olive oil with peas or fava beans, herbs, lemon zest, juice, and salt & pepper
Drizzle over the halloumi.
Scatter with cornflower blossom and serve immediately.


Plums with Burrata

6 plums, halved and pitted
½ cup burrata
¼ cup pistachios, chopped
¼ crystalized ginger, finely chopped
Handful of edible jasmine flowers (if available)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil

Prepare the grill or grill pan with extra virgin oil until nearly smoking.
Grill plums cut side down until lightly charred (2-3 minutes).
Top with burrata, pistachios and ginger.
Sprinkle with jasmine flowers.


Salmon crudo with kumquat and mint

1 pound sushi-grade salmon, cut into ½ inch slices
8 kumquats, large seeds removed and finely sliced
¼ cup mint leaves, torn
Extra virgin oil
Salt and pepper

Top the salmon with the kumquats and mint.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper .


Roast radish with blossom and sea salt

12 different colored radishes, cleaned and halved
1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
Salt & pepper
Edible flowers (wild radish flowers if available)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Toss the radishes in extra virgin oil and sea salt, and place on a baking sheet.
Roast for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
Sprinkle with edible flowers.


Poached artichokes with Salmoriglio
12 artichokes, poached and halved

1 clove of garlic, minced
¼ cup minced parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon diced scallion
1 tablespoon caper, chopped
Finely chopped lemon zest
1 lemon, zested and squeezed
¼ cup extra virgin oil
Salt & pepper

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and scatter over the artichokes.


Alison Attenborough is an award-winning stylist, cookbook author, recipe developer and creative director. She has a keen interest in film, fashion, beauty, art and design, which shows through in her work, from styling beauty smears and whips, to styling food, cocktails and houses.

She has a keen eye for detail and loves resourcing. Originally from the UK, she divides her time between NYC and CA and loves to travel. Hence the globetrotting nature of her clientele and project base. Last year, one of her favorites was styling gorgeous cocktails for the St Regis HK.