Hosting a Shrimp Boil


I have silly dreams of lazing my days away on a beach somewhere on the east coast, preferably Maine, in a St James stripe shirt.  So, when it came about that I would be hosting dinner for 30 in my yard the obvious choice was a shrimp boil, with “Hamptons Chic” dress code.  I always have a dress code for parties; I love how everyone gets so into getting dressed.


A shrimp boil is genius for a large outdoor gathering – there is virtually no prep and very little cook time and the whole presentation of the boil dumped out on to the table is fabulous, not to mention it’s utterly delicious.  Without further ado, how to throw a fab shrimp boil:

Décor:  Stay casual and don’t worry about matching – a general color scheme helps pull it all together – I chose red, white, and blue – to keep it nautical.


Table setting –

Balloon Dip Ball jars – how to here

Paper stripe straws

Aluminum pie plate

Bamboo disposable flatware

Drap Gingham napkins (these are awesome they come on a roll and can be reused)  

For the grown-ups I used 3 – 10 foot tables in a line, wanted to make sure everyone had a lot of room.  For the kids I used two of Nod’s Ansel tables, decorated the same as the grown-ups


I used an assortment of Crate and Barrel tablecloths in red check and blue stripe and then put a paper runner down the center of the table 

All of the flowers were from my yard – peonies, daisy’s, and cat mint and I placed them in mismatched jars and cups, then filled more cups with tea lights to create a little ambience.

Menu –


Olives, assorted cheeses, fresh strawberries


White wine sangria

Assorted wine, assorted beers, Capri Sun


Shrimp boil w/ the following modifications – add polish sausage, clams, and crawfish in equal proportion to the shrimp


Asparagus Goat Cheese Galette (this was for my vegetarian friends – the crust is amazing and can be used with any topping, yum)

Herb Butter – Melt 2 sticks of butter, add minced 4 cloves minced garlic and assorted chopped herbs – sauté on low 10 minutes, do not let it burn.  Pour into a pretty bowl and refrigerate, amazing!

French bread


Neon Rainbow Cake – sorry folks, this one’s from a box

“Shrimp Cakes” (by the wonderful Elle)


Grilled bananas with chocolate and marshmallows – slice a banana long-ways, stuff with chocolate chips and marshmallows and wrap in tinfoil – grill 5 minutes and dig in.


Hope this inspires you to throw a Hampton’s Chic Shrimp Boil for your family and friends.



By Michelle Kohanzo

Aside from being the Managing Director of The Land of Nod, mother to four kids (yes I said FOUR!) and a gourmet cook, Michelle is a retail junky. From Zara to Marc Jacobs, Target to Nordstroms, she doesn’t discriminate, there’s room in her heart and closet for them all. And the addiction doesn’t stop at fashion, she’s painted her dining room at least 5 times, and changes rugs like most women change their sheets. Retail isn’t therapy for Michelle, it’s more like oxygen.