‘tis the season for crawfish, shrimp, crabmeat and other bounties from Louisiana’s waters. So it’s a great time to have a casual get together in the backyard to enjoy the last moments of spring (and crawfish!) Call three couples and assign each couple to bring a dish (salad, hors d’oeuvres or dessert)—or even a special drink. You provide the crawfish, shrimp, fried fish, potatoes, corn and beverages.

This time of year is all about bright, sunny colors, so the décor should reflect that. The table features hand-painted fish placemats that I got at the Oak Alley Plantation Festival. (It was like a mini Jazz Fest and you don’t want to miss it next spring!)

The fish-shaped platters add to the sea theme. Also on the table are felt baskets filled with pralines for guests to take home as party favors. A cart was filled with ice, so the seafood would stay fresh and the wine cool.

Be sure to have music playing, then make sure your guests have a drink in hand and leisurely eat. We are so blessed to have beautiful, fresh seafood and this is the time of the year to enjoy being outside!

Seafood Soirée Menu
Oyster shooters
Crabmeat Maison

Main courses
Fried fish with Tabasco mayonnaise

Boiled crawfish, shrimp, fried fish, corn and new potatoes

Exotic baby lettuce salad with spiced pecans
and sliced strawberries

Assorted desserts (picked up at a store or bakery)

A Seafood Soirée1. The dinner table is an explosion of bright colors. The placemats, platters, chairs and flowers all complement each other. For party favors, I used small felt bags that I found at Cost Plus and filled them with pralines. Another party favor is the flower fly swatters.

A Seafood Soirée2. Instead of calling your guests, hand-deliver this small felt bag filled with pralines that’s topped off with the invitation with the party particulars on it.

A Seafood Soirée3 & 4. I moved my palm tree cart—made by Luis Colmenares—onto the deck and filled the base with ice to keep the seafood and wine chilled. I then accented it with multicolored orchids in a flower holder.

A Seafood Soirée

A Seafood Soirée5. A festive chalkboard greets guests at the entrance. I  bought a plain chalkboard, then hot glued fishing lures (minus the hooks) to the perimeter.