Born in Venezuela and raised immersed in both Latin American and European cultures, Federika Longinotti Buitoni has a unique perspective on entertaining. As the founder of Collecto, an online destination for curate tabletop and home pieces, she brings the vibrant colors and sensual flair characteristic of Latin American culture from her mother’s side and classic Italian propensity for entertaining and the art of Aperitivo from her father’s side to the brand.
Collecto started as an idea inspired by Longinotti Buitoni’s wedding registry experience and her realization that there was a strong disconnect between what couples were expected to include in their registries, and what a modern couple really wanted and needed. Today, the entertaining expert shares her top tips for summer soirees.
There’s something about entertaining in the summer that is just too fun to miss. Making your guests feel at ease, whether it’s summer or another time of the year, is very important. I absolutely love entertaining in the summer—when the feeling of vacation and spritzes fills the air—but, sometimes the weather can be tricky. If you’re in a place that is hot and humid like Miami, invite guests after the sun is out. If during the day, serve ice cold refreshments (my Macchia su Macchia glasses are my go-to, I like mixing different colors) and have a few raffia fans handy for the occasional whim of fresh air.
Barbecues are summer-perfect gatherings. I must say I wasn’t a fan, that was before I married a Brazilian and that was the end of it. While laid back and fun, you can (and should) give it a distinctive touch with a beautifully decorated table. I love the contrast of an effortless meal with a curated tablescape. Practical tip: use darker colored napkins if cooking burgers or anything your guests will eat with their hands.
Set your table with vibrant colors. That’s what summer is for! This Castelo Branco collection is one of my favorites for the summer. The combination of canary yellow and royal blue, and the contrasting patterns of the different plates makes it an exquisite set. Plus, it’s surely one that will never get old.
Summer aperitivos in Italy are quite a thing, and for a very good reason. They’re spontaneous, casual and feel like a change of pace. We used to do them often when I lived in Milan, and now brought this tradition home. If intricate cooking is not your thing, set up a fabulous charcuterie board, add olives, dried fruits, nuts, a quiche or two and you’re ready to host.
Last but not least, gathering with friends and family is about creating memories, sharing stories and many hard laughs. That is what Collecto is really all about—inspiring you to entertain and enjoy time together. So don’t worry about the small things. Forgot to chill the wine? Pop it in the freezer and serve a cocktail in the meantime. It will seem like you planned that anyways!