Tory’s mother, Reva, left

Tory’s mother Reva was a consummate hostess, as famed for her summer barbecues as her holiday parties — for which she expertly did all the decor. Here, she shares three quick tips to hosting the perfect soirée.

On dinner parties — buffet or sit-down…
Buffet. I do sit-down dinners, but I don’t like them as well because once you sit down, you’re stuck and you have nowhere but left or right. I do a gorgeous, knock-out buffet. When people come in, all the tables are set up for a formal sit-down dinner. When you sit, you’re served wine and your salad. And then you can get up leisurely to go to the buffet and get whatever you want. You always have a place to go, a destination.

On how to pair up guests at a dinner party…
I don’t like to be the only one at a table that I know — maybe I’m shy. I put at least a few people together who know each other so they feel comfortable. I mix couples and put some new ones in.

On being the hostess who can break any kind of ice…
I always walk around and say, “Are you having fun? What’s doing?” Or “Did you tell them about…” That’s the job of a hostess. I never sit at a dinner party I’m hosting. I rarely have time to even eat.