Party Time:
Seasoned hosts share their secrets

Published in: Houston Chronicle 11/13/03
By:  Shelby Hodge

Jackson Hicks, caterer to the top rung of Houston society and a renowned host in his own right, rates the guest list as the most important ingredient.  It should be "diverse, have some artists, some soul, some tycoons, some devastating beauties -- both genders," he says, adding that you need "people who are animated and make good conversation, a few eccentrics to liven things up."

The element of surprise contributes significantly to the party milieu, Hicks adds.  A few of his holiday surprises (some over the top, others doable): entertainment by a gospel choir, Santa arriving in a horse drawn buggy to distribute party gifts, homemade cookies packaged in decretive bags as party favors, splits of champagne served with straws, kilo tins of caviar from which guests can help themselves.