You need to entertain more: David Burtka on how to turn dinner into a party

When the going gets tough, the tough throw a party. Actor, singer and Le Cordon Bleu graduate David Burkta's new book "Life Is a Party: Deliciously Doable Recipes to Make Every Day a Celebration" isn't just a collection of recipes and seasonal entertaining ideas. It's an invitation to gather friends and family together for the service of one of life's most important missions — to make memories and share love.

"We live in such trying times right now," Burkta told SalonTV’s Mary Elizabeth Williams on “Salon Talks.” "There's a sense of us being on our phones and being upset politically and with what's going on in the world. I think we need to gather together and grab our family and friends to share moments and smile."

Burkta says he learned early the value of get-togethers. "My family entertained all the time," he recalled. "Every weekend was a different birthday party, christening, retirement party, whatever it was. Everyone would bring their famous dish and there'd be games and music and dancing. That was just the way we lived. I'm so glad my mom instilled that in me because I'm able to share it and pass it down."

After his mother passed away from a fast moving cancer in 2008, Burkta decided "I can't go back to acting and get rejected for stuff I didn't want to do in the first place. I thought, 'What do I love doing?' My mom gave me some money in her will, and it wound up being exactly — to the cent — what cooking school cost. I ended up becoming a chef."

Photography by Jill Greenberg. Watch Jill's TedxTalk on the Female Lens and the problem with only seeing the world from a man's perspective. And find out more about Jill's initiative Alreadymade., a mission to hire more female photographers and content creators.

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