At least once a week, I find myself planning a menu. As someone who has worked as a personal chef, I cook a lot, and most of the time, I cook for other people. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what makes a menu work, and if you’ve ever planned a birthday dinner party or bridal shower luncheon, you’ll know how much thought has to be put into the menu. From the number of guests to the theme of the party, you have to take a lot into consideration. However, it doesn’t matter what type of menu you’re planning, the process that I use to craft the perfect courses is always the same. For example, this week, I’m coming up with two menus: a romantic summery dinner for myself and a new love interest, and a pescatarian feast for a bachelorette party of 18. The menus will be distinct, but the way in which I come up with the multicourse meal is similar. Here’s my technique for coming up with a cohesive party menu.