How San Francisco's Chicest Foodie Entertains At Home

by Stephanie Maida · September 8, 2022

    Perpetually donning a fabulous frock and a beaming smile, Kelly Huibregtse - a.k.a. A Side Of Sweet - could always be counted on for colorful adventures around San Francisco. If you're looking for an insider to guide you through the Golden City, she's most certainly your girl.

    But when she's not tasting her way through local eateries, sharing her favorite hidden gems and recipes with her followers, or, we might mention, working full-time as a NICU doctor (!), the does-it-all foodie can be found enjoying quality time at home, entertaining friends and family around her backyard pizza oven and reaching for a bottle of AIX Rosé from her perfectly styled home bar. 

    Wondering how this host manages to do the most without a drop of style spared? Read on for her secrets!

    What's your philosophy when it comes to at-home entertaining?
    I want my guests to feel as relaxed as possible, so I try to have the majority of meals and drinks prepped before they arrive. That way I can focus on quality time with them and not be distracted rushing around the kitchen.

    What are your favorite occasions to celebrate?
    My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, but I find the best moments are impromptu gatherings not centered around occasions. That way we're more likely to catch people when they don't have other commitments with family or traveling and there isn't the added pressure of holiday commitments.

    How do you set the perfect scene?
    I love putting on a vintage record and pouring my guests a glass of rosé as they arrive. There's something relaxed but sophisticated about drinking rosé in a fancy coup. It's beautiful without requiring the fuss of making a cocktail.

    What are some of your go-to party tunes?
    We mainly listen to oldies like Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Ray Charles. Bonus points if guests hum or sing along to the music!

    What's your secret to setting up the perfect home bar?
    We just remodeled our dining room and I'm thrilled to now have a dedicated bar area to use when guests come over. We usually have a decanter of whiskey out and our wine fridge below is always stocked with AIX Rosé from Provence! I also love showing off my collection of vintage glassware and coasters.

    What are some of your ultimate dishes to pair with a glass of rosé?
    I'm still in summer mode, so I'd say a salad with fresh greens, peaches, and goat cheese topped with some edible flowers.

    Are you a better cook or bartender?
    Definitely cook! I love tackling a challenging dish that has a wow factor, so we usually keep things fuss-free by serving wine when we have people over.

    Where are your favorite spots to have an al fresco gathering around San Francisco?
    We have the perfect backyard for entertaining. Flowers bloom year-round in San Francisco and we have a large dining table, string lights, and a pizza oven. With mild weather most of the time, it makes for the perfect entertaining space.

    What's the easiest way to impress your guests?
    Luckily our friends are low-key and don't expect fancy desserts or elaborate meals. We love making pizza in the backyard. Everyone can add toppings of their choice while enjoying a glass of AIX Rosé.

    You're also a full-time doctor! Do you have any quick time-saving hacks for extra-busy hosts?
    Don't hesitate to press that "easy button" and order takeout instead of cooking. I love supporting local restaurants when I don't have time to spend all day in the kitchen prepping for friends to come over.

    What's your ideal night-in situation when you just need to relax and unwind?
    We almost never watch TV, so a night in on the couch watching a movie, and sipping a glass of rosé feels like a luxury.