Enjoy a night in with the latest in home entertainment (and Tetsuya Wakuda’s top 3 tips for entertaining at home).
Tetsuya Wakuda’s top 3 tips for entertaining at home.
Tetsuya Wakuda, of international culinary acclaim, is no stranger to catering for a range of highly stressful functions. However, when he invites people into his home, he prefers to opt for simple flavours and combinations to keep the event fun for everyone.
1. Keep it simple — many hosts try to impress by creating over-complicated dishes, or by making too many dishes. Keep it simple and try cooking a one-pot dish instead.
2. Prepare in advance — wherever possible, prepare dishes in advance, allowing you to concentrate on being the host and enjoying the company of your guests. Don’t spend all your night running back and forth to the kitchen — you won’t enjoy it and neither will your guests.
3. Encourage interaction — as kitchens continue to be integrated into the living space, this room becomes the centre of the household. Encourage your guests to gather together in the kitchen by getting everyone involved in the cooking process. Try preparing hotpots like shabushabu or sukiyaki.
Big night in – the latest in home entertainment.
WORDS: Steve Freeth
When it comes to relaxing at home or inviting friends over to catch a double bill, nothing quite beats the magic of a purpose-built home cinema. The well-designed, dedicated home theatre is all about total film immersion and, while some very high-tech fitouts can cost $100,000 and up, you don’t have to spend anywhere near that to get a great result. High-definition and laser projectors, 7:1 surround-sound speakers — and the move is on to go even higher — and extra-wide screens (also called anamorphic) are now so good you’ll never have to go out to a Multiplex again. The best cinemas also invest in wall and ceiling acoustic treatments, luxurious seating, programmable lighting and some fingertip control via universal remotes, some of which now even recognise speech.
But when it comes to really sharing our increasingly open-plan homes with others, you can’t walk past the media room. Turning day-today living areas into versatile, multifunctional entertainment hubs takes planning, given people, light and ambient noise issues, but thankfully the technology’s here to help. For a start, today’s televisions and movie screens have been designed to look seamless on walls and, along with the latest projectors, can also be motorised to glide silently away into floors and ceilings at the touch of a button.
And, while there’s a lot more video and music hardware to deal with now — set-top boxes, digital video recorders, game consoles and high-definition Blu-ray players and more — it won’t get in the way of a party, given the sleek, bespoke cabinetry and digital media storage. All the same, some of the best home entertainment on offer nowadays can be found simply by turning on the humble television. No longer content to be a heavy box sitting in the corner, television got back in the spotlight by shedding weight, adding serious design credentials and stretching out to two metres or more. TV has also added more IQ than Einstein.
The visuals got crisper with LCD and plasma, they’ve gone digital, the race is on to get them online for easy internet downloads, and 3D has moved with lightning speed from cinemas into homes, with the first sets going on sale this year — and, yes, you will have to wear the glasses for a little while longer. Of course, nothing quite defines the home entertainment revolution like music. Sound went digital very early, allowing everyone in the family to store gigabyte playlists on tiny gadgets or as part of a home’s media library.
Better still, docking stations, wafer-thin or hidden wall and ceiling speakers in every room, and home networking mean we have total control on when, where and what we listen to at home — and it’s getting even easier now the iPad and other tablets are here. Unfortunately, more gadgets have often meant more energy use, but the green screen trend could turn that around. Already we have energy star ratings for TVs and many of the latest home-entertainment gadgets include smarter power, eco-friendly materials and sustainable packaging. The emerging screen technology — Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) — fits that bill and is fast seeping into TVs, laptops and mobile phones.