Jakarta. "Everything that's meaningful, such as bonding between family members and lobbying business partners, [usually] starts at the dining table," Yulie Nasution Grillon, artist, socialite and owner of Yulindra Art Gallery, said at Galeries Lafayette Jakarta on Wednesday (09/08). "Therefore, knowing the art of table setting is necessary for our social life."
Yulie, the wife of a former Paraguayan ambassador to Indonesia, has both attended and conducted many social events in Jakarta and abroad. During these events, the mother of three noticed that good table setting is one of the keys to the success of the events.
"I want to share my knowledge and experience in a book and inspire others in throwing successful events," Yulie said.
She teamed up with her eldest daughter, Dara Setyohadi, in writing "The Art of Table Setting."
"Dara and I have similar passions [in art and home living]," Yulie said. "And we have also collaborated in many other projects before."
Dara, who graduated from LaSalle College of Arts Singapore, is an architect and interior designer.
The mother and daughter are the creative powerhouse behind local bone china label Y & D Stylish Dinnerware.
Their collaboration on the dinnerware was awarded with a record from the Museum of Records Indonesia (MURI) for being "The First Mother & Daughter Collaboration on Porcelain" in 2012.
"It's exciting to be able to work with my mother again," Dara said. "We have so many things in common and could discuss it for hours. Our collaborations have, in fact, drawn us even closer."
Yulie and Dara worked on their first book for about five months. And the result is a handy and concise guide about international table settings and dining etiquette.
The 161-page book is written in Indonesian and English. The first part of the book details the history of international table setting as we know now, formal and informal place settings, as well as table manners in many different countries.
The book also offers useful tips on how to create thematic table settings for special events, such as baby showers and weddings.
Colorful illustrations also help readers better understand the content.
A special chapter in the book is dedicated to how to incorporate Indonesian traditional fabrics into an international table setting to give events a uniquely Indonesian feel.
There is also a special section on how to budget and create a guest list for your events.
Famous Indonesian public figures and the wives of foreign dignitaries to Indonesia also share some tips on throwing successful events in the final chapter of the book.
"It's a very inspiring book," said Melissa Ann Tjahjadikarta, head of marketing at Galeries Lafayette Jakarta. "It's so comprehensive and will help you to plan successful events."
The soft-cover book, published by Gramedia, sells for Rp 118,000 ($8.80) at major bookstores in most of Indonesia's bigger cities.