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Move over, Martha Stewart! Your “easy centerpieces” and “quick appetizer recipes” have nothing on chef R.J. Cooper. The guy behind the forthcoming avant-garde D.C. tasting-menu restaurant Rogue 24 offers CNN’s Eatocracy blog some non-traditional tips for your next dinner party. His recommendations: stainless steel cocktail picks (“much more fun than traditional wooden or bamboo toothpicks”), surgical tongs (“an easy and elegant way” to serve ceviche or sashimi), salt stones (“think fondue pot and hibachi grill fun”), slate (“helps take a dish back to nature”) and test tubes (“[f]un to look at and dissect with the eyes, then down with one gulp”).

Photo by BZiL