Each spring is a time to celebrate the small pleasures in life, like the tender green peas that pop up as one of the earliest signs of warmer weather. The strawberries that begin to appear near the end of May. And the colorful flowers that brighten things up after months of bare branches.

We asked renowned local chef Hartmut Handke of Culinary Fast-Trac catering to create a menu that stars his favorite flavors from the most fleeting of seasons. From a fresh-tasting chilled pea soup with just a hint of smoky bacon to striking and succulent lamb chops, the elegant dinner party Handke dreamed up is perfect for ushering in sunshine.

We photographed this delicious soiree in the beautiful German Village home of Jim Ressa and Steve Zawada.

For a chic dinner party, event planner Harry Baucom of Details and Florabunda Designs suggested table settings that match the elegance of the food but don't take attention away from it. To accessorize the table, Baucom avoided flashy china and opted for a simple silver-rimmed pattern, matched with Mikasa's unfussy Park Lane line of crystal. He picked a few bouquets in springy yellows, blues and lavenders, incorporating French tulips, white amaryllis, viburnum and Mokara orchids."Everything is styled to be as asymmetrical as it could be," Baucom said. "You never want to be too matchy-matchy."