The big Three Oh! Well, people say it like that but it just feels like any other birthday, except that this marks the switch over from birthday parties every year to one ever 5 or 10 years. So it had to be something special. Something that symbolised me and my loves.
A big boozey dinner would have been fun except I haven’t gone big on booze in a long time. There really wouldn’t have been much special about it just as a dinner that either was catered or at a restaurant. Of course the people who would come would make it a special time but I wanted something that would make it about me without having my name plastered on everything.
One Friday, while sitting at a launch of some wine, I looked around at how much fun people were having and realised it would be perfect for my party. People cook a dish in pairs, we lay all the foods of our labours on a buffet table and enjoy them.
I then started pricing and realised that all the places I checked were so far out my budget I could either have a party of 5 or change it back to a regular dinner. Jack was sceptical about my idea anyway. He said somethings along the line of ‘That is something YOU will enjoy, not others” and I was all ready to book a table at the Italian club when I was invited to a product launch at Eleven Kitchen.
Chatting to Tracey about my idea her eyes lit up and my dream started coming back to life. I awaited the quote for venue hire and was more than pleasantly surprised. My fantasy of a truly foodie party was to become reality. So I sent out the invitation.
2 weeks went by in a heartbeat and the night was upon us. I was so excited about the party I never even considered for a second any doubts. Tracey and her team at Eleven Kitchen were on the ball and the set up was done smoothly and super fast. The only thing not playing along was the weather.
The Black South Easter rolled in on Friday and caused havoc on the roads, every message I got on my phone made me think someone was cancelling due to weather conditions. To my delight most of them were just to apologise in advance for being late due to the traffic and later on a lot of “I am lost! Help!”
We split everyone in to teams of 2, each team got to pick the recipe they wanted to tackle, a short speech about having fun and the fact that I never stick to a recipe so I am happy for people to improvise as they go and the cooking began. I tried to pair as many “strangers” together so that everyone would get to know each other and it worked well. People were chatting and learning, I walked around assisting and filming and drinking in the incredible vibe that happened in the kitchen that night.
The cooked food being laid out on the buffet was like magic. Dish after dish of delicious smelling goodness put down. At that moment it didn’t matter that the recipes were not really matched or that there was no set menu. Everyone tucked in and enjoyed.
The second part of my plan didn’t really work. Apart from some noodles (which went to the amazing ladies that cleaned up after us) and the chicken soup there was no food left over. On the other hand, it did feed some very hungry people who had worked for their supper 🙂
Thank you to my guests, to Tracey and the staff at Eleven Kitchen and to everyone who helped make my idea a reality, I had a blast.
The recipes I handed out are here, some people made changes, added things and improvised others.