A special party for the food connoisseur
"Foodie" Birthday Party Ideas
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
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"Foodie" Birthday Party Ideas
My husband is a foodie. He loves to visit new restaurants and try to cook new dishes. He's having a birthday soon and I'd love to have a bunch of our friends share it with him, but I can't afford a big restaurant tab. I'd like to do something at home. Does anyone have good ideas on how to throw a foodie birthday party? A few of our friends are into cooking as well, so I probably could get some help. Any suggestions?
Keep in Theme
Select a theme like Asian, Indian, Mexican, etc. and provide the main dish. Invite guests to bring their favorite side dish (keeping with the theme). It will be inexpensive, and you might get additional food ideas or. You might think about playing some games or doing ethnic dances for entertainment. Music from the same theme would be nice. For example, with Mexican, you might teach the Mexican Hat Dance or the Tango, Rumba, Samba, or other appropriate dance. Why not invite the guests to dress in costume if they would like?
Don't Get Chopped!
I threw a "Chopped" birthday for my daughter and it was so fun! Chopped is a show on the Food Network that gives contestants a basket of ingredients and then they have to make an appetizer, entree or dessert, depending on the round. For the party, I chose an appetizer and dessert for them to create. For the appetizer, they needed to use tortillas, chicken, leeks, and cheese balls. For the dessert, they had to use marshmallow cream, chocolate sandwich cookies, and star fruit. Each dish was judged on creativity, presentation, and taste. I bought chef's hats and aprons from an online party supply. I was so surprised at the creativity of the group. I used the kitchen at our church for more stoves and workspace. If you are doing it in your home, I would suggest just picking one category. As a foodie, I would love this type of a party as well.
Host a Progressive Party
You and your friends may want to host a progressive party. This is a party where you go to a different friend's house for each course. For instance, you'll have the appetizer at one home, main course at another, and dessert at another house (maybe your own). They are a lot of fun and you can decide what cuisine you would like or to stay in a certain price range.
Guinea Pig Dinner Party
I would turn it into a "guinea pig" dinner party. Head to the thrift stores and buy a bunch of recipe magazines. Include them with your invites and assign each guest a category to choose a recipe from, such as main dish, side dish, dessert, etc. Have them choose a recipe from that category to bring and the other guests will be the guinea pigs and try them. Have small prizes like recipe cards, wooden spoons, etc. on hand to use as favors.
A Party That Any Foodie Would Love!
A foodie birthday party is a great idea. You should do it the way our gourmet dining club works. First, you pick a menu, copy all the recipes, email them to the people you've invited, and ask each person/couple to choose one dish to prepare and bring to the party. For instance, if you wanted to do a Mexican theme, you'd probably do the fajitas yourself, but send out recipes for refried beans, roasted red peppers and corn, cornbread, flan, and some appetizers. Then go to the dollar store and buy plain cups, plates, and flatware for the dinner. Make it a BYOB or offer to serve margaritas and tea and ask folks to bring their own drink if they want something different. Your main course can be as simple as tacos, but if made with high quality ingredients and with love, the foodie will appreciate all the goodies and the friends around the table. Then make him a basket that contains all the recipes you've made along with some of the ingredients to make another similar dinner along with an apron and one special kitchen tool that will make his day. Look on CooksIllustrated for help with the tool. They often recommend tools that are widely available and not too pricey.
JD in St Louis
Have a Restaurant Theme
Find out the name of a restaurant he has always wanted to go to and use Google to see if you can find copycat recipes for the restaurant. Have your friends pick a dish to make and you pick one as well. Then do a restaurant themed night. You could look online for decorating tips and photos of the place and try to copy some of the ideas. I bet he would love to taste all the dishes, and you might find a new dish to put into your dinner rotation. Try to pick out a really unusual place and have fun with it.
Discover the Iron Chef
We had an "Iron Chef" theme at our house once. We bought the ingredients for a dinner, gave our guest chefs full access to our on-hand spices, etc., and left it up to our guests as to how they would prepare the meal. It was great fun and great conversation along the way, and it was an inexpensive source of entertainment and a delicious meal!
Try a New Cuisine
We have people in our very small community that are not professionals but are great at certain cuisines and love to impart that knowledge without being paid. You buy the food and they give a "class," which would make a great party. Or maybe some of your friends could do a "class" at your house with all of your guests as the class participants. You might even use a school kitchen or somewhere that has more than one stove.
SOLUTION = Planned Potluck Dinner
My book club happens to be comprised of foodies. Every month, we gather at a different member's residence to discuss our book selection. We also dine over what I'll term a "planned potluck" dinner. That keeps costs down immensely versus going to even a casual restaurant, and we're not tying up the tables of a local business. Plus, we're not rushed.
Our group will have a theme, which is generally based on the book. The connection can be something such as "English" if it's a book such as The English Patient. The hostess plans the main dish and discloses what it is and then asks at large for various courses (finger-food appetizers, healthy desserts, salad, veggies, etc.). Participants opt in for a category and tell the hostess what they would like to bring. The hostess plays captain to ensure they will all go together. All our folks are foodies, who tend to bring the best of what they like or make. We end up with a feast for the mind and the body! And there's often a fun frenzy of recipe swapping afterward.
In your case, you could theme it to a favorite area of the world, type of food, or topic of your husband. Plus, you should decorate a bit in theme.
Take the Next Step:
- Visit the TDS library for money-saving party tips and ideas for the big kid in all of us.
- Throw your bash for less cash! The Dollar Stretcher's Guide to Parties & Entertaining for Pennies can show you how.
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