Does the thought of creating a three-course dinner party seem impossible in your busy life? You’re not the only one. With most people having less time to catch up with friends and family for a meal, home dining trends have shifted from formal dinners to casual, shared meals that are easy and quick to create. Spokesperson for We Love Our Lamb, Sara Oteri, shares three of the latest dinner party trends, as well as some of her tips for creating the perfect get-together.
When Thursday became the new Friday, Wednesday became the night to catch up at home with friends. Most people are more time poor than ever, so instead of a three-course meal we’re now opting for authentic and traditional food that is quick and easy to prepare.
While midweek meals need to be simple, it doesn’t mean they need to be boring. Many are opting for versatile options that can be transformed into exciting and colourful meals that take no longer than 30 minutes to prepare and cook. Larger dishes fit the bill perfectly here, as they can be served on platters at the same time and throwback to a family experience of eating together.
Top tip: Keep it simple! Cooking up a tricky menu isn’t fun for anyone. The food may be delicious but no one will enjoy the process if the host (you!) ends up stressed. Share style food is perfect for this as it can be popped in the middle of the table and enjoyed by everyone.
Image via Pinterest
Why should one person be responsible for the meal when everyone can prepare and cook together? The trend of collaborative cooking is on the rise, with many opting for a collaborative journey to feasting, connecting with one another over food while escaping the routine and stress of every day life.
By sharing the preparation and cooking of meals together, dinner transforms into a shared experience rather than one person stressing in the kitchen. While the host could be in charge of the lamb, one friend can be cooking the veggies, a third mixing the dressings, and another making the all-important wine choices. With everyone having their own role to play cooking the meal becomes as enjoyable as eating it.
Top tip: Make sure to play to your friends’ strengths! If one of your friends isn’t great in the kitchen, then get them to bring a dessert that goes with the wider theme. Or perhaps one in particular is a wine connoisseur who is guaranteed to pick the best bottle to go with the evening’s cuisine. This way the workload is still shared but no one feels out of his or her depth and the experience is still enjoyable.
Bring a Dish
Kitchens are getting smaller and smaller, with only a few lucky city-dwellers having enough space to cook for 6-8 people or infact even a dining table! Even with the best intentions it’s tricky to host a dinner party for more than 4 people – and sometimes the occasion calls for more. To get around this, hosts are bending the rules and asking guests to bring their own dishes.
The rise in street food-inspired dishes, ethnic flavours, simplicity and ‘fast causal’ concepts all lend themselves to communal dining. By theming the night around a particular cuisine (for example, Asian, Mexican or Italian) this shift brings a street food vibe – especially when you throw in mismatched plates and have friends eating around the lounge room.
Top tip: With dinner party trends moving away from formal affairs, its normal to have mismatched serve ware, crockery and chairs – it even helps create that relaxed informal atmosphere that is perfect for weeknight meals, and gives the occasion authentic character.