One of the biggest worries concerning the planning of a party is always the food. Will there be enough? Is anybody allergic to anything? The questions are almost endless, but thinking ahead and planning a theme to tie in all foodstuffs can help to reduce, if not eliminate all food based dilemmas.
Know your guests
Whilst it can be tiresome and seen as boring to ask your guests for their dietary requirements as and when they RSVP to your invitation, it can help you avoid any potential faux pas. Knowing of a guest’s serious allergies to peanuts can help you plan your menu and avoid items such as chicken satay sticks. Likewise, if you’ve planned well enough in advance, you may even be able to specify the likely menu on invitations, but this will make much more sense if you have planned your food around a theme.
Themed party foods
In devising a theme for your party, or even just the food, you allow your guests an insight into what to expect from the moment they receive an invitation. When an invitation to a summer barbeque arrives, it takes little thought to conjure up ideas of what food options will be available, with meat, salad (and preferably generous helpings of Pimms) available on the menu. A “Spring Garden Party” has fewer connotations (positive or negative) regarding food, but leaves guests unsure of what to expect.
Whilst the catering for a party can be seen as an afterthought, considering it at the very conception of the party will hopefully make its planning far more intrinsic to the whole party, which can only help make it a success. Similarly, coming up with a great theme and ideas for your food early on make it clearer earlier on if you are going to be able to cope with the demands of creating the food, or whether you will need to enlist help, professional or otherwise.
For children’s parties
Whilst children can have the tendency to be fussy eaters, all bets are usually off at parties. Whether you go down the old school route of sausage rolls, bowls of crisps and jelly and ice cream or have decided to produce a more mature menu for the party, ensuring there is plenty of food is often the first consideration. Try an Italian themed party, with bowls of pasta and pizza for a change, if you’re feeling adventurous, they could even design and make their own pizzas, although a large kitchen is needed for this choice!
For the grown-ups
A more adult party will often mean grown up food. Remember that grown up food does not have to be fussy, a large pan of curry with all the trimmings will go down famously at a party. With such an approach, ensuring that there is a vegetarian option available unless you are absolutely sure that everyone in your party is carnivorous is a must. Similarly, it would make sense to not make the curry too spicy, just in case people can’t handle it!
Monica writes regular articles on catering and other subjects for a range of sites, including 3663 Food Service. When she isn’t writing, she is often found up to his armpits in old records.