Cooking is even more fun when you do it with friends—so why not make preparing a meal the focus of your next get-together? When friends gather in the kitchen, creativity is a given. For a bit of extra inspiration, check out the ideas below.
Create a signature cocktail
Every party deserves its own special cocktail and a well-stocked home bar is the key. Invite guests to mix their favorite ingredients with a little imagination and create a drink to mark the occasion.
Matching food and wine
Set aside rules like “red with meat, white with fish.” Instead, think about the characteristics of the dish (light, rich, etc.) and choose wines that mirror or contrast those qualities. Click here for some of our favorite pairings.
A team effort
Pick a theme for the menu and ask people to bring the ingredients for a recipe they think fits the theme. Once everyone has arrived ask people to cook in teams, with less experienced cooks assisting the more knowledgeable ones. Everyone will have fun learning from each other.
Experiment with international cuisines when you’re cooking with friends. Use a trip you’ve taken as inspiration for the meal. In addition to the recipes, inspire lively conversation by providing guests with photos and information about the meal’s featured region or country.
Entertain with the seasons
The key to a fun, casual dinner party is to make food you love from the best ingredients at hand. If you allow fresh, seasonal produce to dictate your menu, you can rarely go wrong.