The Iron Chef party theme is a great way to liven up your next dinner party. Invite your friends over for a fun night of cooking and enjoying culinary delights in your own kitchen with this party based on the popular television show, Iron Chef.
Since it started in 1999, Iron Chef has become a pop culture phenomenon. It combines all that is great about a cooking program with the excitement of a game show. On this program, two chefs go head to head to create the best meal based on a secret ingredient. They have one hour to complete their cooking for a panel of three judges and the Chairman, who oversees the whole affair.
Organizing Your Iron Chef Party
Depending on how big your kitchen is and whether or not you want the bulk of the actual cooking to be done in your home, there are two ways in which you might set up your Iron Chef party. No matter which option you choose, you should divide your guests into two groups, and have about three guests who act as judges.
Format Option 1
All Cooking Done in Your Kitchen
If you have enough space, you can have your cooking teams prepare and cook their foods in your kitchen. If this is the case you will want to make sure you have plenty of pots, pans, and utensils ready, as well as a variety of items stocked in your pantry for use during cooking**.
Another good idea if you have your teams cooking in your home is to start the party at your local grocery store, where you can unveil the secret ingredient, divide your guests into teams, and set them loose with a designated spending limit to buy any food that they think they might need for their recipe(s).
**Here are some suggestions for a well-stocked pantry:
- Dry goods — cornstarch, flour, granulated sugar, white and brown rice, pasta, nuts, tea, baking powder, baking soda, chocolate chips, dark brown sugar, vanilla and honey.
- Herbs and Spices — basil, bay leaves, bouillon (chicken and beef), chili powder, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, onion powder, oregano, paprika, parsley, black pepper, rosemary, sage, salt, celery seeds, chives, cloves, cumin, curry powder, dry mustard, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and thyme.
- Condiments — canola oil, cooking spray, mustard, olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
- Perishables — milk, eggs, butter, margarine, cheese, sour cream, yogurt, fresh fruit and vegetables, garlic, onions, potatoes and salad ingredients.
Format Option 2
Potluck Style (Each team member brings one dish to the party containing the secret recipe)
In this option, all pre-preparation and cooking will be completed at the chefs’ own homes. They can then bring their dishes to the party and you, the host, can allow for some time to assemble the plates.
1. Choose a secret ingredient. Pick something that will give your chefs many options. If you are hosting a potluck party, figure out how soon before the party you want to reveal the ingredient.
2. Guests will be divided into two groups: The Iron Chef Team and The Challenger Team. If you are choosing the teams on the night of the party, a fun way to do this is to write each guest’s name on a chopstick and randomly select the teams by having team leaders pull chopsticks.
3. Establish your judging criteria and let everyone know how they will be evaluated. You might make a grid style score sheet where each judge can write their score (1-10) for the dishes based on categories such as taste, presentation, originality, and use of the secret ingredient.
4. In the potluck option, all guests are to bring a gourmet delicacy featuring the party’s “theme ingredient.” Assign each team member an appetizer, soup/salad, main course and dessert.
5. Dishes are judged in terms of taste, presentation, and use of ingredient. Judges can’t know who cooked what. At the end of the dinner, points are tallied and the winner is revealed.
6. The losing team gets to do the dishes.
7. As the hostess you act as the “Chairman.” You organize the event by picking the evening, selecting the secret ingredient,preparing the kitchen, and dividing guests onto teams. You should also provide beverages for the evening.
**Here are some other fun options you might include in your Iron Chef Party:
You or the judges might take on some extra roles, such as:
Drinkmaster — Responsible for mixing up some cocktails that go well with the secret ingredient
Videographer — Tapes the action in the kitchen with added commentary so that you can play it back later or make copies as souvenirs
Kitchen Help — Keeps things tidy,and helps find ingredients and utensils for the teams
You might have your teams come in costume or dress in the same color.
You might ask each guest to bring a favorite recipe to share that uses the secret ingredient. These can then be combined as a fun memento of the dinner party.
Iron Chef Party Invitations
Sending great invitations is a nice way to get your guests excited about your event before it even starts. You could make your own invitations by writing you party information on a recipe card or pasting it inside a takeout menu. Here is an idea for Iron Chef party invitation wording:
From the kitchen of___________________________
Join me for an evening of fun and culinary delights on _________________at__________
You are on team ________________________ (Iron Chef or Challenger).
Please bring a______________________(appetizer, soup, salad, main dish or dessert).
The secret ingredient is______________________.
I will be providing the wine. You will have ______ minutes to prepare your dish at the party to present to the judges.
If you want to send online invitations, y
ou can always find lots of great online party invitations with a free RSVP manager at Evite
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