Divine Dinner Party

Dinner Party Cooking Games to Play at Your Next Party

Dinner party cooking games are a great way to make a dinner party into something more-- into something modern, interactive, and a lot of fun.

Dinner Party Cooking and Kitchen Game with Food
Dinner parties of old were often staid boring affairs, filled with plenty of anxiety for the hostess. But by coming up with ideas for dinner party cooking games, your party will be a lot more interesting and memorable... particularly if you structure them in such a way that guests can play with the food they'll actually be eating.

Playing games takes the pressure off of you and helps to create a sense of accomplishment for your guests. Not to mention the sheer amount of laughing and fun you have if things don’t go quite according to plan.

When you're done here, why don't you go by dinner party planning central for more help planning a dinner party. Or check out these other hilarious dinner party games and these fun things to do at a dinner party.

Photo by: "Elandru"

Cooking Competition Games for a Dinner Party

Iron Chef and Top Chef have introduced the world to the concept of the full-blow cooking competition. If your guests love to cook and love to eat, then these sorts of dinner party cooking games are bound to be a blast.

Keep in mind, though, that with these types of cooking competition games, things are going to get pretty crowded. Which means you are probably going to want to keep your parties very small for these kinds of activities. Sometimes it’s also better just to keep things very simple. Another alternative would be giving guests the rules beforehand, and letting them prep at home and bring the results of their efforts along as a dish for the dinner party.

Iron Chef-Style Cooking Game for a Dinner Party

Who says that Kitchen Stadium is the only place where Iron Chefs can have all the fun? Take a theme and let your guest go wild.

How to Play: Split into two teams and go head to head, going against the clock, each team getting one hour to cook. Just as with the television show, everyone gets judged on taste, presentation, creativity and use of the theme. Special categories for best dessert, appetizer, entrée, and “wouldn’t torture the neighbor’s dog with it” could be awarded.

Tip for Making it Easy: There is a boxed game along this line, called Stir Crazy which can be found at Amazon.com, but it’s more fun to come up with your own ideas, than to rely on someone else’s. Parties like this go best with six to eight guests.

Quickfire Dinner Party Cooking Games

Bravo TV’s Top Chef added a new word to the lexicon of America, the “quickfire”. Take one ingredient and let it go seriously wild. And be amazed at what will come out of your guests' sauté pans.

How to Play: Similar to the “Iron Chef” concept, the Quickfire is done with teams of two. However, this is a party that works best with a party of four to six. Assign each team an ingredient or set of ingredients, or a theme, and watch what they come up with. Definitely a fun option if your guests are all foodie types themselves!

The Cooking "Telephone" Game

Dinner party cooking games are even better when combined with an element of surprise. This game reminds me of the childhood game of telephone… everybody starts with the same idea, but somewhere along the way things have a tendency to get lost in translation.

How to Play: Again, taken from Bravo’s Top Chef, everyone is blindfolded, except the first cook, who begins the cooking process. S/he cooks for ten minutes, then the next person cooks for five to ten minutes, based on what the first person started, and so on.

Variation for Less-Advanced Cooks: To make things easier, use a laptop computer and one of the recipe programs so that there are no mistakes about what’s for dinner. There is no kibitzing about where you are in the recipe, and in the end, the meal is served. This is best with a party of four to eight guests.

Mind you, if your guests are savvy cooks you could give the recipe only to cook one, give him or her a little extra time, and then let everyone taste and adapt, and come up with a wholly unique meal. A really fun and adaptable dinner party cooking game.

Tip for Prepping for Cooking Competition Games

Putting together dinner party cooking games and competitions like the ones above means a fair amount of preparation. You'll have to make sure that you have enough room in your kitchen and that you have enough utensils for everyone, including knives, spatulas, whisks and so on, not to mention pots and pans.

If you are planning to use play the above games, you may want invite your guests early, so there is plenty of time for them to cook before dinner and don’t forget that you are eating two meals. Don’t forget about stove and oven space.

Cooking Trivia Games for a Party

Out on the market are some great food-based trivia games, much like Trivial Pursuit. Created just for foodies, these games test your knowledge of food, wine, utensils, cooking terms and other food-lovers' terms and concepts that all foodies have come know and love.

How to Play: Since the kitchen is the heart of the house, have everyone gather there, and play a round, so that even the cooks can play. It makes it even better if you get everyone helping to cook, with one “master of ceremonies” asking the questions while the other players answer questions, discuss food, and best of all, cook.

Cooking Together

Of course, the best dinner party cooking game is also the simplest: why don't you just hang out and all cook together? It's a relaxing --and not too competitive-- way to spend time with people... and one that revolves around food!

How to Play: Each person takes one part of the entrée, and does his or her bit to put it together. Someone chops, someone steams, and someone tosses the salad and so on. It is the togetherness and the camaraderie that brings you all together as friends and loved ones, anyway.

Having step by step instructions help, and there are several programs out there that can help you with that for various hand held systems, like Nintendo DS, or you can print them out on your computer and tape them to a cabinet and have everyone pick out what they feel comfortable doing, and put their initials next to it.

Being creative and inventive brings people together and a good dinner party cooking games are no exception.

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After all, what better way to pass on your knowledge than to share it with other hosts and hostesses?

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