Expert Chris Sim says hosts need to learn to delegate, not sweat the small stuff and create a meal ‘timeline.’
Chris cooks community meals for more than 2,000 people every year.
He honed his expert know-how for putting on a foodie event by volunteering with FoodCycle for the last six years.
The charity aims to reduce food poverty and social isolation with community meals.
Chris transforms surplus food into restaurant-standard meals, inspired by cuisines from around the world.
When Chris and his fellow volunteers turn up each Saturday, they have no idea what surplus ingredients they will receive until they enter their community kitchen.
They then only have three hours to create three courses for 40-50 guests.
But Chris said the trick is to blend collaboration and delegation.
Pre-planning is essential when you cook for a big party
And he recommends not fretting about small details. As long as it’s done with love and care, guests will appreciate it.
Lastly, pre-planning is key when you have many mouths to feed.
Creating a timeline of preparation can help to create a slick process to getting everything served on time.
Expert Chris Sim says hosts need to learn to delegate, not sweat the small stuff and create a meal timeline.
Chris, from London, UK, said: “When you are preparing food and a lovely occasion for many people, as soon as you relinquish a little bit of control and realize you can’t do everything – things tend to run a lot smoother.
“From the outset, always pull in as many helpers as possible – and give a few tasks for others to own while you can focus on what you’re best at.
“Combining other people’s ideas, alongside your own, not only makes people more motivated to help you, it tends to deliver a tastier, more creative result.”
Chris Sim’s dinner party advice comes as a study of 2,000 adults found 72% of people that have ever had people round for dinner, enjoy hosting.
“We want to encourage more people to take that skillset from the home and extend to the wider community”
And the research, via OnePoll.com, showed 23% would like to extend their hosting or cooking skills by sharing them with the local community.
When asked what qualities make a good host or hostess, being welcoming (74%), relaxed (64%) and attentive (53%) are some of the most important elements.
And when it comes to hosting a dinner party specifically, the quality of food on offer is the most important thing (57%).
The research was conducted by community dining charity, FoodCycle, which hopes to rally home chefs and dinner party hosts to help meet their 10,000-volunteer target.
CEO Mary McGrath said: ‘’Week in, week out, thousands of volunteers like Chris Sim across the country help transform surplus food into delicious vegetarian meals for anyone that needs them, no questions asked.
59% increase in the number of community meals served over the last year
“As a nation of dinner party hosts and home cooks, we want to encourage more people to take that skillset from the home and extend to the wider community.
“Over the last year, we’ve seen a 59% increase in the number of community meals being served and with cost of living and rising food prices.
“We anticipate this demand will continue to increase.’’
’’Volunteers Week, which starts today, presents the perfect time for people to get more involved.”
Chris’s top tips for putting on the perfect dinner party:
- Collaboration enables delegation. Pool ideas from different people, then get people to buy into a shared vision for a meal. It will make those helping you more motivated.
- Utilize ideas from your travels or family and friends from other parts of the world. Try to remember that dish, flavor combination or ingredient that made your holiday that little bit more memorable.
- Don’t fret about the smallest details – as long as it’s done with love and care, your guests will appreciate it.
- Pre-planning is a must when you have many mouths to feed. Creating a timeline of prep – which includes everything from when the food needs to go into the oven to dressing the table – can help to create a slick process to getting everything served on time.
- Try to smile, relax and even have a laugh during the process – you’re more likely to enjoy cooking, which will translate into tastier, more memorable food.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Edited by Saba Fatima and Newsdesk Manager