I love to host. I love to cook, but that you’ve already realized. I love to prepare food for people I love.
It’s not easy. It takes practice to love it.
At first, hosting is a burden. Clean up your place, buy all the stuff you need, prepare the food and more and more… For some people it stays there, a burden. I have friends who don’t want to host, ever, they hate it. That’s ok. Hosting is really not for everyone. You just need one or two friends that like to host.
In this post I’m gonna try and tutorialize how I host. Some of you may do it in a completely different way and I’d like to hear about it. Some of you may find peace reading it and understanding it really not a big deal and wanna try and do it by yourself. If you do, invite me over! I’ll love to come.
1. The event
What’s the occasion? For example, I volunteered to organize the food for a bachelor party a few weeks ago. Or maybe a team’s BBQ.
At what time is it? Noon? Evening? It changes everything. This is the first step. Understand what and when.
2. The location
After the what and when, comes the where. Most of the time you’ll host at your place. But sometimes you’ll find yourself hosting at a park, for example. This is important when realizing how many people will come and what kind of tools you’ll have.
3. The people
How many people will come? Are there any special diets? (Vegans, Vegetarians, gluten-free…) According to this you’ll start making the menu.
4. The budget
How much money do you have? Do you take some from each one? If this is a company event, will the company pay for some of it?
5. The menu
This is the most important thing and my favorite thing to think about. What’s on the menu?
I try to live the event in my head and think of all the different moments:
- I’ll probably be the first there to start the cooking. So I need some snacks and beverage for myself and whoever will come to help
- People will start arriving and the food won’t be ready yet. That’s ok, I’ve arranged snacks and beverages for everyone!
- What’s the first thing that will come out of the kitchen? If this is a BBQ, it is customary that the first thing is Chorizos (Sausages) or Skewers. Maybe even some chicken wings.
- Then the Main Dish. When making a BBQ, I often have 2-3-4 “main dishes”. Each one a different part or even a different animal. I try making each one of them unique. At this bachelor party, I made Asado inside croissants with Honey, a Shawarma and Goose Breasts with Truffles Oil. The Asado was sweet and had a “regular” cow taste. The Shawarma was made from Cow, Turkey and Lamb, making it completely different from the Asado. The goose was different from the other two, leaving the guests with many different favours.
- In this part it is important to write down a timeline. How much time each dish needs and when do you want to serve it? I write it down on a piece of paper and keep it on me all the time.
- Try your best when calculating the amount of food. If doing a BBQ, I calculate 500 gr of meat for each one excluding the sausage. Don’t worry if food will remain after everyone has eaten, worry if no food has remained.
- The Side Dish(es). Will there be a salad? Puree? Rice? What will you serve as a side dish? This is not always necessary, it depends on your main dish, but it is important to acknowledge.
- The drinks! Depending on the type of the event, the number of invitees and the hour of the event, what drinks will there be? Coffee and Tea? Beer? Cocktails? Maybe some Wine? Maybe a Sangria? Whatever you do, don’t forget water and soft drinks. They are always needed.
- The dessert. Often forgotten. It doesn’t have to be something fancy-home-made. It can be something bought, a fruit (someone said watermelon?) or you can even ask someone to be in charge of it. Just think that, after all the great food you made, you may want to give your guests something to finish with it. At this bachelor party, I jokingly called the Goose Breasts the dessert.
6. The entertainment
Most of the time you won’t need to think about this. You have your friends come over and that’s enough. You’ll talk about containers and Docker on Windows. Maybe the last update on Visual Studio will come up as a topic. You now, the normal stuff that normal people talk about, yes?
But sometimes entertainment is needed. Maybe a game, a Kahoot, or even just some talking topics in hand for the silent parts.
That’s it. In six small-ish phases you have done thinking about everything you need to think about to host an event.
The best tip I can give to you? Write everything done. If you come up with some idea and you don’t write it down, you’ll forget about it. Trust me, many great ideas I’ve had, have stayed as ideas as I didn’t write it down and forgot.