Are you obsessed with cooking shows?
According to marketing expert Brandon Gaille, you’re not alone. In 2015, an average of 400,000 people watched the Food Network at some point during the day. New recipes, exciting competitions, cooking on a budget, world travel — culinary TV has a lot of education and entertainment to offer.
If you and your family just cannot get enough, you might consider hosting a family game night of sorts, but instead of Monopoly, try setting up a home version of “Iron Chef” or “Chopped.” An exciting game with a (hopefully) delicious outcome, you, your friends and family can show off your culinary prowess while mixing and matching strange ingredients for a night of fun. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these tips.
1. Shop for ingredients. If you’re hosting an “Iron Chef” competition, you’ll need a feature ingredient as well as a variety of standard fare for your chefs. Consider choosing a unique feature ingredient such as a game meat (think boar or elk) or unusual fruit (dragon fruit or persimmon). If you’re going with a “Chopped” championship, you will need to choose your basket ingredients for the appetizer, main course and dessert rounds.
2. Set up your kitchen space. Depending on how many people are competing, you’ll need a significant amount of space. Allow every contestant one burner on the stove and access to knives, mixing bowls, pots and pans. Prepare your ingredient baskets in advance, and make sure each contestant has the exact same ingredients.
3. Choose a prize. While you probably won’t be able to award your guests $10,000 at the end of the night, having a prize will add another level of excitement to the night. Purchase a plastic trophy or medal or a giant bag of candy!
4. Offer your guests some tips. If you’re well-versed in the art of combining strange ingredients, offer some of your expertise to your friends. For example, to balance out an ingredient that is super sweet, combine it with something spicy or salty and always have an element of texture in your dish.