Sunday 16 June 2019

Brunch vs BBQ: Are food parties the way forward?

Rachael Taylor Fawsitt

With more and more people joining the foodie gang and reducing their alcohol intake, hosting a food party is right on trend.

A twist on the traditional dinner party, food parties can be anything from a juicy BBQ with all the trimmings to a quaint tea party, complete with buttery scones and mini cucumber sambos.

Fancy hosting your own foodie gathering this summer? Nowhere will give you more inspiration than Taste of Dublin, when it returns to Iveagh Gardens this June.

Here are some of our favourite food party ideas, to help you get planning.

Host a BBQ

BBQs have long been a way to get people together, to bond over a slow cooked meal and enjoy the tastes and smells that go with a dish prepared on the grill.

It’s the added touches that will make your BBQ the event of the summer. Be sure to stock up on lots of sauces. Everyone has their favourite, so make sure to have the classics. Don’t be afraid to introduce some new flavours to the mix as well. Why not make a signature sauce in advance and really impress?

Remember that BBQs should take time. The slower you cook the meat, the juicer it will be. Top BBQ chefs advise that you should only turn your meat once too, so be patient.

Let your veggie friends know you care about them too and have some options ready. There are lots of veggie burgers, sausages and even bacon alternatives available on supermarket shelves these days so have a couple of them on standby.

For some more BBQ advice and tips, be sure to check out the Fire Pit BBQ at Taste of Dublin this year.

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Tea Party

It is unsurprising that people have been enjoying afternoon tea since the 18th century. What’s not to love? The tradition of baked goods, a hot cuppa and maybe even a cheeky glass of bubbly is very appealing.

If you are lucky enough to have a garden, why not invite friends over and enjoy being outside together some afternoon? A tea party is possibly the easiest kind of party to host as all the edibles can be made well in advance. Keep things simple and elegant by having a range of treats ready to go the night before. Just leave your sandwiches to last so that they are fresh and don’t have time to get soggy.

Homemade desserts will definitely make your guests smile too, so be sure to check out the Lindt Swiss Maître Chocolatier who is giving a live demonstration on creating the iconic Lindor truffles at this year’s Taste. Or, pop into the Urban Picnic by the Cupcake Bloke for some more ideas.

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When it comes to time well spent at the weekend, brunch is top of the list for any avid foodie. It’s a feel-good meal that is all about having a relaxed morning, enjoying the chats over a great cup of coffee and tucking into some scrumptious belly-hugging food. Hosting a brunch party at home is a fun way to flex your cooking skills, without all the pressure of a three-course evening.

Give yourself time to plan a menu and know in advance exactly what you are going to cook. Brunch should be relaxed, even for the chef, so don’t stress yourself out an hour before your guests arrive trying to decide what kind of eggs you want to cook. If you have extra time on your hands, why not go that step further and have a little menu printed for each table setting.

Did you know that you can keep the taste and texture of pancakes, while also catering for your guests with special food requirements too? Simply swap your milk for a dairy free alternative – oat milk makes the fluffiest pancakes. Use vegetable oil instead of butter and ground flaxseed with water can be used instead of egg.

This year, a brunch event has been added to the weekend activities at Taste. Be sure to get your ticket and pick up some ideas for your own midmorning soiree at home.

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Wine appreciation and tapas

For those who enjoy an oaked glass of red or a bright white, having a wine appreciation evening is a great way to spend time with loved ones. Throw in some delicious tapas and you have yourself a foodie party.

Planning in advance is crucial for this kind of food party. You want your wines and tapas to complement each other to give your guests a delicious experience. Pair each dish with its own wine and give your visitors a little lesson in flavour.

If you need some inspiration around wines selection, be sure to check out a masterclass at the O’Briens Wine Experience at Taste.

Taste of Dublin 2019 returns to the Iveagh Gardens from June 13 – June 16, celebrating the revolution of the modern Irish menu. Tickets from €15 (excluding booking fee) are on sale now.

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to the Taste website.

Sponsored by: TOD

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