Throw a destination-themed dinner party during isolation
This post is inspired by day five of our 30-day At Home Travel Challenge, helping to keep you inspired for future travels during isolation.
Most countries have shut their borders to reduce the spread of coronavirus. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a taste of a faraway destination into your own home!
As part of our At Home Travel Challenge, we’re encouraging you to get a little creative. Throw yourself (and your housemates, or the family members that you live with) a dinner party, based on the cuisine of a country you love! To get your culinary imagination flowing, keep on reading.
How to throw an Australian-themed dinner party
STEP 1: The menu
This is your time to go on an Aussie food safari! We don’t really have a quintessential ‘cuisine’ here in Australia, which means you can pick and choose from some of our weirdly wonderful foods:
A salty, yeasty, dark brown spread, Vegemite is one that people either love or hate. It would be perfectly acceptable for you to serve this simply on toast as an entree. But if you’d like to go an impressive step further, why not try out some other Vegemite recipes that’ll turn your dinner party up a notch. Looking for Vegemite outside of Australia? Check out a list of international retailers here, or have a crack at making your own. Whatever you decide to do with your vegemite, just don’t make the same mistake as Tom Hanks. Lots of butter and just a light spread of the dark brown goodness is the only way to go.
- Smashed Avo:
On just about any Australian cafe menu, you’ll come face to face with one key dish. Smashed Avocado – or ‘Avo’ as we like to abbreviate it to. One of the most simple – yet perfect – bites you could wish to eat, these will work great served up for entree.
- Party pies and sausage rolls:
Staples at almost any Aussie barbecue, are the humble meat pies and sausage rolls. Serve with some no nonsense tomato sauce and stick an Australian flag toothpick on top. There you go, a bloody beut’ meal.
- Chicken Parmigiana:
A chicken parmi (or ‘parma’, depending which part of Oz you find yourself in), is a staple that you’ll find at every pub in Australia – making it a prime choice for your main course. The cheesiness and crispiness of this dish is best enjoyed with a side of fries or mashed potato and salad; and if you’re catering for vegetarians, then switch it for an eggplant parmi instead.
A classic Aussie dessert, a lamington is made from layers of sponge cake covered in chocolate and desiccated coconut. The chocolate and coconut soak into the cake, giving it a phenomenal texture. You drooling yet? Great, get cooking with this recipe.
- Tim Tams:
Surely you’ve tried Tim Tams before? Two crunchy malt cookies sandwiched in between a layer of chocolate, all of which is covered in another layer of chocolate, ready for your ultimate indulgence. Now, we know these gems can be hard to come by outside of Australia. But, we’ve dug deep and found a recipe for homemade Tim Tams that you can follow and impress all of your housemates with!
Feeling rather ambitious? How about giving this pavlova that stopped the Internet a go.
STEP 2: The music
We mightn’t have a huge population, but we do have a massive number of awesome artists. Some of our top playlist recommendations:
- Aussie BBQ:
Flight Facilities, Rüfus and Client Liaison are some of the artists you’ll hear in this indie/alternative soundtrack.
- Iconic Aussie Bangers:
Inspired by BuzzFeed’s article of ‘45 Aussie Songs that are Indisputably Iconic’, comes this exceptionally relevant playlist.
- Blak Australia:
An epic playlist that celebrates the music from Indigenous Australians, including Briggs, Baker Boy and Yothu Yindi. There’s a really diverse range of both classic and new sounds in this playlist, all of which feature Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians.
STEP 3: The language
If there’s one thing we Aussies are known for, it’s our slang. We love to have a good yarn (chat) and our unique way of speaking English is pretty special. At your dinner party, make sure to add some fair dinkum slang to your convos. This’ll really bring the Australian experience to your home.
Other Dinner Party Ideas From Around The World
Of course, an Australia-themed dinner party is just one option. There are SO many other cuisines that you can test out and have a crack at cooking up while in isolation. Some of our favourites:
- Prepare an Italian dinner:
Two words: Vodka pasta. Gigi Hadid has made it, and some people are even saying it’s the best thing they’ve cooked in lockdown. Team it up with antipasto, fresh bread and ice-cream for an Italian feast.
- Begin the day at a French cafe:
Pick up a couple croissants, slice up some bread served up with jam, pour a coffee or hot chocolate, and add a glass of orange juice. Voilà! Welcome to your own French cafe.
- Feast from the Middle East:
Renowned chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad are filling their ‘grams with amazing Middle Eastern food. From hommus to mouthwatering roast chicken, follow their simple step-by-steps for a delicious feast.
- Taco Party:
Need we say more? Pick out a few from this list of 33 Taco Recipes. Whip up a bunch of guacamole. Bring out your most colourful, festive decor and clothing. And don’t forget to shake up margaritas!