Let the guests make the dinner and fun

An original twist in a 50th birthday celebration, that’s what Edgar Valdmanis, a colleague and friend, invited to last weekend. I’ve been to a few 50ths, but never one planned, prepared, arranged and conducted like this one! So read on if you are desperate for ideas about how to through a creative party no matter what the occasion.

I took tons of photos – some for public, and others for more private use :-) As pics often says more than a thousand word, I will reveille some along with my report and start with the whole gang to give you a hint and invite you into the mood:
Let the guests make the fest and fun #1

The best party formula ever:
Invite all you’re very best friends, give them a chef hat and an apron to set the stage. Then the most important thing: A menu with detailed recipes for all courses (we had 4).
So what’s happens then? Well everyone starts to read the menu of course – which in the beginning we thought were the party songs :lol: – but no:
Let the guests make the fest and fun #2

Then you divide them into groups and tell them they will be making tonight’s dinner. Do not forget to buy the ingredients! Invite them a bit earlier than normal of course, and then you tell them we’ll have dinner in two hours: and let the game begin (click all pics to bigify & enjoy):
Let the guests make the fest and fun #5 Let the guests make the fest and fun #4
Soon the kitchen looks like a professional restaurant’s.
Let the guests make the fest and fun #7 Let the guests make the fest and fun #6

The 14 guests were divided into four teams, each being responsible for one dish for the party – for example the starter, the main course etc. The given menu was complete with ingredients and step by step instructions to making each dish. We were divided so we were with people we did not know very well, but the process of creating the best dish possible broke the ice and got us laughing and acquainted in the process.

The dinner is served:
I can tell you we needed the two hours to prepare as we made it all from raw ingredients; we peeled the shrimp, made all the gravy and sauces from the bottom up and so on – this was no fast food feast you know! So when we finally sat down at the table, we were a well mixed and hungry group:
Let the guests make the fest and fun #13 Let the guests make the fest and fun #14
Left: Around the table – Right: Edgar giving his speech

The 4 course and the recipes:
I’ve saved the best for last and again pics say more than a thousand words, so let’s start with my groups contribution – first to the left and eat on:
Let the guests make the fest and fun #9 Let the guests make the fest and fun #10
Left: Natural Shrimp Cocktails – Right: Filet mignon with wine sauce & baby roasted potatoes
Let the guests make the fest and fun #11 Let the guests make the fest and fun #12
Left: Fruit and cheese plate – Right: ice cream with fresh strawberry sauce

Edgar Valdmanis, a network evangelist:
Before I end, I’d like to introduce the jubilant: He is a nice guy, a Professional Networker, a great colleague and Marketing Director at the Norwegian Computer Society. He invited his best friends, but just a few knew each other in before hand. I can tell we did after making this dinner together – and quite a few business deals was done too! You can meet Edgar in most all Social Media of course – some examples; at LinkedIn as well as Twitter and Facebook.

23 Comments

  1. Congratulations and long life to Edgar!

  2. Sounds like everyone had a great time. What a neat idea. Maybe I can pull this one off for my 60th birthday. Maybe.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug to you and Diane. :)

  3. Renny,
    Thanks for sharing, and for the kind words. Can admit I was a bit anxious as to how the whole idea would be received. So far every response has been positive. Glad you all enjoyed it.
    Edgar

  4. How fun and congratulations to that over the hill birthday fella, Edgar! And, I can say that. I’ve been 50 yrs old since 2004.

    Welcome to the old pharts club, kiddo.

  5. What a creative party! Happy belated birthday to Edgar – he has style. Looks like you all enjoyed it a lot.

  6. That is such a fun idea! Norwegians definitely know how to entertain and have fun. I love the picture of you guys all dress as… French chefs!

    This is one creative idea. And the result doesn’t look bad either, no need to run for a few pizza takeaway! :lol:

  7. That’s an excellent idea to throw a party! I’ve heard about such concept earlier and it seem to work well.

    The dinner looked delicious :-P

  8. What a clever, simple idea – happy birthday Edgar.

  9. wow! this is something new and i think i’d like to do this sometime :)

  10. I don’t know anybody who does food like you do – well done!

  11. This sounds extremely sweet and interesting. Quiet a unique way to engage your guests and make them feel at home. Pics are good

  12. I can well imagine that this was a party out of the ordinary – great fun!

  13. What a party! Congrats to the jubilant!

  14. Thank you Renny for sharing this lovely party. It is such a wonderful idea that I plan to borrow it at some point. And the meal looked delicious!

  15. Creative moment! Wonderful idea!

  16. That’s a nice party Renny! The food looks gorgeous! Btw, I was planning to create a logo for your blog and a new blog layout around summer. What do you think?

  17. That is a most unusual and truly creative idea! You do need to have a pretty big Kitchen to accomodate all the groups of Chefs–And the Preperation of Ingredients—My My My!
    But, it sounds like this went off without a Hitch, and was such a great way for everyone to get to know one another….BRAVO!

    Renny…I hope you know that if I could travel, I would come to Oslo for this fabulous Event in August. My Health doesn’t permit it, so….I will, unfortuneately and heartbreakingly miss this really special Blog “Get Together”. I assune, LOTS of Pictures will be taken by you and Tor and Charles…..I so so soooo wish I could be there, my dear—you will never know how much I would dearly love to be with you all.

  18. I’m not sure I’d like a party where I have to cook my own dinner! I really appreciate someone else’s cooking. However, it’s certainly a new twist for a party. As long as everyone enjoyed themselves, that’s the main thing.

    BTW…how much wine was quaffed during the cooking?? Lol…

  19. Donica (in my past life) once had a fun business exercise like this, Renny, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It helps you see how you all can work together, sometimes in roles different from what you normally play. She loved the exercise…and got to keep the apron afterwards, as I recall. :)

  20. awesome experience you got here..and my fave here, the food..lol!

  21. That is the most amazing looking dinner I’ve ever seen. Wonderfully documented, Renny! Looks like you had a blast!

  22. That is such a brilliant idea for a dinner party, I’ll have to try it

  23. That’s an innovative party idea. I like it! You all look like real chefs. Great photos!

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