Many students in St. Andrews take pride in their dinner parties, spending hours creating the perfect meal. This can be a stressful undertaking for those who love entertaining but are inexperienced in the kitchen. So, my friend Anna and I began filming a cooking show based on teaching these individuals how to create delicious yet simple food for their friends. What we envisioned would be an insightful guide to throwing fabulous dinner parties, actually turned into a documentation of my ridiculous culinary mishaps.
The relatively easy menu of roast pork loin, potato salad, and lemon tarts we set out to make was problematic from the start. I overworked my pate brisé, managed to break my electric mixer, and I discovered that you cannot whip cream in a blender. Although the pork and potatoes were delicious, I was unable to finish my tarts, and resorted to fresh berries.
Throughout the course of a day, my spotless kitchen evolved into a mountain of dirty dishes. Flour covered every surface (including my clothes), and trash sprinkled the floor.
Even worse was my non-composure in front of the camera. I was awkward, I giggled, I spilled things, I nearly burnt myself, and I was unsure of what to say. In other words: I was a total spaz.
Our party was meant to take place outside, but as Friday the 13th would have it, it started hailing violently an hour before the event. With the help of some friends, we tidied the mess, and squeezed the tables into my tiny living room. Despite these many obstacles, the party was beautiful, fun, and everyone left with a full stomach.
It is easy to forget that TV chefs like Nigella Lawson and Ina Garten have a staff of makeup artists and sous-chefs at all times, making everything seem effortless and simple. Throwing a dinner party for 25 people will never be as easy as they portray it, especially when cooking in the minimally equipped kitchens of St Andrews. Though my show is silly and maybe a little embarrassing, I believe that most students will relate to it, and hopefully be entertained!
Images courtesy of voicequilt (main image) and Anna Gudnason. Compiled by Jenni Dimmock.