Once that is established, it is time to decide how the dinner will go, keeping in mind physical distancing for social events like this and ensuring the use of proper protocols to keep everyone safe. Some of these involve travel out of home and the same physical distancing measures apply if you are delivering on your promise of dinner.
Here are some ideas.
1 – Everyone Exercises their Culinary Chops!
Decide the guest list in advance and what the meal should be. Circulate the recipes to your guests along with suggested wine pairing and whatever other things that you might like to include. Invite your guests with plenty of time to allow them to pick up the necessary ingredients during their regular weekly shopping outings. The day before your dinner, send out a reminder and suggested time for your guests to start cooking your chosen recipes in their own home so everyone will be ready to sit down for dinner at the same time. Connect with your guests and let the meal begin. This might be something new for everyone so it is up to you to break the ice, start up the small talk and get the party started!!
2 – The Host with the Most (cooks!)
This idea is more in keeping with traditional dinner parties in which the host not only is the most, they DO the most!! First decide on a date, a meal, and the guests to invite. A good idea is to choose guests close by. Think in the immediate neighbourhood. As the host, you have the fun job of doing all the cooking. It could be just the main, or the whole enchilada – so to speak!! This is your dinner party and you get to choose! Start to cook, keeping in mind proper food handling protocol as outlined by the CDC and when your meal is done, package it up and deliver to your guests. A good idea is to deliver it in containers suitable for heating up which will help contain any contamination or use containers that are easily allows your guests to transfer the food for warming in their own warming dishes without container to container contact. Gather friends together early for pre-dinner cocktails and let them know of any last-minute instructions on rewarming so that everyone will be READY and SET to GO to dinner together, apart.
3 – Everyone Sends their Best
This is not for someone new to hosting a physically distanced dinner. It is the COVID-19 version of a progressive dinner in which everyone whips up their specialty and delivers it around to all those invited to dinner. For example, one takes care of the cocktails before dinner with a favourite wine selection, another does the hot appetizers, someone volunteers to create the meal with another taking care of dessert. Now, with things loosening up somewhat and travel not quite as restricted, this type of dinner can be possible, and it is a lot of fun with everyone participating. Keep in mind containment in prep and cooking and it is good idea to keep the travel local… very local.
4 – Dinner Where Everyone is a Winner
This is HomeWurx absolutely favorite idea and it is so simple. What restaurants are open in your neighbourhood? Check them all out, pick whichever one tickles your fancy and grab an online copy of the menu. Invite some local guests and send the menu along with the invite. It need not be too crazy. Even a simple pizza party will be fun! Everyone is to choose their appy, main, sides and dessert and send it back to you. You set the time, arrange the order and provide packing or delivery instructions for each person’s meal with the restaurant. This is an event where your friends get a great meal delivered, each others’ company to be shared online and some tangible support for your local restaurant. It is an event where everyone wins even the ‘paying’ host, as long as it is stipulated that everyone takes turns. Because it’s only fair that what goes around comes around.