My Mum always said it was a good idea to offer to bring a dish to a party. If all else fails, at least you can eat that one! A potluck party is an event to which everyone brings a dish to share, so you end up with a feast. It’s a great idea if you’re catering for large numbers. Theming your potluck party is fun for your guests and means that you end up with an interesting assortment of food.

Here are some ideas for potluck themes:


Ask your guests to bring a dish that represents their origins. Mine would be the chicken soup that is in my book.


This one’s fun because you often end up with a lot of puddings! My favorite dish, as a child, was this chocolate mousse. It’s just as delicious now as an adult!


Ask each of your guests to bring a national dish. See if you can think out of the box on this one. I was once asked to provide a Spanish dish and I brought Churros, which went down a treat!

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Ask your guests to bring a dish containing five or less ingredients. It’s always fun to see what people come up with. My dish would be a Greek Salad (feta, cucumber, tomato, seasoning, olive oil).

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Name one ingredient that everyone has to use, but make sure you coordinate, or you could end up with a whole meal made up of one dish! Some good ingredients to use for this are coffee, bananas, biscuit, sesame seeds and chocolate.

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I once hosted a Valentine’s Day party and made an entirely red and pink meal. Strawberries, Tomatoes, raspberries and kidney beans were just some of the things I served. Either assign different colours to each guest or ask them all to stick to one colour scheme. It makes for a very pretty table!

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Everyone loves a story! Taste is a great trigger for memories. Asking your guests to cook a dish that brings back a particular memory, such as a marriage proposal, job promotion, childbirth, or anything, is a great conversation starter and will always lead to a night of great storytelling!

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This is my absolute favourite! Don’t ask your guest to cook anything, but instead to pick up their favourite takeaway dish and show up ready to eat and have fun. You’ll be a very popular hostess if you go for this one!

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