The hottest new trend in home parties are meal prep parties. These functional but fun gatherings are a great way to get together with friends and accomplish something together.
A party can be as simple as preparing a single meal together that you all plan to eat that evening or as involved as all prepping your meals for the week. The beauty of these fun parties are that it is time well spent, doing a task together. If you ever thought “ugh… food prepping is drudgery” attending or hosting a party just might be the way to take away the doldrums of cutting, chopping, and packaging the family meals.
1. Decide On The Type of Party
Is your party going to be for adults, children, or a combination of both? Mommy and me parties could be fun where mom’s get kids interested in preparing kid inspired breakfasts, and snacks. It could be an adult only party where maybe you and your book club members read a cook book and then create one of the recipes together. Maybe your party would be a couples coking party where each couple competes against the other. Your imagination is the limit to the fun you can have. We once attended a sibling sushi making contest, it was a blast.
2. Keep The Guest List Manageable
Meal prep parties should be smaller in nature, They should only be as large as your kitchen island can hold. Remember there must be room for all attendees to maneuver around their respective work areas. Depending on what menu you are planning you may needs extra room for serving, packaging, or for appliances such as crock pots. We once held a pickling meal prep party and needed room for ingredients and all those jars.
3. Plan The Menu
Plan the menu according to your theme and your guests. It’s imperative to know ahead of time if there are any food allergies or sensitivities. Keep your menu trim, select easy recipes or ones without too many items to prepare, and be mindful of timing of the recipes you have selected.
4. Create A Shopping List
Decide who is responsible for sourcing items. If you are planning a weekly meal prep for example you may want to tell everyone to bring the items needed for the amount they would like to prepare. This is also a good idea for shopping preferences for example you have two friends, one who only shops at Whole Foods and the other Aldi.
If you are planing to prepare and then sit down to eat the meal together you still have choices. You can assign out items for your guests to bring, split the bill or you can shop for the items and absorb the cost. If you do all the shopping for a meal, you have the peace of mind that you have all the ingredients and on time.
5. Have Extra On Hand
Extra tools like cutting boards, knives, extra towels, extra paper towels, extra ingredients. There is always someone who forgets something or underestimates what they needs. Extra disposable take away containers are always a good idea. Make sure you have extra cleaning supplies on hand too. Kitchens can be messy place and spills happen.
6. Clean Well Before A Party
Clean everything in and around cooking and bathroom areas . It is not just for the sake of propriety but for the health and well being of your guests. It is easy to spread germs into the cooking area. Make sure each guest is feeling well, and washes their hands in the bathroom sink before before they begin touching anything in the food prep areas.
Remove pets from cooking areas
7. Think Safety 1st
Remove small children if you are using knives, graters, or other sharpe objects. Be mindful of splattering grease, boiling water and spills. Accidents can be avoided with a little bit of caution. If you are hosting a party where small children are involved ensure they have age appropriate, safe tools to use. Never let small children operate, mixers, the oven, or stove. Keep safety in mind when planning menus.
8. Benefits of an Instructor-Led Party
If you have ever attended a cooking class then you know an instructor is a valuable asset. Instructor lead events bring focus to the objective and keeps things on a time track. An instructor leading your meal prep party adds a layer of organization to your event. Like an MC does to a show or a DJ at a wedding. They add value by imparting their culinary knowledge to your guests who are likely to pick up helpful cooking tips and techniques along the way.
Instructor led parties can assist you with planning, they can help the host decide on the best event type for them in the space allocated and design the menus in such a way that your party is sure to be a success. Good instructors will help you create the shopping lists. They should also guide you through food safety procedures to ensure you are prepared to have others cook in your space. During the session they will reenforce food-safe handling practices and food storage techniques.
9. Where Do Instructor-Led Parties Take Place?
Instruction can happen in a physical setting such as a culinary studio or in the safety of your home, in person, or virtually.
When an instructor leads a party virtually. It is as easy as logging on to a zoom meeting. The instructors value stretches beyond their culinary knowledge, they ensure that the time spent is managed properly and keep your guests focused and on task. They want you party to be as fun and successful as you do. Once the instruction has ended you and your guests can enjoy your time together.
10. Where To Find a Meal Prep Party Instructor
Many popular kitchenware stores have culinary studios built inside of them. They offer many types of classes.
Some cooking schools are designed just for children
Virtual Meal Prep Parties are offered for convenience and safety
Many popular private chefs will come to your home and provide a cooking class
The Most Popular Types of Meal Prep Parties
The Ultimate Dinner Party
The Ultimate Dinner Party is one of the most popular- You prepare the guest list and select the menu.
Your Instructor will be notified you have chosen a menu and date. They will open up a dialogue with you to discuss assistance with planning.
Prior to your event you will receive a shopping list for all the items along with the list of necessary tools to accomplish the job, such as cutting boards, knives, etc.
The instructor will log on to the session before your guests arrive at your home, run through the check list with you and be there to greet your guests.
The instructor may have additional questions for your guests around their culinary skills and food allergens. The instructor will assign tasks to each. This sets the tone for the party.
At the designated time the instruction portion begins and you and your guests are coached through the entire process of making the meal.
Once the meal is to a point where you are just waiting for it to stew, simmer, or bake. The instructor will thank you and your guests and they will log off so that you can enjoy your private time together.
*Meal Prep Made instructors are food safety certified
The Meal Prep Party
The Meal Prep Parties are also very popular. Similar to “The Ultimate Dinner Party” you will prepare the guest list and invite your friends.
You will select the best menu options for your group.Your Instructor will be notified you have chosen a menu and date. They will open up a dialogue with you to discuss assistance with planning.
You will receive a shopping list with all the necessary items that you will prepare for the week.
You have complete control over the cost of the food. You decide if you will split the costs with friends or have each show up with the ingredients to prepare their meals.
You will receive instructions on the tools your guest will need to prepare the meals.
Your instructor will log on prior to the party starting and run through any last minute checklist items with you.
Once everyone has arrived at the designated time, the instruction portion begins and you and your guests are coached through the entire process of preparing the weekly menu.
Once your meals are prepared, the instructor logs off from the virtual session and you and your guests can begin packing up the food. (The instructor will recommend coolers with ice packs are part of the necessary tools in order to keep the meals safe.)
*Meal Prep Made instructors are food safety certified
Most meal prep party instructors love to see the final product and receive feed back as well. Don’t be surprised if they ask you to share the party photos, receive feedback, and ask about guests comments.
If your friends loved the experience, you might suggest making it a regular scheduled social event.