5 Culinary Components of Any Good Dinner Party Menu

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The New York Times declared the dinner party to be “endangered”.

However, you simply cannot beat throwing a dinner party for your friends. It’s cheaper than going out and lots of fun.

Planning the dinner party menu can be the most confusing part.

Do I need a starter? Is the cheese course the same as the dessert component?

Keep reading to discover the 5 culinary components of any good dinner party menu. Let’s go!

1. Soup

Before the soup, you could offer your guests an amuse bouche.

The amuse bouche is French for to “amuse the mouth”. The idea is that this should excite and prepare the guest for what is to come.

You want your guests to be able to eat this dish in a single bite.

It may even be finger food while your guests stand around or sit in comfortable seating before sitting at the dinner table.

Then, this should be followed by the soup. This is usually the first hot component of the evening. Your soup is either fish or vegetable based.

2. Appetizer

The appetizer, the starter or the entree (as it is confusingly known outside of North America) is the course of the meal which follows the soup.

Never serve your guests an appetizer with red meat. This is an opportunity to introduce your guests to some proteins or starches combined with a sauce and some vegetables.

It’s important to keep the appetizer as a small dish. You don’t want your guests to be full before the main course.

You can even serve your guests a number of small dishes on a single plate to enjoyed as a shared platter.

In some cuisines, the appetizer can also be replaced as the fish course. While the Italians, follow up the antipasti with a pasta dish.

3. Main Course

Now for the main event, the main course, or entree is traditionally a protein-based course. It is common to serve one of beef, lamb or pork as the main component of the main course.

However, with the growing number of vegetarian and vegans choices, this can also be tofu or cheese based course to accommodate different diets and preferences.

4. Cheese Course

In a four-course or a three-course meal, you may go directly to the sweet or dessert at this stage. However, in the five-course version of your dinner party, you can choose a cheese course here.

You can arrange a wide range of cheeses (some plain and creamy and others more challenging and blue) in the middle of the table.

This is also a great opportunity to provide your guests with cheese from around the world, including Dutch, French, and German.

5. Dessert

Now for something sweet. The dessert has to round up the meal.

You can offer your guests something light, such as ice-cream or fruit salad. If you want to impress, you can prepare a more indulgent dish for dessert.

It’s important your guests know that there are five-courses to the meal. You can create your own menu design so everyone knows to leave room for dessert before you start eating.

Dinner Party Menu

What’s on your dinner party menu?

Sometimes you can get a little confused about the order of each component of the meal for your dinner party. Make sure you follow our guidelines here to impress your guests.

Your dinner party can also be budget friendly. Check out our blog for recipe ideas which don’t break the bank.

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