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The 'Blind Cooking' Dinner Party Challenge
Organising a cooking challenge
We often used this fun cooking challenge as part of our student Scout and Guide get together but the challenge works just as well for a dinner party challenge or for other large social groups. Don't worry it doesn't actually involve being blindfolded while cooking or anything, as that would be quite dangerous!
If you are doing it as a large group you will need a hall or large meeting room as well as access to a good size kitchen or multiple camping cookers. When I have done this in the past it has been when Scout and Guide Societies have come together from 2 or more different universities, so there are usually around 40-50 of us. We use a Scout hall and bring along as many camp cooker as we can. It is usually a ridiculously hilarious and fun event for all.
The idea for large groups/societies
Ok it is usually easiest to nominate an organiser or small organising committee of upto 5 people who will be the ones to chose the teams and judge the dishes at the end of the challenge. Although they will not cook, this might seem like the easier option, they have to be brave as they will be testing all the dishes no matter how bad the outcome! So be warned it isn't for the faint hearted only the people who can stomach the challenge. They must be impartial so if there are more than one group of people it is advised that even amounts from each are chosen to make it fair.
The ingredients can either all be chosen and bought in advance by the organisers or each person attending must bring with them 2 tins of ingredients whose labels can be removed. Any ingredients can be brought as long as it is within date. This is where things can get interesting.
The organisers or chosen committee now chose the teams with a selection of people from each group on each team to make it fair. If you are all one committee just chose a mixture of even teams. Each team is given a work area and access to a burner (microwave, oven and grill use is optional and is to be pre decided - if you have access to them)
All ingredients are placed on a large table and the labels are all removed so the tins are now all blank! The tins are mixed up so people don't know which tins are theirs or what tin is what. The teams then take it in turns to chose a tin until all ingredients are gone.
Now the fun starts! The teams now have a set amount of time (30-45 minutes works best) to prepare a minimum of 3 dishes from the tins they have chosen. Butter, oil, water, stock, a few herbs, salt and pepper can be used by all as basic ingredients.
When the time is up, teams must serve their dishes to the judges explaining what they have used. judges MUST try all dishes and mark each teams efforts. The best way to do this is for each judge to give a mark out of 10 and the team that has the most at the end wins.
The Idea for Smaller Dinner Parties
Ok so if its a smaller group of you, the rules and the idea is generally the same. You can split into pairs or stay as couples and you may need to buy an extra few tins each. But you still have the time limit and you still have to cook 3 dishes. Obviously you only need one kitchen and you don't need the camping cooker, unless you want to of course! You could take it in turns to use the kitchen so each couple gets 30 mins to try and make 3 dishes, you all try them then the next couple get a go! Easy! Think of it more like Tapas cooking!