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I am one of those that love to host. Any excuse to cook for people and watch them eat and enjoy my food always makes me happy. But sometimes I am either too busy or just too tired to host and cook. Well here comes potluck parties to the rescue. A potluck is basically a meal or a party where each attendee brings something to share with everyone. They are pretty easy to host but let me just give you a few pointers.

A few months ago the Onja crew were planning for a meeting. I decided to have them over for a potluck. It was quite nice having different foodies bring over something amazing. Best thing was we had no duplicated dishes and this was all due to great planning. We did it all on Whatsapp and it worked out great and thus my first tip.

  1. Create a theme based on either time and/or cuisine

This works out great because it helps you not have clashing dishes like pilau and omena *major eye roll*. So decide keeping in mind who your guests are;

  • If it is breakfast lunch or dinner.
  • How many courses you would like served.
  • If there will be a themed cuisine eg swahili, traditional Kenyan, Continental, African, Mexican etc

2. Who will bring what? 

Now again you do not want people bringing similar dishes. What good will 3 rice dishes or starches and 2 deserts do?  If you are anal like I sometimes are you can go ahead and tell everyone exactly what to bring. If not you can have a discussion on whatsapp like we did or even use Google sign up docs to lessen the back and forth. Generally make sure you have enough protein, starch and drinks . Also as the host you should try and make some of both the starch and a protein just in case anything happens to the ones bringing gets into a hitch. Remember to request for a salad,  some desert and veggies

3.  Make sure you have enough

Depending on how many guests you have and how many people are bringing a certain dish make sure you have just enough for people to carry home some food. Eg If you have 20 people and 3 are bringing proteins then each should bring enough for 7. That way you do not have too much left over and everyone is able to have a taste of everything. This again can be planned for on the google sign up sheet.

4. Be Mindful of your guests needs 

How many vegetarians do you have?

  • Any guests with young children?
  • Anyone with a particular food allergy?

What will your guests need on the day in order to have their food ready?

  • An oven to warm food?
  • A microwave?
  • Serving platters

Honestly I think hosting a potluck is pretty easy. It is party season so in case you are time strapped or cash strapped, do host a potluck.

Any other tips you could be having? Drop a comment


Written by Wangeci