Recently, a friend of mine invited me and 4 other friends to participate with her in something called “Come Dine With Me.” I had never heard of it before but she explained that it was a popular British TV show that pitted 4 or 5 amateur chefs against each to win the title of Ultimate Dinner Party Host. Participants take turns preparing three-course dinners at their homes and are scored by their fellow diners on a scale of 1 to 10 based on their culinary and hosting skills. The winner takes home GBP1000 cash prize.
It sounded like a lot of fun and all of us being relatively new moms, it also seemed like a nice way to spend some “adult” time sans babies. Nothing R-rated of course (in case my use of “adult” conjured up some kind of naughty image for you). But just civilized, sitting around the dining table, enjoying good food, sipping champagne…wine, chatty girl-talk kind of adult fun. The kind of thing we used to do more often BC (before child).
So we all met up for dinner and karaoke one night to submit our menus. I cannot sing on key nor hold a note to save my life – even my son tells me to hush up when I try to sing him lullabies and he’s only 15 months old – so karaoke for me involved watching the cheesy Korean music videos and cheering on my well-tuned friends.
Once the menus were in, there could be no changes. We planned on doing one dinner per week so in theory, we could finish the competition and announce the winner by the end of week 6. As for the prize, we all chipped in 100 dirhams so the winner of our little competition would take home 600 dhs. We would videotape each evening’s events and one of the husbands had offered to dice, slice, and compile the footage – maybe he’ll even provide sarcastic comedic commentary a la Dave Lamb, who hilariously narrates the amateur chefs antics on “Come Dine With Me.”
As everyone submitted their prettily printed menus with nice artsy flourishes, I was scrambling at the restaurant to scribble my three-course dinner menu on tiny pieces of scrap paper. A menu that I had hastily put together on the drive to the restaurant. Not a very good start already! My excuse? Visiting in-laws and a sick baby. Yes, two quite time-consuming things.
After the menus were submitted, we drew names out of the proverbial hat to determine the order of the dinners. Although my name was drawn second, we had to shift some dates around and so the first person to start our cooking and hosting competition ended up being, yep, me!
So stay tuned for the next “Come Dine With Me” post to find out how my culinary skills measure up under pressure, if my natural clumsiness ruins any part of dinner, and if my hosting skills leaves anything to be desired.
Wish me luck!
* * * * *
More Come Dine With Me Dubai:
Come Dine With Me – Day 1 – A Risotto Disaster?
Come Dine with Me – Day 2 – Ceviche, Ceviche!
Come Dine With Me – Day 3 – A Grand Feast
Come Dine With Me – Day 4 – A Taste of Sweden with No Meatballs
Come Dine With Me – Day 5 – Kilawin, Kilawin!
Come Dine With Me – Day 6 – The Winner is Announced