Sushi Party a La Maison
I especially like parties where there is a game being played or when a host provides something to do. In early spring, we threw a sushi rolling party at our house and invited a dozen friends to join in.
The premise of the party was simple: each guest was asked to bring a small amount of filling to share, like cut vegetables, cream cheese sticks, or a protein. As hosts, we made several batches of sushi rice and provided all of the nori (seaweed wrappers), crab-meat, spicy mayonnaise, soy sauce, pickled ginger, and sushi tools (bamboo rolling mats, chopsticks, sauce bowls, etc.).
I deliberately set up two stations for making rolls, and several areas for eating. I tried to group my guests together to promote conversation and sushi creation, especially among people who were meeting for the first time!
It took a bit of work to achieve a good atmosphere and prep all the ingredients, but we had more than enough food for our group of hungry guests! I was also pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to create impressive-looking sushi from home. Throughout the year, many of our friends have told me that they were inspired to make their own sushi after our party, and others have said how much they enjoyed the evening.
Of course, a creative culinary party does not have to be limited to sushi. I think that a personal pan pizza bar (with a hot oven nearby) is something I might try in the future. If you want to host your own, just ask guests to bring a topping to add to the selection! The pizza bar could feature a variety of cheeses, meats, vegetables, herbs and spices, and good olive oil for a tasty crust! A taco bar, quesadilla bar, or kabob bar would be great too, especially in the warmer months by an outdoor grill.