If you haven't already tasted the TV reality-cooking gem that is Come Dine With Me (a show that pits 5 strangers against each other as they all host a dinner party and score each other on both the food and overall enjoyment of the evening) then how about trying it for yourself this weekend?
This simple idea has all the ingredients for fascinating and often hilarious results - the cooking aspect showcases interesting recipes and presentation ideas, but its not the culinary tips that has made the show such an institution. The curtain-twitchers amongst us will love a snoop into normals people's homes, exposing their bad carpets and dodgy teapot collections. The scoring element of the show ensures bitchyness and underhand insults are on the menu.
Why not try this concept at home - you'll have a recipe for weekends of foody fun and laughter. Here's how you do it:
1. Get a group of 5 together from your circle of freinds. It doesn't matter if they are enthusiastic cooks or barely can make 2 minute noodles, they just have to be willing to host a dinner party and be part of the fun.
2. Decide what nights to host your parties. The TV version is 5 nights back to back but you may find this logistically impossible - the best way is have one party per weekend.
3. Here comes the creative bit - everyone must create their menus. There must be 3 courses - starter, main and dessert. However, the way that the individuals construct their evening is completely up to them - it can be themed, fancy dress, finger food, with entertainment - the possibilities are endless. It can be a nice chance to showcase your best dish, a traditional recipe in your family or something the guests may have never tried before.
4. Before the first part you will need to print the numbers one to ten on A4 paper and copy them for all the people participating so they can score. Then you need a impartial person not taking part in the game to record the scores given at the end of the party each night. You can also write anonymous comments to read out on the final night.
5. Decide on a prize! You may all wish to donate money to a kitty the winner will receive, or treat the winner to a meal in a their favourite restaurant. Or you may decide that the boasting rights in being named the winner as prize enough!