How to Host a Great Throwdown

As the holiday season is upon us, many of you may have taken time off to celebrate and catch up with family and friends. This may be a great time for you to introduce Throwdowns in your social circles. If you’re new to this blog, I should say that the idea behind creating Throwdowns came from my husband’s desire to eat a lot of different kinds of pasta as well as facilitate the task of entertaining for me. Allow me to explain:

I love to entertain. When I moved out into my first apartment 5 years ago, I regularly threw dinner parties for 10-12 guests – with mismatched plates, glasses, cutlery as well as chairs I’d borrowed from my parents (thanks Mom & Dad!). I kept up with that habit over the years and yearned to outdo myself each time I entertained. I remember one occasion in particular, about 6 months before our 1st Throwdown (Pasta Throwdown in December 2010), where I took 2 days off work (and spent way too much money) to prepare for a “simple tapas” dinner for 14 guests. Of course, I loved every minute of it but it just wasn’t feasible anymore to get together with friends, for it to be both affordable and time efficient.

So Throwdowns were born as an easy and affordable way to get together with friends over a great meal. I mean it’s basically a competitive pot luck. I encourage you to start your own:

  1. Pick a theme
  2. Invite guests
  3. Come up with a grading system and perhaps a prize (our group now settles for bragging rights)
  4. Eat and drink

As JF and I have hosted 3 Throwdowns thus far (Pasta, South Beach, Harvest), I’ve picked up a few tricks on hosting for 14 or so people in a small (cozy?) space.

  1. Re-arrange your furniture to maximize room for your guests to walk around. You’ll move your couch back tomorrow
  2. Set up a bar area – ideally away from the kitchen – with napkins, glasses, water
    and wine so guests can serve themselves
  3. Have a bowl of sliced fennel in the center of the table – it’s an old Italian trick help digestion
  4. Remove small appliances and as much as possible from your counter tops. Also clean out your fridge to ensure there is enough room for all the food your guests will be bringing over
  5. Take out a pile of tea towels – these are great for wiping messes, removing hot dishes from the oven, drying dishes, etc…
  6. Take out a variety of dishes – plates and bowls so your guests can have a few options for their serving dishes
  7. Wash & dry plates between rounds to avoid having a big pile at the end of the night

On behalf of all Throwdowners, I’d like to wish you a great holiday season. Eat, drink and be safe!

– Amanda Piedimonte

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2 thoughts on “How to Host a Great Throwdown

  1. We could do a tapas theme for the next throwdown!

  2. Kim says:

    i love this article! it makes meant to have another throwdown sooner. xoxo

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