July is Culinary Arts Month, which means it’s time to celebrate innovation in the kitchen! It’s also the perfect reason to assemble the crew and enjoy favorite foods or make an exciting meal together.
Whether you’re looking to engage in friendly competition or need an exciting menu for your next dinner party, this blog will help you get the ball rolling so you can celebrate summertime flavors and maybe even enhance your cooking skills!
Cook together to find culinary inspiration.
If you’re looking for some ideas for your next culinary adventure with your family, girl gang, or partner, look no further! Here’s my top three celebration ideas:
There are two ways you can celebrate Culinary Arts Month via competition: grand-prize style, or gameshow style.
Grand-prize style allows each guest to make the same dish…but with their own flare! Serve potluck style, and at the end of the evening, an anonymous vote among attendees will determine who is the winner. (This one’s really fun to do with chili, since there are so many variations.)
Gameshow style is the perfect choice for adventurous friend groups. The goal is to recreate the hit cooking show Chopped. You can split up into teams to pit individuals against one another. Each team or person will receive a “basket” of a few mystery ingredients and use their creativity to put together a masterpiece meal. Judging criteria depends on taste, use of ingredients, and presentation. (Hint: presentation matters and everything looks better on these Dadasi plates.)
Cooking Lessons (Perfect Date Night!)
Ah yes, we’ve all become very accustomed to video conferencing and talking to our loved ones on FaceTime and Zoom. However, did you know that there are some sites that will allow you to Skype with a professional chef from anywhere in the world?
Learn the art of incredible cuisine by cooking alongside a professional. They will take you through the meal step by step through services like The Chef and the Dish. By the time you sign off, you’ll have an incredible feast and a huge smile on your face.
If you want to take things further, there’s all sorts of options for learning through online courses and advanced technique classes! (Find your cooking gear here.)
When I host cook-together meals, I find it simpler to make something that has a simple base and can be personalized (Stromboli’s, paninis, salads, etc.) Once everyone shows up with their ingredients, we all get cooking and swap toppings and ideas!
I personally love doing this with pizza. Cover a few pans with pizza dough and have friends and family bring their favorite marinara, pesto, cheese, veggies, and more!
Invite friends for a boozy Taco Tuesday.
I’ve found that my friends and I tend to fall back on tacos when we’re struggling to pick out a restaurant or meal to share together. For Culinary Arts Month, I’m thinking it’s time to elevate our usual tacos and margs for an exciting meal featuring some of our favorite adult beverages.
Here’s the menu I’m planning (and links to all the recipes)!
I wanted to start things off with a bang, so I’m planning on setting out some tequila salsa with chips and Fireball pineapple. It’ll give my friends a little sweetness and a whole lot of spice while the chicken tacos finish cooking.
I was torn on dessert, because I love a good mojito poke cake. But I think I’ve decided on fried tequila shots. They’re actually little bits of angel food cake dipped in tequila and then fried (YUM!). I’m going to be sprinkling on powdered sugar and making a sweet lime sauce for dipping.
If you want to keep things more low-key, why not host a food-themed movie night? Julie & Juliahas always been a food-centered favorite of mine, but there are a ton of movies out there about restaurants, food, and chefs! Just add a charcuterie board and some wine (and try out these rolling wine glasses!).
(Psst! This is a great activity for the whole family. You’ll just want to substitute some kid-friendly snacks. Ratatouille, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factoryare all food-based hits that appeal to all ages.)
I hope you enjoy celebrating Culinary Arts Month as much as I do! If you feel so inclined, come on back and let us know how your celebration went!