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Photo: Quentin Bacon, Real Simple blog

Themes aren’t necessary to throw a great dinner party, but the team at Zokos believes that they can definitely add an element of fun!  Here are a few ideas for some themes that you can use to give your next dinner party a unique twist.

1) All “Fill in the Blank” Dinner Party

Has your garden been abundant in tomatoes?  Did you overbuy kale at the Farmers’ Market?  Host a dinner party where all of the courses revolve around a specific ingredient!  Challenge yourself to find a recipe for a cocktail, appetizer, salad, main dish, and dessert that include your special ingredient.  For a great example of one hostess who succeeded in doing this using zucchini, check out thekitchn.com’s article “An All-Zucchini Dinner Party.”

2) Build Your Own “Fill in the Blank” Dinner Party

Taco bars are the classic example of a “Build Your Own” themed dinner party.  However, the options are limitless.  Some we like include omelets (use different types of cheeses, meats and vegetables), mac and cheese (offer seasonings that people can stir in themselves, such as special ketchup), and shish kabobs (allow guests to assemble various ingredients on a stick before firing up the grill).  Need more inspiration?  Check out our post about a recent zoko serving build your own pizza bagels!

3) Taste of “Fill in the Blank”

A cultural theme is fun because there are so many elements you can incorporate – including food, music, decorations, games, and interesting information.  Real Simple’s post about throwing a Mexican Fiesta provides a fun example.

A Taste of Italy party will be entirely different from a Taste of Ethiopia party, so people in your dining circle can take turns hosting and choosing a different country or culture for each dinner to mix it up.  Keep the theme simple by sticking to country-specific recipes or generate a seemingly immersive cultural experience.

4)  Dinner and “Fill in the Blank”

Dinner and a Movie.  Dinner and a Broadway show.  Dinner and Book Club.  Dinner and Baseball League.  Dinner and a Volunteer Project.  You get the point.  Dinner can be the prequel or sequel to almost any activity.  Pair them together!

Bonus points for pairing your recipes to the theme of your activity!  Get some ideas by perusing this list of movies and dishes that play off of the movie’s setting or plot, from Woman’s Day.