Iron Chef Potluck

Introduction

Loosely modeled after the popular Iron Chef television show, the Iron Chef event is basically a potluck dinner and time for JETAA members to socialize and enjoy good food. The chapter leadership should determine if attendees can bring any dish or if guests should adhere to a theme or concept for the evening. Chapters have reported hosting Iron Chef Events which specify Japanese-only cuisine or Asian-only cuisine. Others have required that specific featured ingredients be used. For example JETAASE encourages food submissions in three categories: appetizers, entrees, and desserts. In each category, there will be two featured ingredients and attendees should prepare a dish that use one of the two ingredients (or both).

Time / Location to hold event

Any location that works for your chapter's membership is acceptable. Even with larger spaces, however, the invitation should make clear that attendees should bring dishes that are ready to serve. Very few hosts would be able to accommodate a large number of guests all cooking simultaneously in their kitchen.

Suggestions

Consider inviting guest judges to the event. For example local chefs or members of the Japanese consular community. Allow the judges to have time to prepare a sampling of all items and deliberate before the food is served to everyone. Small prizes, such as chefs hats and/or kitchen utensils, are also a good idea so that "winners" are acknowledged.

Other comments

Since guests are bringing the majority of the food, consider using the JETAA budget to purchase beverages.

The invitation or evite should be clear that all attendees should bring a dish even if they do not wish to enter the item in the Iron Chef judging. Otherwise, there may be far more people than the food will provide for. One idea may be to have JETAA provide a dish to supplement the potluck. Snacks like sembe and edamame or more substantial fare, like yakiniku or soup and salad, are one such option.

Clarify with your host whether the event needs to have an end time or if guests are welcome to linger. Make this clear on the invitation and ask that JETAA executives help "wrap up" the party when the end time is approaching.

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