Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The new phenomenon in ‘group entertaining’ is the concept of the ‘Group Pizza Kitchen’. Entertaining enthusiasts no longer have to pine for a modern take on the famed fondue evenings of the 70s – the Group Pizza Kitchen has arrived and is making a big impact on the communal food preparation scene!

We were introduced to the Group Pizza Kitchen by a ‘Visiting Aussie’ on Friday evening, a few weeks ago. As would be the case with many of the events we attend in London the evening started with us rocking up to the venue close to 9, refreshed from the day and ready to eat. When we arrived events were in full swing and the kitchen was buzzing with the momentum of people preparing food.

The plan was simple and appealing

Our starter – served just before 10pm - was a sweet potato soup. Made with Love... and a good helping of Coriander

Our main meal was a series of self-assembled pizzas. The Visiting Aussie had a batch of home made pizza dough - prepared in advance and rolled into shape with the help of a duty free bottle of Jameson’s whiskey. The table was laden with an arrangement of carefully chosen ingredients including chorizo, buffalo mozzarella, peppers, mushrooms, artichokes and Prosciutto that cost far too much when converted into Aussie Dollars!

The idea was that each guest assembled a pizza that would be more delicious and sought after than the next. We worked on a two by two principle – while two were in the oven the next two were being prepared.

The concept was a big hit. The evening was social and fun, spiced with good humoured competition as each guest rose to the challenge of trying to create the most delightful pizza.

The night had it all. There was a chilli stand off that left all in tears and exhausted the milk supply in the house. There was a sword fight... with real toy swords. The Islander girls broke into some sort of a dance that looked like it was half hula half haka and there was a dessert – that, despite it being delivered in the glass pots of GU fame, was largely inedible. (We blamed the 70% coco solid chocolate??!!)

The evening spilled over to the next morning until all the dough was cooked, all the wine was consumed and all the bellies were full.

International Foodie claims to be devoted to Good Times, Good Friends and Good Food and the Group Pizza Kitchen had it all – including a few soul stirring renditions of Billy Joel classics that everyone knew the words to.

The Group Pizza Kitchen reinforced the idea that to share a meal with friends is to share a memory, a moment or maybe just a bloody good time!!