A round robin party is where people in the neighborhood decide to visit different houses over the course of an afternoon or evening. At each house, a different dish is served for the guests to enjoy. Round robin parties are usually broken up by time. Guests might be at one house for 45 minutes to an hour before making their way to the next house.
Rather then allowing each person to serve her own dish during the course of the round robin party, create a menu, or menu theme, so that there is some consistency with the food and flavors. This will save you the trouble of having spicy Indian at one house, followed by a traditional Greek dish at the next. Once the theme has been established, create the order of houses so that it coincides with the courses. For example, if the theme is Mexican food, the first house might provide nachos as an appetizer, the second a Mexican bean soup, followed by fajitas as a main dish at the third house, and a Mexican chocolate souffle at the fourth house.
While the focus of the round robin party is usually food, you can also provide a game for your party guests as well. This will give them a chance to work off some of the food they have been enjoying. Backyard games such as horseshoes, volleyball, badminton and croquet are all ideas that you can set up that many people can play quickly and easily. You can even set up a game at each house and have the couples compete as a team. The couple that performs best in games for the evening, wins.
Create a signature cocktail to go along with each dish or course at each house. The signature cocktail should enhance or compliment the flavors of what is being served. For example, if there is a Mexican theme, then you might serve a spicy jalapeno martini along with a stuffed jalapeno pepper appetizer. If your crowd is more into beer and wine, then purchase wines that go with the course. For example, a rich pinot noir would compliment a steak course nicely.
The British television series called "Come Dine with Me" has contestants dine at four different homes over four different evenings, with each of the four contestants hosting once during that time. At the end of the evening, they give each other a score on the overall experience. The score includes the warmth of the host, taste of the food, and the overall fun of the evening. The winner receives a cash prize. You can apply this same type of technique to the round robin party. Each person attending and hosting gives a score after visiting someone else's home and sampling his food. At the end of the evening, the best overall score wins. You can purchase a gift certificate to a local restaurant as a prize.
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