While just a “cooking programme” to those not “in-the-know”, those familiar with Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me know that it’s become something more of an enlightening social commentary, holding a culinary mirror to a modern Britain whose quirky eccentricities have opened our eyes to a number of culinary delights, all brought to us through the medium of Dave Lamb’s catty commentary. And of course, we love it. So to celebrate Britain’s favourite dining show, here’s Cuckooland’s essential guide to Come Dine With Me-based dining etiquette!
Brush up on your recipes
Whether you can cook or not generally isn’t important – the best meal never wins anyway. We all know that the key is to be the loveable clown of the bunch who manages to keep their nose out of all of the passive-aggressive tension – even if their own main dish consists of Heinz baked beans and instant mash! That said, however, since your dinner parties will be with actual friends whom you can tolerate, you might want to brush up on your recipe compendium – especially if it’s been a while! Grab some international cooking books, and introduce a spice of exotic flavour to your very British dinner party! But that said, if there’s one thing to learn from Come Dine With Me and its questionable string of winners, it’s that the best way to your diners’ hearts isn’t just through their stomachs – it’s also achieved by being a great and modest host who ensures that everybody involved has a great time!
Be careful of allergies
You can guarantee that in just about any episode of Come Dine With Me, somebody will have an allergy to something that you would never have imagined anybody could ever be allergic to! Seafood is a big one, as is Gluten and some nuts and seeds. Your advantage over Come Dine With Me contestants, however, is that you can ask your diners of their dietary preferences and requirements before they arrive at your house dressed as 80s pop stars, so take full advantage of this! If one of your dinner guests suddenly breaks out in a rash, they won’t be the only ones with a red face!
Get the best silverware out!
If you look a little bit closer at episodes of Come Dine With Me, you might notice a certain constant fact throughout the series – nine out of ten times, the show’s winner has a fabulous taste in dining room furniture and decor; one that normally reflects their own personal charm. So, if you are thinking of sending off an application (or you just want a nice dining room!), you’ve come to the right place. Cuckooland’s vast quirky range of dining chairs, dining tables and dining sets is bound to have something that cries out “unique” to you! Of course if you truly want to impress then this silver champagne bath is simply perfect.
Think you can get away passing off Ambrosia custard or Heinz tomato sauce as your own “secret recipe”? Think again! Whilst Come Dine With Me diners generally don’t come from “foodie” backgrounds, there always seems to be one in the group whose culinary knowledge is a bit more up-to-scratch – and this is no different in the real world! And let’s face it, everyone knows the taste of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream!
Just try to ignore Jonathon, the 28-year-old sales executive from Leeds
There’s always a Jonathon. Annoyingly enough, he always wins, too. You know the one – the monkey-faced “cheeky” bloke in the loose-fitting shirt who usually finds a way of integrating the aforementioned baked beans into his meal. He’ll probably have a couple of drinks, start being loud, and suggest that everyone play a few “party” games. Of course, one of the benefits that you have over the contestants of Come Dine With Me is that you know your guests beforehand! So you can plan a means of giving Jonathon as little airtime as possible. (Or just don’t invite him, if it can be helped).
Don’t be a wine snob
Have you ever seen a winey win? They’ll get out a fancy bottle, pour it out, and start going into the deep history as to how the wine went from grape to glass, while the other guests sit there in an awkward pseudo-silence, with that “I-hope-they-don’t-ask-me-anything-about-wine” look on their faces. Just because a “nosey” wine is a British dining room tradition doesn’t mean you have to pretend you’re a wine expert! Applying this to the real world, though, this also extends to any other hobbies and interests you have; if your guests all have something in common, then by all means bring it up! If you’re into collecting stamps from former Soviet republics, however, you might want to keep that to yourself.
So that’s our Come Dine With Me-inspired guide to dining room etiquette! Be sure to kit your dining room out with some original and unusual furniture and decor from our vast range, and create that unique and personal, “winning” dining room! It gets a 10 from us!