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Iron Chef Birthday Party (11 photos)
My daughter was turning 10, so I wanted to make sure she had a fabulous birthday party that she could remember forever. She loves baking and cooking and is always a big help in the kitchen, so we decided to host an Iron Chef-style birthday party. Because her brithday is right after New Year, we sent out save the date invitations printed onto a little chef hat card with a mini whisk attached to it right before the Thanksgiving break. Then the first day back to school, she took the actual invitations to hand out to her friends.
When the girls started arriving, I had aprons they could personalize. Each apron had an iron-on emblem I created for the party that was also used to make stickers to close all the invitation envelopes and was carried through the whole party. The girls also had chef hats I had made that they had to wear. Finally, there was a recipe book (spiral bound 3x5 cards) decorated on the front cover and section tabs added.
Once everyone had arrived, we explained the rules to the girls and unveiled the secret ingredient: assorted cheeses. My husband played an excellent host and had kept the secret ingredient completely under wraps until the momment it was enveiled. After he went over the different cheeses, the girls were given 15 minutes to pick recipes and make a grocery list for what they planned to make for the appetizer, entree, and dessert.
After the 15 minutes was up, our host gathered us around and explained that we now had 90 minutes to prepare our dishes for the three judges. Half of each team went with their adult sous-chef/helper to the grocery store with $30. The girls had to wear their apron and chef hat the whole time and had to make snap decisions on the fly and stay within budget based on what was available. The remaining girls on each team started all the prep work in the kitchens.
We had to utilize a neighbor's kitchen for team two, but that didn't keep them from winning. All the girls watched while the judges tried each course, one team at a time. They filled out score cards I created and had a lot of fun eating all the different food. While each dish was served, the host asked questions of the head chef about their inspiration and how the meals were prepared.
After all the serving was done, the girls decorated brownie cupcakes while the judges deliberated. They also were able to try all the food that was made! The cupcake decorating was a lot of fun because of all the different types of sprinkles and frostings. Finally, it was time to announce the scores and winners.
During the whole party, I had teen helpers video taping and asking the girls questions, just like on the real Iron Chef. We will be editing the video to create our own TV show to burn onto CD with photos which will go in the thank you cards for the presents.
The party was so much fun to plan and do, but we were all exhausted by the end of the 4 hours! It was all worth it when everyone asked what the secret ingredient would be next year.