Masterchef Mayhem: Hosting a Junior Masterchef Party

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So my daughter celebrated her birthday recently, and as she is a keen cook, we decided on a Junior Masterchef party. It wouldn’t be too much work I told myself. After all, I wouldn’t have to prepare any food. And having a party at home would be easy on the old budget. Having had a busy time with summer school holidays and our second house move in five months, I’m not sure I thought it through very well! We ended up having 16 five and six year old children (plus cousins) over to cook in my kitchen. I mean what on earth was I thinking!! All the other parents thought I was mad.

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We transformed our kitchen/dining room into a Masterchef headquarters. My husband was Gordon Ramsay (but a nicer version!). He certainly didn’t tell the children that their culinary creations were rubbish! I kept the decorations very simple. I made a few Masterchef logos to fasten to the windows and then decorated the dining room with balloons and chinese lanterns. Instead of goodie bags, the children were given chef hats to wear for the party and to take home afterwards.

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The plan was to organise the children into teams, where they could decorate pizzas in groups. What really happened is that most of the children ran around outside and the children who wanted to cook did so. Then we served up pizzas. It was tough luck for the children who didn’t like pizza! For pudding the children decorated pancakes and cupcakes. Fruit kebabs were also on the menu. I think the pancakes were more of a hit! My husband makes amazing pancakes.

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We played a few food related games, such as the chocolate game that I recall from my childhood. The children had to dress up in a few clothing items such as a scarf and hat, and then they had to cut the chocolate with a knife once they had thrown a six on the dice. We also played another retro game from my childhood – the flour and sweetie game, where you have to retrieve the sweetie from the flour cake without getting covered in flour! This was played outside as it is rather messy. We also played the egg and spoon game, and we watched the Disney film ‘Ratatouille’. Then we had cake and lemonade. The children had a good time and when it was all over, I needed a cup of tea and a lie down!

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Hindsight is a marvellous thing, and looking back, I’m sure the party would have been a lot more manageable if we had limited the numbers to only around six children, or up to eight maximum. I also feel in hindsight that a Junior Masterchef party would be more suited to older children, and children who had an interest in cooking. We found that most of the children just wanted to run around outside and had no interest in the tasks, even though they were simple age appropriate tasks.

Sometimes one arranges an event and it doesn’t go completely to plan. That’s life and it’s what keeps us humble! We learn from our experiences, and I have to say that any parties that we organise next year are going to be much smaller. I’ll keep them to five children at the most!

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