When potlucks work!

Last week I suddenly got an unexplainable, yet irresistible, urge to organize a cheese & charcuterie party at work. Although it probably would’ve turned out better had I done all the work myself (wink!), I wanted this party to be a potluck. Many people out there say that they hate potlucks. The reasons are always the same: “Blah, blah, blah, I’m not good at cooking, blah, blah, blah, I’m too tired after work to prepare something for the next day, blah, blah, blah, I’m allergic to everything that isn’t Chicken McNuggets, blah, blah, blah. . . .” Fortunately, the group I work is full of people who love to cook and talk about it in glorious detail. There isn’t a day that goes by without some kind of “food talk”: Monday morning conversations usually start with “What did you cook on the weekend?” followed by an exchange of recipes. I’m not even exaggerating.

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What was I talking about? Right! Potluck! Okay, so I wanted to shake things up a bit at work by organizing a potluck at the office before the long weekend. In order to make this stand out from the company’s usual summer barbecue, I decided to be a fancy pants and make it a cheese and charcuterie party. I made a quick poster and stuck it to a bulletin board so that people could fill out their names and what they were bringing. This is always recommended to increase the variety of goodies available and to prevent people from wasting money on the same stuff (do we really need 5 wheels of brie?). A lot of people were really enthusiastic about the idea – I overheard some colleagues ask one another “What are you bringing to the party?”

All in all, we ended up with a pretty good spread: pâté, dry cured chorizo, salami, brie cheese, different flavours of goat cheese, swiss cheese, gouda, sharp cheddar, antipasto, artisan bread, crostini, breadsticks, figs, hummus, and homemade pepper jelly.

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I was overjoyed while observing people sharing what they really liked and commenting on the new types of food they’ve tried for the first time. I recommend organizing something similar at your own workplace – social events among coworkers boost office morale (at least temporarily), and (GASP!) you might discover something new.

Feedback and comments I received after the party

  • A few of the ladies in the office were rather surprised to discover that most of the men contributed to the potluck – who would’ve thought that somebody too lazy to put a toilet seat back down would actually lift a finger to contribute to a girly cheese & charcuterie party?
  • Everyone wanted to know when the next lunch party was going to take place with a different theme.
  • Some people wanted the same theme again.
  • Some wished there was wine to compliment the food (why am I not surprised?).

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5 useful items to bring to a cheese & charcuterie potluck

  1. Large boards to place food on
  2. Gloves for food handling
  3. A few knives for spreading
  4. Small spoons
  5. Tongs
  6. Garbage bag
  7. Plates, forks, napkins
  8. Karaoke machine

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Please feel free to leave comments below if you have organized some interesting themed potlucks at your office.

10 comments

  1. Miss G

    Wow looks amazing! I wish I worked with u! Looks like a great variety of deliciousness. Well done!

  2. quietgirlloudworld

    I love this idea! I’m definitely sharing it with my teammates and seeing if anyone is interested (how could they not be after looking at your photos – drool!). Also agree with all of your tips for making this kind of thing work. It really works best if everyone contribute at least a little something – we don’t want any food freeloaders do we? *wink

    • addicted2yum

      Let me know how it goes quietgirlloudworld! I wasn’t expecting much because I thought everyone was getting ready for the long weekend and didn’t have time to grab something to contribute to the boards but the turnout was amazing!

  3. Sharleen

    whoever did that antipasto sure did an AWESOME job on arranging that platter. and those gloves are pretty HAWT!

    • addicted2yum

      Hi Rachelle, Thanks for your comments! I want to hear about it if you plan one or other types of themes! I agree, I was tired of the same old hot dog, hamburger bbq, catered sandwiches, etc. This is totally out of the norm and I think that’s why it worked so well at my office. Thanks for nominating me!

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