Come Dine With Me: Student / Young Professional Edition Comes to Edinburgh

Come Dine With Me is one of the most fun ways of spending time with your friends. Our edition of the ‘show’ took place over 4 weeks in Edinburgh and saw 4 dinners hosted by myself, Mr Estonian IT Guru, Miss Latvian in Gorgie and Miss Churro (oh how amusing I find it to come up with nicknames for everyone).

If you decide to organise Come Dine With Me amongst your friends, I’d highly recommend opting for the once a week approach instead of 4-5 consecutive nights of dining in the same week. That way the whole experience will be a lot more relaxed with more time to prepare your meals and get other things checked off your to-do list. Though in our case we didn’t set any budget, it might be an idea to introduce that element for an extra challenge and to ensure no one goes over the top, particularly if you don’t know each other that well.

We’re all young and we rent accommodation so our kitchens and ‘dining rooms’ are far from being the most appropriate for hosting dinner parties. Trying to set a dinner table with mismatched cutlery and dishes proved to be quite the challenge but we all handled it well (no breakdowns reported). Eating delectable dessert off a plastic plate in a very basic student residence couldn’t in any way be called glamorous, but it really was immensely fun.

Each cook took their job very seriously and set about putting together a unique menu, but we didn’t know what we’d be served before arriving at the host’s. Over the 4 weeks we got to savour Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Indian and other flavours. With more ups than downs, all in all the food part was deemed a hit. My personal highlights were Miss Latvian in Gorgie’s apple crumble, Miss Churro’s Spanish omelette and Mr Estonian IT Guru’s blueberry cheesecake. I concocted a veggie-friendly meal with 3 dips as starters, a Mediterranean vegetable curry and Latvian strawberry mousse.

We dared to be bitchy and gave each other feedback at the end of the night, focusing on the negatives, as well as points from a scale of 1-10 as they do on the show. Needless to say we laughed… and snorted (yes, we’re a classy bunch so we are). I was ‘abused’ and told that I shouldn’t try to force my friends to become vegetarians haha (P.S. I like meat… occasionally).

Our winner is a young man who should definitely reveal his talent for cooking to the world. From the minute I walked in and saw his hand-crafted menu cards, I knew we had a winner… And the mouthwatering cheesecake totally wowed us ladies. He’s still to receive his £10 worth prize though a wee part of it is in my kitchen cupboard.

Have you ever hosted Come Dine With Me? How did it go? Any tips to recommend for someone planning to organise their own edition? Let me know.

– Miss Red

Food photos courtesy of Miss Latvian in Gorgie. Cheers!

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