How Do I Plan A Chocolate Potluck?

Question: How Do I Plan a Chocolate Potluck?

Answer: Potlucks used to be considered the dinner choice of hippies, but times have really changed. Now, potlucks function as everything from a fun excuse for a get-together to the meals at wedding receptions. Potlucks can be as down-home or as fancy as you please. And, while they’re normally about a whole meal, have you ever considered a chocolate potluck?

Large gatherings can be fun, but for a chocolate potluck a smaller group might be more practical, especially because you’ll need a place to hold the event. Make sure you invite people well in advance, as too many of us have crazy schedules these days. You need to decide if you want a themed potluck. For instance, will this chocolate potluck be about bringing your best brownie? Will it be about French chocolate desserts? Do you want people to bring chocolate desserts based on a movie or an event? Will a recipe swap be part of the chocolate potluck? Figure out, too, whether this occasion will be casual or dressy (given that you’ll be eating chocolate, we favor a casual approach, but we know some people like to dress up once in a while—a chocolate potluck on New Year’s Eve, anyone?). Will alcohol be served? If so, make sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages around for those who don’t wish to drink, and it might be a good idea to have people bring whatever alcohol they’d like to consume.

It would be wise to have a dessert coordinator; unless the potluck has a “bring your favorite version of this dessert” theme, you wouldn’t want everyone showing up with the same type of chocolate creation. And a coordinator will be able to determine who might need refrigerator/freezer space for their dessert, or whether someone else will require a microwave/stovetop to heat an accompanying chocolate sauce (note, however, that limiting desserts requiring last-minute preparation will prevent a lot of headaches). If someone you’d like to invite isn’t a cook or baker, that’s not a problem; they can either pick up a chocolate torte from the really good bakery two towns away, or suggest that they bring some of the napkins, plates, and utensils for the party.

We favor a laid-back, buffet approach for chocolate potlucks, where everyone helps themselves. Make sure to have plenty of napkins and extra plates, eating utensils, and serving utensils on the table. You might want to have a separate table for drinks, alcoholic or otherwise (trust us; chocolate cheesecake just isn’t the same after someone spills soda on it). Leftovers (if any) can go home with those who brought them, be divided up among the guests, or remain with the host.

A chocolate potluck can be a fun, memorable gathering for you and your friends. Why not start planning one today?