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Top tips for hosting a footy finals feast

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When you’re expecting a rowdy crowd to descend on your home for the footy finals, finding the perfect menu is key to keeping them all happy even if their team loses.

With the spring weather warming up and excitement around the footy finals drawing fans out of the woodwork, now is the perfect time to host your own viewing event. But hosting the big sporting games at your home isn’t always as simple as you might imagine. A sit down dinner is out of the question, while a barbeque can seem like a good idea until all the guests migrate back inside for the game. Here’s how to find the perfect sweet spot.

How to plan your footy finals event

As with any event, location is key. If you have a small, cosy living room you may need to consider moving your television out to the dining area to maximise the viewing opportunities for your guests.

Likewise, you should be sure to also cater to the partners who aren’t interested in the game, with additional seating and socialising areas so conversations don’t get in the way of the running commentary. Make sure you have plenty of seating, eskies or ice buckets for drink storage and plenty for your guests to snack on. A pumped up football for some halftime games is always an appreciated addition.

How to serve your guests

While it’s best to ensure there is lots of food throughout your event that guests can graze on throughout the day, including snackable moments with cheese platters and fruits, putting on a great spread for the main meal will be key – so let your guests build their perfect meal from a buffet-style table.

Keep the majority of your menu to small items that can be eaten with one hand, allowing your guests to eat a great meal without everybody needing to sit down with a knife and fork. This also suits an environment where they might be too distracted by the game to give your food the attention it definitely deserves.

Additionally, menu items that can be mostly prepared in advance will stop you from missing all the excitement from the kitchen.

What to serve your guests

At any type of football event, meat will be king. While you’ve need to cater to the main demands of the crowd, you should also be mindful of any vegetarian or health-conscious guests and ensure you’re offering a variety of food.

Starting with cheese is always a great idea, so have a varied seasonal cheese platter waiting for your guests. Our delicious Cheesy Pull Apart bread will also be a winner for cheese lovers.

Next comes the celebration of meat. Classic sausage rolls are easy to prepare and are always a firm favourite, while our chicken wings always impress guests with their crunchy coating. Want something a bit more substantial? Try serving up a batch of our coffee spiced pulled pork sliders.

Arm your guests with plenty of napkins and serve ribs that are packed full of flavour with achingly tender meat. Try our sticky pork ribs or our zingy lemon ginger lamb ribs, both of which will have everyone excitedly licking their fingers afterwards.

Don’t forget easy sides and vegetarian options. While you can always serve a salad alongside your spread, a handful of tasty vegies that can be added at will is always popular and ensures you’re not packing your fridge full of salads at the end of the day. Try our fried asparagus, cheesy jacket potatoes, caramelised carrots and pine nuts, or our hasselback pumpkin for filling vegetable options that can still be eaten with your fingers if they desire.

Finally, don’t forget about something sweet to cap off a great meal. Our chilli chocolate macarons will continue the plate-free theme, but you can also cap off the day by gathering your guests around a triumphant trifle.

Want more cooking inspiration? Keep exploring the NEFF Kitchen.

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