How to host a DIY pizza party


The beginnings of a bespoke pizza

Okay I may as well admit straight up that I haven’t actually hosted a DIY pizza party.

I may know my way around a Eurovision party with a sequined blindfold but a proper pizza party requires the proper pizza kit and I am not sure a wood-fired oven would fit on my balcony, even if I moved my flamingo.


One good looking, hard working pizza oven

It’s lucky that my second cousins have a bona fide wood-fired pizza oven and live just one suburb away. My cousins are part Italian and part Greek so everything that comes out of their kitchen is a perfect love child of Mediterranean flavours and technique. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity to be part of a family DIY pizza party hosted by these near-professionals.



I arrived to find the kitchen table topped with perfect pillows of dough positioned in neat lines. The home team had been busy proofing dough for days and worked up three different bases, including a sourdough base which went on to be the favourite of the day.


Freshly made tomato sauce


Each pizza base was slathered in a mixture of pureed tinned tomatoes, fresh basil and a touch of olive oil.

The DIY element meant that everyone brought their own selection of toppings and they covered almost every inch of the table.



We’re talking freshly shaved prosciutto, ham, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, salami, olives, marinated peppers, marinated artichokes, roasted pumpkin, caramelised red onions, mushrooms, char-grilled eggplant, fresh basil, rocket, anchovies and roasted beetroot. Read More

Behind the scenes at a Eurovision party


My Eurovision survival kit

I have a thing for Eurovision parties.

Is it because of my European background? The fact that I embrace sequins and big hair? Was I over exposed to a wind machine at an early age?

I’ve never quite worked it out. But at some point it became a thing for me and I’ve subsequently felt compelled to throw a party in honour of this landmark event ever since.

And while everyone else is focused on the singing (or lack thereof), I’ve always been firmly focused on the food.


My handmade flags are ready to go

This year I approached things a little differently. Each of my guests was allocated a country and instructed to bring food or drink from that country. I put a lot of thought into the allocation – giving friends a country where we’d travelled together if possible. That’s how I ended up with a dining table practically groaning under the weight of the collective culinary output of the EU.


Gluhwein is my go-to Eurovision beverage

As host I decided I would represent Austria (the host of this year’s Eurovision) and Australia.

First up was a heady pot of glühwein, perfect to counter the early winter chill in the air. I cooked the wine for hours with cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and slices of fresh orange. Intoxicating.


Mum’s carefully arranged Wiener schnitzel

I couldn’t ignore the national dish of Austria so Wiener schnitzel was always going to be on the menu.

That’s where mum stepped in with one of her pearls of wisdom (I must add it to the list).

Thou shall not fry meat right before thou has guests arriving!

No one likes to enter a room filled with the lingering scent of fried meat but nor does anyone enjoy a stale schnitzel. There was only one thing for it mum declared, she would have to cook it herself and then drop it over right before my party. Bless you mum.


Classic Aussie party pies


Prawn and avocado shots

Representing the Aussie contingent were mini meat pies (a party just ain’t a party without party pies) and mini prawn cocktails. I filled shot glasses with shredded lettuce, avocado, dill, added a dollop of mayo and wedged a fresh prawn on top.


My four-tiered tower of Aussie sweets

Representing the other end of the spectrum was my four-tiered homage to our sweet history, made with lamingtons, Iced VoVo’s, Tim Tams, Anzac biscuits and Caramelo Koalas. By the way, has anyone else noticed how flat the topping on Iced VoVo’s has become?

I also snuck in some of this new fandangled Vegemite chocolate – a salty-sweet concoction that polarised my guests. I don’t like Vegemite but I liked this chocolate – strange, no? Read More