Olympics Theme Party Ideas Worth The Gold

If you're planning an Olympics theme party, I've found something from my archives for you.  It's my "Around The World Hors d' Oeuvres Menu".

olympics party menu

This was a very popular menu years ago when I was running my own catering company.  It was an Olympic year back then and my clients were constantly asking for a menu that would reflect the excitement of the Olympic games.

Considering that most Olympics theme parties also include watching and cheering for the athletes, I realized that a sit down knife-and-fork menu wouldn't work very well.  People don't sit politely with a napkin under their chin when taking part in the excitement of the international competition.  They stand, they shout, they urge the television to make their favorite competitors go faster or further.  They aren't calm, they may not be polite, but they do need food.

I created an international menu of two-bite hors d' oeuvres that could travel with your guests as they move through the emotional bobsled that comes with watching the battles going on.  Each of these items are chosen to represent a specific country, the appropriate foods you might find there, and then makes them easy to eat.

You can create your own Olympics theme party by choosing some, or all of the items I've listed in this menu.

Have I forgotten your favorite country?  What would you add to the list?  Please leave a comment below and we can make this a truly international menu!

"Hey Chef Todd, I think __________ should be included in your Around The World Menu because....... " (insert your comment below)

About Chef Todd

Chef Todd Mohr is a Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients THEY desire.


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  • Mattias
    8:45 AM - 20 February, 2014

    Hi Chef

    For the Swedish dish I would recommend you to add the, in Sweden mandatory, Hovmästarsås to your Gravad Lax.
    Hovmästarsås would translate to "butler sauce" or "head waiter sauce" or in French "sauce maître d'hôtel", sounds fancy... 🙂
    As for the Gravad Lax, which is the proper wording, Gravad is actually aiming at the cooking method and Lax means Salmon.

    Short history lesson...
    To "Grava" something comes from the word "Gräva" which means to dig and was what poor people in the old days did to preserve fat fish of different kinds.
    They simply dug a hole in the ground, popped the fish in there together with some salt (if you had that luxury), and used that as a "fridge" to "preserve" the fish.
    In terms of preservation it wasn't super great if you didn't add enough salt and that's how "Surströmming" was invented. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wapOib5u8a8
    (Most people in Sweden don't eat that, just the hard core guys in the north...)

    Anyhow, back to the Sauce

    This is the most classic recipe for Hovmästarsås, composed by Michelin star Chef Leif Mannerström

    2 tablespoons mustard (mild)
    1 tbsp dark French mustard
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1/2 lemon (the juice)
    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    few dashes worchestersås
    0.5 tsp white pepper
    1 tablespoon water
    1.5 dl canola or corn oil
    1 small bunch fresh dill

    mix everything together except for the dill and oil.
    gently pour the oil into the mixture while stirring (you know the drill)
    add the chopped dill
    add some water if too thick

    The Gravad Lax Sandwich should be served with a lager beer, accompanied by an Aquavit schnapps (also mandatory) 🙂

    • Chef Todd
      10:23 PM - 20 February, 2014

      Ohhhh Mattias, I MUST try this! Thank you so much for the Grava lesson, it's always interesting to me how certain cultures have evolved their indigenous foods. You find that methods and procedures are similar all over the globe. Columbus wrote of watching Indians bury food with hot rocks and called it "barbacoa", which became barbeque here in the US. Hawaiians have Luau where pigs are buried with hot rocks and Ti leaves to help with steam. Grava is the cold weather version, I guess.

      I'll be having some good salmon soon and will try your sauce. Thank you for the contribution!

  • Mark Toffle
    9:12 PM - 19 February, 2014

    Need a recipe for a green Thai curry. Any ideas?

    • Chef Todd
      9:54 PM - 19 February, 2014

      Well Mark, you know me better than to ask for a "recipe". lol! But, an idea? That I can help you with.
      When you examine most food items across nationalities and cultures, you'll find they are very similar.
      From my perspective, the ingredients change but the methods stay the same. So, can you make salsa? Can you make Pesto?
      Then you can make green Thai curry. It's a basic grinding of leafy herbs with other ingredients.
      Here are my suggestions for necessary ingredients:
      Basil, basil, and more basil.
      Kafir Lime leaves (Asian grocery store) or lime zest
      Coconut milk
      Garlic, red onion, maybe some brown sugar..
      and your spice team is cumin, coriander and cilantro.

      Grind it up like you're making pesto, adding coconut milk last to desired consistency.
      You can also add hot Thai chilis or jalapenos, or red bell peppers.
      Use a standard METHOD and change the ingredients for your desires.

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