Virtual Dinner Party No. 4 – Slow-Cooked!

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(Update: For VDP No. 5, click here)

Coronavirus Lockdown

With most of us in self-isolation or even total lockdown, a VDP (virtual dinner party) is one way to catch up with friends and to continue to test your cooking skills.

We have now had a few VDPs. Here is the link to the first of those: Virtual Dinner Party No. 1

From there you can link through to subsequent VDPs.

Following is our menu and running sheet for the most recent one. As well as our Adelaide friends, another couple, from Melbourne, joined us (remotely, of course).

(If you think you might give a VDP a try, at the end we give four useful web links that are worth reviewing.)

The Menu for Virtual Dinner Party No. 4

Our aim is for a menu that is easy to prepare and finish off and for dishes that are not too heavy or rich. This eclectic mix of dishes was prepared by Rhonda. She decided on her own accompaniments for the lamb, settling on the carrots and brassicas.

(Some of the links below might not open if there is a paywall.)

Pea and coriander soup – Alison Turner – Recipe

Main Course

Slow roasted lamb shoulder with pears and cumin – Karen Martini – Recipe
Chill-roasted carrots with cashews – Adam Liaw – Recipe
Charred brassicas – from Geronimo, Launceston – Recipe

Roast plum and blackberry cake – Karen Martini – Recipe


We all began with a rose, followed by a shiraz.

Running Sheet

While it might seem somewhat prescriptive, the aim is to keep things moving and coordinated.  The times given below are Adelaide time (half an hour behind Melbourne time). Much of the preparation is done beforehand.

2.00 pm Adelaide time (2.30 pm Melbourne) – Begin preparation
2.05 – Prepare and bake cake
3.30 – Lamb in the oven
6.00 – Prepare the soup, and keep warm
6.30 – Prepare the carrots and the brassicas
6.45 – Skim the lamb, cover and keep warm

7.00 Adelaide time (7.30 pm Melbourne) – Log in via Zoom
7.01 – Raise our glasses. Cheers to us all!
7.10 – Re-heat soup
7.11 – Oven on for the carrots and lamb
7.15 – Serve the soup
7.30 – Carrots into the oven
7.35 – Lamb back into the oven
7.50 – Cook the brassicas
8.00 – Serve main course
8.40 – Slice off serving sizes of the cake and gently reheat
8.45 – Serve dessert

How it all panned out

Previously there were just two couples. Tonight we had a third couple, and it worked just as well. All of the dishes were very successful. All recipes are very high quality, giving lovely results. The soup is very easy and unusual. The lamb might seem complicated, however, it is one of the tastiest lamb dishes you will try. The cake is beautifully moist.

Following are some photos taken on the night, but forgive the poor quality of composition and plating as it does become rather hectic trying to keep up with everyone and still take photographs. We don’t bother to plate the dishes in a fancy way as there is no one else but us to see the results, and it does save on washing up!

Some Useful Links

Dinner parties go digital during coronavirus outbreak: ‘We lock in every Saturday night’

How To Throw A Virtual Dinner Party

How to have a virtual dinner with friends or loved ones

Here’s How to Have Your Own Virtual Dinner Party During Coronavirus Quarantine

Contributions welcomed!

If you have had your own VDP (virtual dinner party) or virtual foodie or wine experiences, we are happy to hear about them, including the menu, wines, etc (and good quality photos if you have any) and why it turned out so well.