The Huel dinner party returns
Updated: Sep 15, 2022
In April, I attended the UK’s first ever Huel dinner party. Joined by five other brave guests, we pushed powderised foods to the limit over three courses - and a cocktail - to understand whether we were on the cusp of another food revolution.
The dinner, it’s fair to say, proved divisive. Huel HQ loved it and even made a TikTok, but the top liked comment left by a certain jankinjamkin was "I'd rather drink bin juice <3".
Under the auspices of Huel, who were kind enough to send me some goodies, I was driven to host a Huel dinner party of my own and prove jankinjamkin and other haters wrong.
As is tradition, a Huel dinner party must begin with a filling cocktail.
The White Russians served last time were a particular lowlight, so I was determined to kick the party off to a better start. We settled on a Huel Piña Colada made using dark Rum, pineapple juice, a hearty dose of banana Huel, and crushed ice.
A few cocktail umbrellas were thrown in for effect, although this failed to distract the guests from what can be described as a gritty, chalky drink. To make matters worse, the cocktail accidently became 'stacked' with a sweet layer of pineapple juice at the top and a dense, murky layer of Huel at the bottom.
Verdict: still not onto a winner but miles better than the White Russian. Superb if you have a vitamin A deficiency.
You can’t have a starter without a ‘tart’. Introducing the Huel tartlet, made from 50:50 flour and unflavoured and unsweetened Huel, with a dash of herbs and black pepper.
We topped this dish off with sautéed spinach, mushroom, sun-dried tomato, and vegan cheese, and served it with a little garden salad.
Verdict: an unprecedented success. Empty plates all around.
In my goody bag, I was given three packets of Huel's hot & savoury range: Mac & cheeze, chick’n & mushroom pasta, and cajun pasta.
After the disaster at the last dinner party, we decided to stay well away from the Mac & Cheeze, opting instead for the other two packets. Rather than water, we mixed the powder using two stocks, one mushroom and one paprika, and added fresh vegtables for extra flavour. After rehydrating, the dishes were baked in the oven.
The pasta bakes were affectionately given the names ominous grey and ominous orange. Surprisingly, grey was preferred.
Verdict: following the smash hit of the tarlets, the main left the party in a somber and stodgy mood.
Following two Huel courses - and a cocktail - a light and refreshing dessert was in order. Sadly, for my guests, I doubled down.
Guests were treated to a heaving, sickly Huel chocolate fudge cake topped with raspberries and served with optional whipped cream and/or banana ice cream. The cake was made using Bosh!’s recipe substituted with a hearty dose of chocolate Huel powder.
Verdict: second only to the Huel tartlets in taste and a strong way to end the night. Interestingly, the cake retained its moistness and shape all throughout the next two weeks like some kind of fake food you might see in a North Korean ‘supermarket’.
Leaving gifts and leaving thoughts:
Before home-time, guests had one more surprise ahead of them: Huel goodie bags of their very own, sent directly from Huel HQ. These consisted of Huel totes and Huel shakers - filled, to the brim, with the leftover ominous orange.
Fortified with all essential amino acids and 26 vitamins and minerals, the guests had a noticeable spring in their step as they left the front door. One guest reportedly cycled home to Camberwell in record time, while another made a TikTok in the space of mere minutes.
As guests sped home, I reflected on how improved the second Huel party was. For one, all the meals were better than bin juice and were even, at points, tasty. More importantly, though, the novelty and self-inflicted suffering of the dinner party acted as some kind of collective trauma, creating bonds and memories as indestructible as the Huel chocolate fudge cake.
Once again, a big thank you to Huel for sending me the goodies. Huel, if you’re reading this, we’d still love a tour of Huel HQ in Tring.
Thanks to my partner Anissa for helping me cook the food and to the guests for their curiosity, comradery, and multimedia skills.