How often does it happen? Most potlucks I go to have your basic hohum food, made with processed foods (I'm sure potlucks keep cream of mushroom soup sales high). I went to one last week where almost everything came from Costco. But, I went to one last night that was amazing. A lot of the people making the food were brought up elsewhere so they brought their specialities, and many I talked to have said their dream is to open a restaurant. I don't even know what a lot of the food was but there was a Kurdish dish made w/ ground beef wrapped in grits/oatmeal (the woman said she couldn't find the right grains here) cooked in a vegetable stew, bulgogi and homemade kimchee, crystal noodles, tres leches cake, lasagne made with provolone and prosciutto, this great Vietnamese sticky rice paste roll (does anyone know what this is--it's similar to the one you get from dimsum wrapped in green leaf but it's pastier and wrapped like grape leaves--it was probably my favorite thing of the night), smoked duck,... The American mac and cheese dishes, turkey, and all just paled in comparison (or maybe in familiarity). And, this was a martial arts function, not a food function. I'm really looking forward to the next one!
Are the potlucks you go to normally chowhoundish? How often do you go to GREAT potlucks where more than a couple of dishes are really good, well other than chowhound-type potlucks where that's the point?