Thursday, October 1, 2009

13 at dinner

I've thrown a lot of dinner parties in my day. It's true. Soup dinners. Wine dinners. Come-on-over-because-I-got-a-little-overexcited-and-cooked-too-much-curry dinners. Apparently-the-power-is-out-and-it's-Mexico-so-it-might-be-days-before-it's-back-on-so-time-for-a-barbecue dinners. (I mean, I can't let the whole duck or lamb chops in the freezer or the random assorted cheeses or the tequila go bad. Okay, maybe the tequila isn't in danger, but still....)

I was thinking as Ollie and I cycled along yesterday who I would invite if I could pull together a lively group of food-related folks for a dinner at my place. Since I'm on the road these days, having my own place is as much of a fantasy as the impressive guest list, but I can think of a few folks who might be willing to host the crowd I have in mind....

So who would I invite? Firstly, Michael Pollan. He's in the forefront of my thinking these days, as you might have guessed from recent posts. Next, Alice Waters, Wendell Berry, Barbara Kingsolver, Eric Schlosser, and Dave Murphy (founder of Food Democracy Now!). Since there are already heavy hitters at the table, I'd invite the Obamas (the kids can come, too, but they're not in my official count), Ag Secretary Vilsack, and Jon Stewart (because he's awesome, if not specifically food-related, and I know the conversation would be both hilarious and thought provoking). I'll include Bill McKibben (whose "Deep Economy" is rocking my boat these days as well) and maybe George Clooney (an activist in other arenas, and a charmer, and I have to keep up the facade of a mild infatuation with him that I built up with my former high school students... who may still be reading this). Did I miss anyone? Probably. I'll invite them for dessert and espresso. (N'espresso, of course, with George in attendance.)

In the kitchen with me, I'd have an equally impressive line-up. The cooking dream team: Felicity, Alessandra, Julius, my cousin Sonia, Mark and Lee (ohhh, for the apple cider caramel sauce alone!), Nick (flown in from the Philippines -- why not?), my dad (if I promise not to make bouillabaisse -- but wasn't the fish stock from scratch amazing??), and pretty much Jeff's entire Chicago apartment. Kind of like fantasy football, but for cooking, I suppose. Less fouls, more fowls. Har, har.

And I'll bet you're wondering what I'd make. Well, it depends on the season....

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


  1. Welcome to Iowa! I'm so happy you'd invite Secretary Vilsack to your party. His Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan would be pretty cool, too, I think. Just a little shameless plug...

  2. I get why most of the foodies are on your list, but why Kingsolver? I've read some of her novels, but don't remember a food tie-in.

  3. Well, my favorite book of hers is, of course, The Poisonwood Bible, which is not related to food. However, more recently her Animal, Vegetable, Miracle really engaged a lot of folks -- many house moms and book clubbers who might not have otherwise thought about seasonal food's challenges and benefits. It's pretty fun if you haven't read it, especially her take on raising turkeys. I would have let you borrow my copy (which is actually my friend Jeanne's copy, come to think of it... hmmm... I probably shouldn't have taken notes in the margins...).


Thanks for your comment! Just making sure this isn't spam.... Thanks for your patience. :)Ibti