sorkinAt yesterday’s monthly neighbourhood dinner club event, someone posed a question: If you had the chance to invite any five living people to dinner, who would you choose, and what would you serve them? My companions last evening picked sports stars and attractive entertainers. I had to think it over, but here’s my answer, replete, alas, with writers. I decided to go with a vegetarian theme for the dinner, so the cuisine wouldn’t detract from the conversation. Definitely a prosaic choice:

Aaron Sorkin, writer, The West Wing
Frederick Barthelme, writer, Rumor
Sarah McLachlan, writer/musician
Daniel Quinn, writer, Ishmael
Malcolm Gladwell, writer/editor, The New Yorker

Channa Masala, vegetable/chick pea curry
Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
Wild Rice with Oriental Greens and Indonesian Peanut Sauce
Five Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza
Raspberry Maple Walnut Parfait

Who would you have picked, and what would you serve them?

This entry was posted in Our Culture / Ourselves. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. O RLY YA RLY says:

    I think this meme must have originated in the UK. The BBC recently showed a program called “Guess who’s coming to dinner?”. Only difference was you could invite dead people and it didn’t matter what you would serve them. The guests simply talked about why they chose these people and what that said about them. My selection is here.

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    Great choices, Harald. I pondered how to balance the male/female ratio in my list more. Germaine and Camille would be great additions. Anita Roddick would be another. And I’m glad the choice I was given was limited to the living, as that is hard enough.

  3. Hmmm. I think I would also invite writers, some alive, some not.My first choice would obviously be Walt Whitman. Then I would add Mark Twain, H. L. Mencken, Dorothy Parker and Kurt Vonnegut. Now THAT would be an interesting group to have to dinner.If they have to be currently alive and kicking, I would still invite Vonnegut along with Tom Robbins, T. C. Boyle, Hunter Thompson and Arthur Clarke.I would serve them some of the rather pedestrian dishes that I do fairly well.Deviled eggs.Shrimp fajitas.Pop’s Primo Potato Salad.Green bean casserole.The Best Pecan Pie in the Universe.Hey, it ain’t the Ritz, but they would be stuffed and very happy. The wine would be the superb dry Muller-Thurgau from the Bainbridge Island Winery. Lots of it. These people need to be lubricated to function.Instead of after dinner cigars, I would offer fat joints of BC bud. This was all about hedonism, wasn’t it?

  4. paulapalooza says:

    Whoa, I thought Arthur C. Clarke was dead. Hmmmm. Anyway, I’d invite the following to dine:JD Salinger, Michael Stipe, Anne Lamott, Tony Blair, and Bono. I don’t think my guest list would really get along all that well, but I’d have one heck of a time just listening to them. If one of them couldn’t make it I’d be sure to have Sinead O’Connor on the waiting list.For dinner I’d start with a cold brie/pear soup, followed by fresh greens topped with pine nuts, rasperries, and a mild lavendar dressing. The main course would be Thai lettuce wraps with all kinds of dipping sauces (especially the spicy peanut sauce). Coffee and something chocolate to top it all off.Hard cider on the side.

  5. Dave Pollard says:

    Christopher/Paula: Well, this is interesting. Neither of your guest lists would cause me to change mine, but both your dinner menus sound absolutely suberb! I’m intrigued enough to consider adding another category to my already schizophrenic blog entitled “Salon Blogger Recipes & Menus”. Anyone know if a blog Category can be opened up as a group blog? If not, I’d be willing to ante up the funds for a new Salon blog for our recipes, if it could be made a group blog (where we could all post without need for an intermediary), or if someone (Paul H?) was prepared to post whatever we sent him/her. What do you think?

  6. Sean says:

    While a person’s list of invitees says a lot about their interests and values, I find it particularly interesting how much the menu articulates that as well.I think a Salon menu blog would be a great idea; with this community, a food blog, especially with pictures, would be interesting, entertaining, and, hopefully, a bit useful for those nights with a full refrigerator and an empty mind.

  7. David,I must admit that I don’t know the first thing about food, so I’m going to cop out and allow each guest to bring food everyone (pot luck), which would reflect something about each of them, I’m sure. My guests would be, in no specific order:* Stephen Hawking — the man has some interesting ideas.* E.O. Wilson — res ipsa loquitor.* Richard Posner — one of the most brilliant minds on the American federal judiciary and a true polymath who would bring to the table very unique frameworks (Law & Economics & a good Libertarian) into which to place any discussion.* Madonna — A brilliant businesswoman, she has seen it all. And she would no doubt keep everyone on their toes.* Henri Bachelet — my grandfather. What wonderful stories he has to tell. He escaped Vichy France and went to the U.K., where he then flew for the Royal Air Force for the remainder of the war. He was also the R.A.F. ping-pong champion. Moreover, he knows his wine, and no matter what people bring, we’re not drinking water. If I could add a sixth, I would invite Julia Butterly Hill (author of “Legacy of Luna”), the woman who sat in an old-growth tree for two years in order to protest logging. She strikes me as a beautiful person and one whose passion is rivaled by few.

Comments are closed.