the salon challenge: sharing your favorite

I feel a dinner party coming on.

That’s right, it’s time for a salon challenge. I know that some of you feel it too–it’s pulling you, yes? When I talk to people who have been reading along, this is the thing that I hear most: I’m almost ready. I want to take the challenge!

Here’s the background. A few years ago, I heard this essay on NPR, one man’s account of the power of inviting people into your home for dinner. I was both inspired and terrified- I thought, yes! It’s time for me to throw an actual dinner party, and yes! I will invite people I don’t really know! And so I constructed a few rules, basically to keep myself in line, and I put a call out there for people to think about joining me in all of this, and then I did it.

I thought it was a little thing; to invite people over for dinner. I thought it would give me a chance to practice my cooking skills, and maybe make us a new friend or two.

But it did more than that. It made me more brave. It made me less afraid of failure. It gave me a chance to sit and eat and talk with people in a way that I had forgotten was possible. And watching people meet each other in my house? It felt like such an honor, and those dinner parties showed us how much we loved what happened when we opened our house to people. Joey and I became people who throw parties, just like that. And I found that like Jim Haynes says the essay that started it all for me, “I believe in introducing people to people”.

It started there. Just with a dinner party.

So here are the rules. Bend or break them as you wish.

1. You must invite at least six people beyond your immediate family.
2. Some percentage of your guests must be people that you don’t know all that well.
3. It must be a sit down dinner.

Here is the theme of this challenge:

As you’re creating your menu, try to think of your own dream dinner. If you could eat anything, what would it be? Make it for your guests. Anything goes.

Let’s try to complete the challenge by March 15. Let us know how it goes!

Are you ready? When’s your dinner?






  1. says

    So I had to mull this over for a few days, not because I didn’t jump in right away with YES, but because I had to think about the second criteria and who I would invite. Not sure when the dinner will be exactly. Maybe February sometime and I have been waiting for an excuse to cook from Thomas Keller’s “Ad Hoc At Home” for months now…this is it!

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