Use your imagination when planning your dinner party. Use one of the suggestions below, or come up with your own idea (and feel free to share it with us!) Take photos and blog about your dinner - and make sure to post your event on this site.
Before and/or during the meal….
· Choose four or more talks you want to play. Assign a dish to each guest giving them only two instructions, whether it’s an amuse-bouche, appetizer, entrée or dessert, and an ingredient. The ingredient could be specific, such as tomatoes, or vague, such as food from the farmers’ market. Watch the talks before each course. Over each course ask your guests to share their experience shopping for, and preparing, their dish. To be even more creative, tie the Talk in with the dish somehow and have guests guess what the link is. If you come up with some ideas, please email us at Innovators@glynwood.org so we can share your list with others.
. Rather than a book club, start a video club. Gather bi-weekly or monthly with a group of friends and watch several Talks each time you meet. Have a sustainable food potluck.
· Encourage your guests to make their dish with ingredients from their local farmers market. Have them share which farms they bought their food from.
· Encourage your guests to buy meat, cheese, milk, or eggs that are either certified organic, humanely raised, or antibiotic free.
· Challenge your guests to make a meal from only local ingredients (sourced within 200 miles from where they live). Ask them to bring the recipe to their dish along with where they sourced the food. Give a prize to the dish with the most locally sourced ingredients or the ingredient sourced from the closest place.
· Bring a food that highlights each person’s heritage and have each participating guest discuss his or her connection with the food.
· Choose one or a couple of talks to show after the entrée and then discuss the talks over dessert and coffee. Alternatively, you could show the talks at the beginning of the meal with appetizers and discuss what was viewed during dinner. Decide if the dinner party will be a potluck or prepared by host(s).
· Choose four talks and watch one before sitting down to each course. You can have a bit of fun matching the talk with the course by incorporating some aspect of the talk into your ingredient selection. Over each course you and your guests can discuss the talks or your experience finding the ingredients and preparing the food.
· Ask your guests to come with their favorite video and let them host that particular part of the meal and the video. Have them explain why they chose that particular talk.
· Take your guests to a farmers market and have them split up into four groups. Give each group a certain amount of money, e.g., $20, and tell them to buy ingredients for a particular course. The groups will then cook their part of the meal together and present to the rest of the guests. Make it even more fun and ask them to name their dish also!
· Have your guests switch seats during the meal so everyone has a chance to speak with each other.
· Have a pre-experience. Have your guests visit a farmers market, community garden or a farm before the meal.
· Shop at the farmers market.
· If you have a CSA share, cook from it, and share with your guests your experience being a CSA member. (CSA stands for community supported agriculture. An individual or family buys a share in a farmer’s crop before the season starts and then shares in the bounty each week during the season.)
· If you have a home garden or grow herbs in a window box, incorporate them into the meal and share your experience being a home gardener with your guests.
· Buy meat, eggs, milk or cheese from a retailer who deals directly with the farms and learn about their practices. Even better, buy it directly from the farm yourself. Share with your guests what you learned about the farm and farmer.
After the Meal
· Thank all your guests in a follow up email or handwritten note. Suggest a couple books they can read if they’re interested in learning more about sustainable food.
· Get seniors to teach and cook with children to pass on their heritage. Pair their dishes with the Talks.
· Have children grow the food before serving it at the meal. Go a step further and have them cater a meal, invite their friends, and show videos for younger people, such as TEDxYouth videos.
· Have meals in a dozen different homes at the same time. Use Twitter to share snippets about each of the meals and the talks going being shown. Share the same hashtag.
· Don’t be limited to cooking at home. Create an experience and have it at a local sustainable restaurant.
· Have a non-GMO dinner where ingredients are not sourced from Monsanto or a Monsanto-owned company. Visit http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/monsanto.asp for a list. (It’s harder than you think if you use processed food!)
· Have a progressive meal, with each dish at a different house.
· Do taste tests. Compare industrial versus local sustainable food or local versus travelled-the-world.
· Let children play with their food and have talks centered around creativity.
· Show contrasting tastes and serve contrasting foods (e.g., sweet/sour).
· Get chefs to provide local food, and let them tell a story about the ingredients.
· Bring in a local nonprofit or group. Have them present their problem and guests join together to solve it.
· Have a meal that’s donation only - ask your guests to bring a cash donation for the meal. Guests can nominate their favorite charity, and the one with the most votes at the end of the night gets all the money. Make this a regular event.
· Anchor Dinner and Some Ed to a holiday that involves food. (Thanksgiving, Christmas, 4th July, etc.)