My friend Jennifer of Design Hole is a member of a book club. When she told me she was hosting a dinner for the review of Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, I told her I wanted to run the story.
In a matter of fact, we had dinner together at a French bistro when she visited Montreal last December. We spoke about what would be a suitable décor for her event. The key elements of any French Bistro decor are:
- A solid white plain table linen
- A chalkboard menu
- Casual atmosphere
- Rustic , traditional cooking.
About her menu
She prepared two recipes from Les Halles Cookbook. The heart of her authentic French cooking menu could be done the day before. This is a must if you intent to cater a sit-down dinner for a party of 10 all by herself. Jennifer judiciously selected:
- Soup de Poissons, a Provencal classic recipe
- Coq au Vin
- Mixed salad with her Dad’s salad dressing recipe
- Baked apples with rum-soaked raisins, honey, almonds and current sauce.
I cannot agree more with her dessert choice. I wrote a soon to be published article for Food TV where I paid tribute to the health values of serving baked apples for dessert.
Jennifer published quotes from Kitchen Confidential on placemats. These work well as topic starters. The cost of printing them on a tabloid size at Kinko’s was about $12.
More ideas for when you host a book club event
Hand out small chalkboards to all the guests. You can run a quiz and people can write the answer with their chalkboard. Chalk It To Me is a cute chalkboard place mats available at Uncommon Goods.
For a temporary wall solution, apply removable and repositionable vinyl chalkboard panels. The 9 x 12-inch Wallies Peel & Stick Chalkboard Panels in Slate Gray is a low cost solution; although no words on whether or not your walls will be damaged.
More expensive but also twice as big, the WallCandy ChalkBoard panels go up in minutes and can be removed without damaging your walls according the WallCandy Arts Web site.
Paint several vases with specialty chalk board. Spread the vases over the dining table. Decorate one or two but leave the rest free for your guests to add their views between courses.
About Design Hole
Jennifer Mitchell is an interior designer from Detroit who shares ideas and resources in interior design every week day on her blog called Design Hole. If you are interested with furniture, you cannot miss her Chair of the Day column. And by the way, Jennifer enjoyed reading Kitchen Confidential.
Learn more: Web site of Anthony Bourdain
Buy online: Chalk It To Me at Uncommon Goods – price: $30 for a set of 4
Buy online: Wallies Peel & Stick Chalkboard Panels in Slate Gray – on sale: $15.25 USD for 4 panels
Buy online: WallCandy ChalkBoard panels – price: $58 USD for 4 panels
Learn more: Rust-Oleum Specialty Chalk Board