Rocco DiSpirito

Rocco DiSpirito explains the differences between Natalie's and Vanessa's French-inspired dinner parties.

on Jul 21, 2011

The formal dining room was Natalie’s to command. Jes had a hard time pinning down Natalie’s ideas, but in the end, the room was transformed into something (I’m not sure what) out of Paris in the Twenties. Right?

Under the right circumstances, a dinner party is not just a dinner party, but an experience that makes life better. A great dinner party also helps you enjoy others’ company, nurtures relationships with friends and family, and helps you experience different cultures. Which is why I wanted to invite several people with a true “French connection.” My guests were:

Julie Powell – author of the runaway best seller (and movie of the same name): Julie and Julia. (Julie cooked her way through all of Julia Child’s 500+ recipes in The Art of French Cooking, so I knew she’d have a unique perspective on what the two caterers served up.)

Leah DeWavrin – the beautiful French high fashion model

E. Epatha Merkeson – one of the stars on the long-running crime drama, Law & Order

Alain Sailac, Executive Vice President and Dean Emeritus of the French Culinary Institute

Michael Ian Black – comedian and podcast co-host for the show “Mike and Bob Eat Snacks”

Marcy Blum – celebrity event planner

OK, party time. While I was sipping champagne with my guests, I found out that Marcy is a vegetarian – which meant that Natalie and Vanessa would have to do some quick-thinking in the kitchen to accommodate her.