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From VIP entrances in Versace to service entrances in my apron

  • Julie Anne Rhodes

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

Let’s play a game! My ex and I used to play “guess who’s coming to dinner.” You can have ten people for a sit down dinner, dead or alive (from any period of time). It should be people you don’t know, but would like to meet. Who would you invite and why? It is actually a great exercise in learning how to plan a guest list for a memorable dinner party – just apply the same reasons for your invitees to the people you know.

My Dinner Guest List

Betty Davis: The woman could make people react just by lifting her brow, and she delivered my all time favorite line “fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night” in All About Eve. Any memorable dinner party must have an element of drama!

Cleopatra: Any woman that could beguile both Julius Caesar, and Marc Anthony to maintain rule of Egypt might have a thing or two to teach us modern women who try to have it all.

Dinner party play imitating history – Jewels as Cleopatra while sailing down the Nile

Jamie Oliver: Because I believe he is passionate, genuine, and sincerely cares about making a difference in people’s lives. After being a part of England’s Parents for Safe Foods myself, I admire his tenacity and potential to actually pull it off! Plus he can help me cook dinner.

Ernest Hemingway: My favorite author, and from whom my wonder lust originates. I’ve figuratively and literally traveled novel by novel, from ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’ to The ‘Old Man and The Sea’ in Cuba. Hey, a great storyteller is an enormous asset to any dinner party.

Julie Anne Rhodes at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana

At La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana where Hemingway used to drink

Oprah Winfrey: I once heard her say, “we are not the sum of our mistakes” on her show. I finally learned how to forgive myself, and my life changed profoundly. I’m one of millions she has directly and indirectly effected through her show, through her charity work, and through the powerful influence she wields that has turned authors into best sellers overnight, and even helped elect the president of the United States. Now that is power. I’m fascinated by Oprah, and would love to pick her brains! Added benefits are that she knows how to keep conversation flowing, and cooking for people who really love food turns me on.

Jim Morrison: Because my daughter has been obsessed with him since she was two years old. She couldn’t carry on a conversation yet, but she would run around the house singing, “come on baby light my fire!” The look on her face when he turns up for dinner would make all the effort worthwhile.

Coco Chanel: She broke into the man’s world of fashion, emancipated us from corsets, and changed the way women dressed forever. I admire her style. Oh, and I’ll need a frock to wear for the big event.

Leonardo da Vinci: Leonardo da Vinci was a genius in art, medicine, biology, botany, zoology, astronomy, engineering, military construction, hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, and many other fields… I think he might just keep the conversation informed and interesting!

Tina Fey: She is quite possibly the funniest woman alive, and can send up everything from politics to the latest gossip. She actually inspired this rendition of “guess whose coming to dinner” when I watched her on Oprah the other day.

Andy Warhol: OK, so I’m cheating a little, I knew Andy, but he has always been one of my favorite artists. I bought his Wicked Witch from the myth series when I was just 16. I miss him. Besides – I might persuade him to do the invites, so everyone would have a piece of art to keep!

Casual dinner party anyone?

Hmmm – an Oscar-winning drama queen, an ancient queen, a passionate chef, a classic novelist, a media mogul with major influence, the legendary rock star, an iconic fashion designer, the greatest all round genius in history, a razor sharp comedienne, and my favorite pop artist. What does this guest list tell you about me? I’m attracted to intelligence and creative genius in men, and I like to surround myself with strong, successful and powerful women.

I’d love to see your top ten guest list too, so post who you would invite and why in the comment section below!

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