Last winter, I (Amanda) had a crazy idea.
I had just stumbled across images of a Pinterest-worthy dinner online, but instead of being drawn to the menu, table decor, or florals (which I usually am!), I found myself being drawn to the number of chairs at the table, the number of hands helping prepare the food, and the idea that something that beautiful couldn't — no, shouldn't — be left up to one person.
So, I emailed a handful of friends and asked who would be interested in helping me throw an extravagant dinner. The catch was this: everyone had to pitch in… and I wasn't going to tell them what to do. I didn't want this to be another post-college potluck, but I also didn't want to host a traditional dinner party. I had no idea if my email made sense, but I hit “send”.
And sure enough, my community responded.
A handful of friends knew that they express their love for people by feeding them, so they started creating a menu. A few disliked cooking but loved selecting wines and beers around a set menu. One friend hated both beer and wine and began making his own bitters for a custom cocktail. Three women started gathering their burlap and Mason jars and white dinner plates and created a lavish table spread. Together, 13 of us enjoyed a handmade 5-course meal that featured sweet potato ravioli and rosemary honey oranges atop a perfect chocolate cake.
It was an incredible night, but I was still a little shocked when this group practically begged to do it again.
I had no idea this would resonate with people.
So, we had a second dinner. The guest list shifted, people volunteered for new roles, and our dinner for 12 was completely different. It featured a farmers-market inspired meal, a stage actor delivering a moving toast, and a software engineer building a program that, as he described, “would improvise music that has never been heard before and will never be heard again.”
And yet again, before dessert was on the table everyone asked when we could do it again. Within weeks, before I could even fully process what was happening, I had 20 RSVPs for the 3rd Extravagant Dinner.
That dinner was last weekend. And it was the best yet.
We have had such a positive response to these dinners, we decided to move them over to their own website. So, you'll still see previews of our dinners here at ARBR Pictures, but we wanted to give Extravagant Dinners space to grow.
And let us know if you ever want to join us. Our table has room for you.