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In Search of a Good Dinner Party


SCV; Where else have these changes in accent taken place? Can one safely assume that jasmine tea and fine china will still retain its place at the dinner table?

Miss Belle knows best. Photography by Amanda Rose Rowan

Kimberly Belle; Fine china and tea will always have their place, but what’s becoming more popular and charming is the aesthetic use of reclaimed wood. Go to ‘Anthropology‘ and you will see nothing but organic home furnishings. They are being used to give a clean, green finish, there’s nothing like the feeling of finely salvaged wood. But one shouldn’t need feel confined to one thing or another. After all one of the best dinner parties I attended was where the host made everyone sit around on a lavish art deco carpet in a circle with newspapers as place mats and the most amazing braised halibut tangine imaginable, it was surprisingly quite a delight.

SCV; What about theme parties? Where people are asked to dress up?

Kimberly Belle; They can be so much fun, but as long as every one commits. It can be a little disorientating to turn up to say a ‘Hawaiian’ themed party to find yourself the only one wearing a grass skirt and coconut bra.

SCV; Well, one could argue that could be quite enchanting.

Kimberly Belle; Yes, if one is inclined…..

SCV; What topics should one steer clear from at dinner parties?

Kimberly Belle; I think that depends on who gets invited. You never want to make your fellow guests feel skirmish if you are the only one with a trust fund to their name and are just about to jet set off to some lavish locale while others are in the middle of some investment bankruptcy. But I don’t shy away from politics, I like talking the arts, and what I think is fun is if each guest devises a very clever question to ask of each of all the other guests, like who they would like to be conjugal with dead or alive?

SCV; Who would that be in your case?

Kimberly Belle; I’m sorry you will have to wait for the next dinner party.

SCV; When was the last dinner party you threw, and is it safe to assume all your guests were all well behaved.

Kimberly Belle; (laughing) Well actually I threw one last week and it’s fair to say everyone behaved themselves exemplary.

SCV; Was there a concept?

Photography courtesy of Miss Belle.

Kimberly Belle; Actually yes. It was in lieu of the end of the tomato season, and everything we served was tomato based, from tomato boats stuffed with fennel sausage, tomato marmalade topped artichoke leaves, heirloom tomato caprese salad, to the bloody margaritas. We held it in a nice open field, by the tomato patch.

video recipe

SCV; Talking of recipes, what is one of your signature recipes?

Kimberly Belle; Beef Carpaccio Cigars, it’s the cutest. You take a raw piece of fillet, sliced very finely from your butcher, dress it up in a vin cotto glaze, season it with salt and pepper, stuff it with baby arugula, and sliced Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, roll it up in a slip, loop the chive in and tie it into a delicately bow.

SCV; Finally, what makes you a scallywag?

Kimberly Belle; I’ve always believed in the creative class, and in todays culture, ‘bobo,’ (bohemian bourgeois) gets thrown around. It has a bit of a negative reputation, but I think it’s about a sensibility off the grid tastes and tactics for living your passion and if that’s ‘bobo,’ I’m all for it.

SCV; Thank you, SCV looks forward to one of your dinner parties on the condition you promise to leave us the keys to the bathroom.