dinner for six :: "sing for your supper" with painter kate salenfriend
I would invite these historical game changers to dinner: Giacomo Puccini, Pope Francis, Josephine Baker and Oscar Wilde. (And my boyfriend Robert, who’s a classical guitarist.)
July would be nice, on a Vineyard in the Napa Valley, where I live and work.
We’d meet around five o’clock for cocktail hour, followed by a dinner of paella, salmon or steak, along with grilled vegetables. Each entrée will be paired with a sublime selection of appropriate vintages because it’s a lovely way to share the abundance of California agriculture.
The conversation will be steered so guests can share their point of view about current world affairs. And since the wine would be flowing, so goes the conversation. At my dinner parties, I usually ask guests to contribute something creative to the evening — a story, a poem, a song. I call it “sing for your supper.” Years ago I taught ballroom dance, so I will share a step I think would be new to the dancer and entertainer Josephine Baker, but I would fail miserably.
Pope Francis would demonstrate he can do one hundred push-ups in his white robes. And elegantly. Josephine Baker would show us card tricks that would put to shame any cardshark. Giacomo Puccini, the world-class opera composer, would gift each guests with a charming caricature drawing on their napkin. And Oscar Wilde, the Irish poet and playwright, would escort us to the property’s beehives, where we’d don appropriate beekeeping garb, and learn how to harvest honey, which would be taken home as a truly sweet token of the evening.
Kate Salenfriend's work is on view at our North Water Gallery in historic downtown Edgartown.
Top left: Kate Salenfriend at work in her Napa painting studio.
Bottom left: An excerpt from Puccini's first sketch of his opera Madame Butterfly.
Below: Kate's works in oil, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas.