Dinner parties are a great way to bring friends together for a evening filled with delicious bites, fantastic wine and excellent conversation. Our friend, Scott, loves to host elaborate dinner parties. We provided some TWINSPIRATION for his most recent dinner party for 8. After watching several reruns of FRIENDS, we suggested a dinner party inspired by the television series itself. We are excited to share our memorable evening with you.
We make dining at home special by incorporating a different theme each time. In the past we have selected a region of the world (France, Japan, Mexico), a season (Spring, Fall), an ingredient (Apple) or a color (Pink, Black & White) to inspire the meal. We pick 3-5 courses (salad, soup, main dish, side dish and/or dessert). We ask guests with exemplary cooking skills to tackle one of the courses, while the host prepares the entree. The other guests are asked to bring fine wine or make specialty cocktails.
Friends is a sitcom that aired on NBC from 1994 to 2004. The show followed the adventures of 6 friends in NYC:
Spoiled Rich Girl Rachel
Neat-Freak Chef Monica
Nerdy Paleontologist Ross
Wise-Cracking Statistical Analyst Chandler
Quirky Singer Phoebe
Charming Actor Joey
We kept the table decorations fairly simple. We placed a beautiful floral bouquet of orange, magenta and white roses, pink lilies with the FRIENDS logo on the table. Kanchana created custom place cards with the FRIENDS font. We also decorated the dining room with FRIENDS cartoons.
Over the 10 seasons and 236 episodes, the friends each had their own memorable moments with food. Monica was a professional chef, Joey “doesn’t share food,” and Phoebe’s grandmother had a secret recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies. Kanchana created a whimsical menu, which included 6 courses inspired by each character.
Season 1, Episode 19: The One Where the Monkey Gets Away.
In this episode, Rachel accidentally let’s Ross’ pet monkey escape and the friends form a search party to find Marcel. In honor of Ross (and Marcel), our meal began with Garlic Rosemary Monkey Bread.
Season 10, Episode 8: The One With the Late Thanksgiving.
In this episode, everyone is an hour late to Monica and Chandler’s Thanksgiving dinner. Monica allows Chandler help but only in making the cranberry sauce. We paid homage to Chandler with our salad course, which featured mesclun greens, farro, walnuts, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and “Chanberry” dressing.
Season 8, Episode 21: The One With The Cooking Class.
In this episode, chef Monica was shocked to receive an unfavorable review for her bouillabaisse. She confronts the food critic at his culinary school. In honor of Monica, Scott prepared bouillabaisse for the soup course. His flavorful bouillabaisse would have received stellar reviews from any food critic.
Season 1, Episode 12: The One With the Dozen Lasagnas.
In this episode, Monica tries to impress her Aunt Sylvia by preparing a dozen lasagnas. She mistakingly prepares the pasta with meat. Luckily Joey (and Chandler) were there to consume some of the many leftovers. In honor Joey, Scott prepared a lasagna that was deliciously cheesy and meaty.
Season 7, Episode 11: The One With all the Cheesecakes.
In this episode, Rachel and Chandler mistakenly receive a cheesecake delivery from Mama’s Little Bakery, Chicago, Illinois. They become completely obsessed with the cheesecake and steal the replacements. Our dessert course paid homage to Rachel (and Chandler). Our cheesecake was light, creamy and buttery. Guests were tempted to follow Rachel and Chandler’s example and eat the cheesecake off the floor.
Season 7, Episode 3: The One With Phoebe’s Cookies.
In this episode, Monica tries to recreate Phoebe’s grandmother’s secret chocolate chip cookie recipe. After 22 different batches, Monica discovers that the recipe is actually the one printed on the bag of Nestle Toll House chips. In honor of Phoebe (and the infamous Nesele Toulouse), Archana baked chocolate chip cookie favors for our guests.
For entertainment, our singer/song writer friend, Mark Radcliffe, performed his rendition of “Smelly Cat” by Phoebe Buffay and the theme song, “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts.
We also watched reruns of FRIENDS. We finished off the evening photographing the guests with their respective FRIEND cartoon.
If we hosted another FRIENDS dinner, we would include Rachel’s English Trifle with Beef, Monica’s Fingernail Quiche, Monica’s Mockalate, Ross’ Moist-Maker Sandwich and/or Joey’s Marinara Meatball Sandwich in the menu and make the guests dress up as their favorite character.
Thank you Scott for hosting another fabulous dinner party. If you can’t get enough FRIENDS, we just learned there will be an off-broadway show inspired by the television series. You can catch reruns on TBS or Netflix.
“Welcome to the real world, it sucks! You’re gonna love it!”––Monica
“How you doin’?!” ––Joey
“I’m not great at the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment? “––Chandler
“If I were in prison, you guys would be, like my bitches.” ––Phoebe
“I’m so happy and not jealous at all.”––Rachel
“We were on a break!”––Ross