Barry Jenkins would mix vintage wine with soul food for his dream dinner party

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We invite you to join us at the Dream Dinner Party. Here, we ask famous personalities to describe the dinner party of your dreams.

Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, both directed by Barry Jenkins, were nominated for numerous awards and won many, including the Oscar for Best Picture. The Underground Railroad, his latest project for Amazon Studios is based upon the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Colson Whitehead. We’re not here for awards. We’re here for dinner.

What would your ideal dinner party look like?

Mrs. Toni Morrison, Eileen Ahearn and [the actor] André Holland. Eileen was a friend for life of Ms. Morrison. Eileen is a member of the James Baldwin estate and gave me permission to conform if Beale Street were to speak. Eileen gave Ms. Morrison a DVD of Moonlight, which she showed her at one of the early screenings. Ms. Morrison seemed to love the movie. I’d like to have a conversation with her about the film. I only remember that she thought André Holland was dreamy.

Is it possible for one of your television or film characters to be invited?

Yes, there are two characters from The Underground Railroad. John Valentine is the one who owns a vineyard to bring some sparkling wine. Mingo is his archenemy. This lovely Booker T. Washington-WEB Du Boi’s dynamic is what you need at a dinner party.

This mix includes literary giants, actors, and fictional characters. What do you serve?

Soul food. It allows me to invite other people to my party. Jesse Dubus was my roommate. He used to make this fried chicken 12 years ago. He pickled the chicken overnight, then deep fried it. It was delicious. Jesse would be the one to cook the fried chicken. Joi McMillon is my editor at The Underground Railroad. She also writes for Moonlight and Beale Street. She’s from the south and makes the most delicious mac ‘n cheese. Anthony Wang, Lulu’s brother is a master chef in LA. Anthony and Lulu make amazing vegan collard leaves.

They believed that a guest would bring great wine. You have a favorite wine in your mind.

During the pandemic, I discovered that wine is something I loved. Fontanafredda Barolo was a wonderful Barolo. It was available in 1971. We also had a Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Taxi because I was born in 1979.

What type of table setting are you using?

Ceramics are our mainstay. We enjoy the idea of someone hand-crafting the thing we eat out of. A really beautiful crystal carafe is what we would choose. The color scheme is warm, golden. Candles and exposed filaments.

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What’s the conversation starter?

Lulu, and I do these exercises. For three minutes, we sit together and stare at each other for three seconds. To break the ice we could start by being rigidly still. It’s almost as if we all have this instinct to get everything over the top. I want to sleep in the night.

Would you be willing to speak with us about any of the films you have made along with Moonlight?

Only if Mrs. Morrison wishes to. Aside from that, I’d be interested to hear her thoughts about the past twelve months. We all would give the floor to Mrs Morrison.

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Amanda Litchford

Making delicious meals and researching products has inspired me as a stay at home mom to start this website in helping out others who don’t have the time or expertise in the kitchen.

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