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[BLOG] Dinner Plans by Anna Lam

Perfecting the delicate roles and responsibilities of a dinner party host is, well, difficult.

According to Nightly Pleasures: The Ultimate Guide to Dinner Party Hosts* good dinner party hosts must create all-you-can-flirt menus. Flirt with sexy textures. Flirt with exotic tastes. No? You’re nothing but a MasterChef virgin. You’ve failed to plate up.

 Go home, son. And if you’re already home, go outside and go home again. Good.

This may sound radical, particularly for those who are foreign to etiquette in general (Guido, stop leaving the toilet seat up). But when your guests are flying from the Western Desert, there is no room for failure. The Urban Stories Crew did not give in. We’ll tell you why.

All good dinner parties start with guests. It was a good sign that the Desert Stories Crew arrived a week earlier. They were keen. Well you know what? So were we.

Our food safari began with a morning tea at the Fairfield School of Arts. It was a pleasure to meet the Desert Stories Crew, comprised of five young indigenous people from the Pilbara region. While munching over Eleanor’s raspberry and chocolate flavoured muffins, we welcomed Curtis, Morika, Jeremy, Cassandra and Owen to our end of Australia.

“Fairfield, and the areas within Fairfield City Council, are the most culturally diverse places in all Australia,” said Alan, Urban Stories Crew member. “Just look at the Urban Stories Crew.” The Desert Stories Crew gave a chuckle, as their eyes jumped gently, from face to face.

The Urban and Desert crews meet in Fairfield, Western Sydney

The Urban and Desert crews meet in Fairfield, Western Sydney

Over the next few days, that’s just what we did. We jumped from face to face, as we spoke about what it meant to be “Australian.” We jumped from face to face, as we explored the possibilities and challenges of the Australian mediascape. We spoke about following the journey of an Indigenous artist. We spoke about following the story of Guido and Saif’s mums.

There was so much jumping that by the last day, everybody was hungry (this is not an exaggeration. We really were). Elias, whose mind was suitably on dinner, suggested that the Urban Stories Crew throw a grand but intimate dinner party (at his mum’s place).

We jumped at the idea (pun intended). We called this the The First Supper (pun intended). Elias then called his mum, to ask for her permission (it was awkward).

She agreed.

We pressed record.

The camera lens took over, framing our faces, and our stories.

Each member of the Urban Stories Crew brought a meal, which held personal or cultural significance. Judging by the reactions of the Desert Crew, it was an “all-you-can-flirt menu” of empanadas, rice vermicelli, date cookies, thai sweets, durian and malaki. We took no effort sourcing foods with “sexy textures” and “exotic tastes” – we brought food, which were simple to our palates, but so foreign to the Desert Stories Crew.

We are yet to meet again, for dinner.

Until then, we will be sharing our stories here. Until we stop making films (are you joking?), our dinner conversations will never be bland. Until then, our food will never be bland.

Until then, watch this space.

Watch Part One of The First Supper here.

*Book may or may not exist.