This dinner party idea is inspired by a site where I got to read about Dominica
At another site I read that Dominica "is not your ordinary fun-in-the-sun kinda island. It's a mysterious, romantic, natural island where you will encounter a French-Creole culture with the overtones of a British heritage".
Dominica is a small island located between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean and this is definitely on my list of countries to visit.
Whilst many of my friends know the country's name and have a rough idea of its whereabouts -few know about its history. A dinner party is the ideal way to share my new found interest with friends by introducing them to its tasty food and maybe sharing a little about what I now know. Chances are it will get on friend's lists of placed to visit too.
A little about Dominica's food:
Dominica's food is very fresh and healthy and is often cooked in a Creole style featuring a spicy sauce or dish made especially with tomatoes, peppers, onion, celery, and seasoning. Whilst most of the cooking on Dominica is island Creole, you can also enjoy Continental and North American cuisines too. Fresh fish and seafood are found on every menu.
Dominica's cuisine is simple and that's a good start. It consists of basic fried chicken, seafood dishes and Creole cuisine like goat columbo and callaloo soup (a creamed spinach type soup). Roti, the curry-filled flat bread is a Caribbean staple.
The cuisine is based on root vegetables like yams or turnip, spinach, watercress, chicken, goat and seafood (fish, crabs, crayfish and octopus). Meat is one of the main elements of most Dominican dishes and cured and smoked hams are often used in their cooking.
The food is often flavored with the earthy aroma of curry and coconut milk. Fresh herbs like parsley, celery, chive, cinnamon, thyme, nutmeg and cloves are also commonly used in the cooking.
Bello Hot Pepper Sauce is made locally and served everywhere with almost everything. It contains Scotch Bonnet Pepper, papaya, onion, vinegar, salt, and spices.
Ask your guests to come dressed for the occasion - what would they be wearing down to a Caribbean dinner by the beach? - shorts, flowing shirts, straw hats?
To set your scene
Dominica is a beautiful Caribbean island - so this is a great Summertime dinner party idea and perfect for the outdoors. This will be a low key affair to be enjoyed by all.
Light your dining area with candles or hanging lanterns - you want a laid back, relaxed feel to the night.
Place some exotic flowers as your centrepiece or have some lovely hand-painted candles on show. Alternatively, place a straw basket brimming with exotic fruit somewhere in your room and nicely lit.
Maybe greet your guests with a cocktail - a Pina Colada maybe with the popular coconut and pineapple flavors.
Have some music playing in the background - Calypso, Reggae or Smooth Jazz.
People from Dominica prefer light and spicy fish or seafood dishes served with plenty of vegetables and greens. The visual attractiveness, like the balance between colors and proportion is important.
A typical meal eaten by a Dominican family could consist of Black Bean Soup, Coconut Grouper and Corn Pudding. I found the recipes on this website: or you could cook one of the many Creole recipes as found at this site
After your meal, you could also serve a fresh platter of exotic tropical fruits like mango slices, banana, guavas, tangerines, oranges, pineapple and papaya.
During the evening, you could even educate your friends on Dominica which celebrates its 30 year of independence.
Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas soon.
In the meantime, check out this great book about Dominica:
The Hostess with the Mostess