Eater's Digest

Alison Roman is Calling BS on Dinner Party Traditions

October 18, 2019, 8:00 am • 44m

Very rarely are dinner parties about the food on the table. Throughout the history of evening mealtime gatherings, hosting was never so much about feeding friends and family as it was about flaunting wealth. From the dinner tables of ancient Greece and Rome to Victorian England and suburban America, an underlying sense of class anxiety has motivated us to call our social circles to the table in an attempt not to display our skills in the kitchen, but rather our banquet halls, china patterns and dedicated dining rooms. Alison Roman is calling bullshit on all that. She’s been compared to Julia Child and Martha Stewart for her knack for empowering even the least experienced cooks to find joy in the kitchen, but this self-described “older millennial” cringes at the word “entertaining” where the domestic goddesses of yore leaned into it. Alison joined us in studio to talk about her new cookbook, Nothing Fancy (out October 22), and how she's redefining the art of the dinner party. We're also joined by Nisha Chittal, a journalist, to talk about the history of entertaining at home, and why millennials are doing it differently than their parents. Then we get into the biggest food stories of the week, from Rachel Ray's new "ghost" restaurant, to the rise of the sushi bro and that viral Panera TikTok video. Stories: • Did Millennials Kill the Dinner Party? • Top Notch Sushi with a Side of Bro • Is Panera Making Sous Vide Mac & Cheese? Featuring: Nisha Chittal (@NishaChittal) Alison Roman (@alisoneroman) Hosts: Amanda Kludt (@kludt), Editor in Chief, Eater Daniel Geneen (@danielgeneen), Producer, Eater Produced by: Martha Daniel (@martha_c_daniel) More to explore: Check out more great reporting from the Eater newsroom. Subscribe to Amanda’s weekly newsletter here. Follow Us: @eater on Twitter and Instagram Get in Touch: About Eater: Eater obsessively covers the world through the lens of food, telling stories via audio, television, digital video, and publications in 24 cities across the US and UK. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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