13 Dec 2017

Is brunch the new dinner party?

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 3:10 pm on 13 December 2017

Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam host the popular podcast The Dinner Party Download. They say the dinner party is getting swallowed up by the "misspent leisure time" that is brunch.

no caption

Photo: Supplied

On The Dinner Party Download, Rico and Brendan give advice on etiquette, food and conversation-starters for both hosts and guests.

They've just released the new book Brunch is Hell, How to Save the World by Throwing a Dinner Party. 

The meal known as brunch was created by restaurants and designed for profit, Brendan says: 

“Brunch was invented, in large part, to recycle food from the previous evening and sell it at a markup to you. It’s literally made of unloved things."

Going out for brunch "misspent leisure time" he says.

"We are only given two days off [a week] in the US, and unfortunately a lot of our peers spend at least one of those days waiting in line for hours to go inside a restaurant that’s blaring tinny music and then they overpay for eggs and they maybe have a drink.”

Even the venerable New York Times has commented on the demise of the dinner party, which is being usurped by friends meeting outside of their homes, they say.

“Dinner parties which were once popular are now taking place at venues outside the home, which for us is a euphemism for freakin’ brunch!” Rico says. 

“At a dinner party you're inviting people in for a sustained period of time where actual, real conversations can take place – that’s valuable and it’s sad it’s being lost.”

The dinner party is a time when adults can play, they say.

“True intimacy can enrich if you can create a fun time for your friends to meet and gather and be real,” Brendan says.

Get the new RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)