Hosting a Polenta Dinner Party


Hosting a Polenta Dinner Party by The Sweet Escape

If you have fantasies about being a rock star hostess with your guests singing your praises for weeks to come and the fruits of your labour being slathered all over social media then hosting a polenta dinner party is for.      (you ego maniac) 

When my amazing friends at Kendall-Jackson Wines asked me to come up with some more great entertaining ideas we could collaborate on I decided it was time to relive a dinner party memory from my childhood. What dinner party is complete without some great wine to go along with the good company, great food and lots of laughs? My background is Italian (don’t let the strawberry blonde hair fool you) and although I have many, many, many childhood memories of celebrations that take place around a table, there’s one in particular that stands out. The polenta dinner. 

Hosting a Polenta Dinner Party by The Sweet EscapeIt only happened once that I can remember. Probably because it’s more of a Northern Italian tradition and my family is more Mid/Southern but it definitely was memorable. I remember being at a family friend’s house and everyone gathered around the dining table with a huge piece of wood on it. Then the host came and poured a HUGE pot of polenta all over the board followed by a HUGE pot of homemade tomato sauce and slow cooked beef all over it. Then we all dug in. I had never seen anything like it! So I invited some blogger pals over, rolled up my sleeves and made it happen. It felt like the adult thing to do. 


Although the presentation and ‘wow’ factor is no joke, it’s actually a very humble meal. The polenta is slow cooked corn meal and then I made 3 toppings with really simple ingredients to serve on top. I served along with my favourite Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s reserve Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. You can find all the Polenta Dinner Party recipes and more photos over on the Kendall-Jackson blog. Getting this beast of a platter ready to serve was a 2 woman job. Thanks Jordana! 


I’m going to go ahead, wave my Italian flag and give myself an A+ on this one. I kinda impressed myself to be honest. The best part is that once that board is served, it’s smooth sailing for the hostess. So a polenta dinner party is perfect for lazy ego maniacs. We had a blast, filled our bellies and shared so many laughs over wine which makes for the perfect night in my opinion. This most definitely won’t be the last polenta dinner party at chez Melissa. 

For all the delish details head over the Kendall-Jackson blog and for more good eats, visit our recipe gallery

2 responses to “Hosting a Polenta Dinner Party”

  1. Toot your own horn, Melissa! Do it! This dinner party was a fabulous idea and you made everything look effortless! The food and wine was delicious! You opened your home to a bunch of bloggers with some amusing stories to share, and the laughs lasted all night long! Thanks for bringing us together. Thanks, too, to Kendall Jackson – we drank plenty with our polenta!

  2. That was an amazing dinner! I’ve had polenta my whole life, but never with those delicious toppings. And the wine paired beautifully! What a warm and welcoming night. Thanks again for hosting.