This past August, the British actor Robert Pattinson hosted his own private party at Hollywood’s prestigious Largo theater, inviting a handful of lucky food enthusiasts. His guests had the opportunity to sample his signature dishes and mingle with the actor as he graciously dished out BBQs, served by his personal staff. Those who attended the bash were treated to a performance by Pattinson himself, later followed by a meet-and-greet with the audience. It was an intimate and exclusive event, one that not even the most diehard fans will be able to attend, but thanks to the magic of Instagram, we were able to relive the unforgettable moment. Over the course of the next several days, we’ll take you on a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this historic dinner party and how to host your own BBQ, as well as explore the ins and outs of preparing some of Robert Pattinson’s most popular recipes.
The Concept Behind the Party
While we can’t reveal much about the contents of the menu, we can tell you that it was a mix of British and American staples, with dishes like brisket and pork ribs served alongside J. L. Steinbrick’s legendary Blue Ribbon potato salad and John Hardy’s chocolate cake. The eclectic array of culinary styles represented was a testament to Pattinson’s globe-trotting film career, spanning over a decade and a half, and his growing, multifaceted interest in food and cooking. In an interview with the New York Times in 2017, the actor talked about the origins of his private dinner party, revealing that it was originally inspired by a dinner party he hosted at his London home. “I was trying to do something different, and something more casual, which is why I went with the barbecue format,” he said. “I love barbecue. You don’t need a lot of courses to have good food and good company.”
The event, held under the banner of AGBO, the actor’s production company, was a solo project for Pattinson, who discussed the genesis of the dinner party in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I wasn’t sure what people would make of it, or if it would be seen as a proper English celebration,” he said. “But as it turned out, everyone had a good time, which is all that matters.”
We’ll begin our look at the making of this historical event with a visit to the set of the Largo theater, one of Hollywood’s most historic film palaces. There are no stranger sights than a Hollywood movie set, and this one was no exception, with an incredible amount of activity going into the filming of the forthcoming season of the popular Hulu TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Set in a post-apocalyptic Boston, the new season will purportedly pick up where the first left off, with Offred (played by the stunning Elisabeth Moss) now a Handmaid in service to the ruling family. Walking down the row of sets, it’s easy to understand why Moss was chosen for the role; she is stunning, and the camera loves her. Walking off the set, we stop to take a photo with one of the film’s most recognizable stars, Ann Dowd (more on her later).
We continue our journey in search of the Largo’s famed chefs, Will Meuger and Billy Mercer, who are responsible for putting together the feast that the fans ate and drank well into the night. The film’s co-star Jason Schwartzman, who plays the restaurant owner Ned, picks us up in his car and takes us to meet the men, who were responsible for creating the mouthwatering menu that night. Will and Billy are former NFL players, and their athletic builds are apparent even as they chat amiably with Schwartzman about the film industry and the upcoming game. Both men are great cooks, and despite the late hour, they still have energy to spare as they prepare some of their signature dishes for our photographer. Watching them work is like being on a culinary adventure, as they tackle a range of challenging recipes with ease. A perfect, medium-rare steak topped with a delicious, homemade chili verde is followed by an impromptu guitar performance by Schwartzman, who plays a bit of music while strumming on his instrument. The chefs’ relaxed demeanors are a far cry from the hectic schedules of professional chefs, and we can’t help but wonder if perhaps they enjoy being “just” chefs, crafting mouth-watering dishes for friends and family.
After our tour of the set, we head to our first stop, the Chateau Marmont in Beverly Hills, where director Yorgos Moustafis and star Pattinson are having a meeting to finalize some of the details of the night’s event. The location of the meeting is significant: this hotel, commonly referred to as the “Movie Capital of the World,” played a crucial role in the film industry in the 1910s and ’20s, and has continued to serve as the set of many classic films, ranging from “The Godfather” to “La Dolce Vida.” It has also been the location of numerous high-profile celebrity events, from the Academy Awards to the premieres of big-budget Hollywood movies. Even today, it continues to be a mecca for those who love to eat out, with guests having a choice of over 60 restaurants and bakeries on its grounds, as well as live music venues, comedy clubs, and even a microbrewery. It’s the perfect spot for a private get-together.
The meeting is well under way when we arrive, and guests will soon be pouring in, eager to sample some of the star’s incredible dishes and find out who the lucky person was that got the opportunity to dine with him. We make our way to the hotel’s Garden Court, where Moustafis has set up shop, and are greeted by the director, who is clearly in his element. A longtime lover of good food and an experienced caterer, Moustafis, who was raised in Athens, is also responsible for the recent culinary adventures of his wife, actress Kyra Sedgwick. The couple’s travels around the world in search of culinary delights are chronicled in their blog, Djinana, with the pair recording a wealth of delicious recipes and sharing them with their readers. We can’t resist their food porn blog, especially since it was Sedgwick who inspired the decadent dish that we are about to try: the Banana Chocolate Pots de Crème.
Bananas, chocolate, and creamy ice cream are three things that sound like they should go together, but so rarely do. The secret is in the way that Moustafis blends them into his sweet dessert: the bananas are cooked until soft, then mashed, while the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the ice cream. It’s a decadent combination that can only be described as euphoric.
Our next stop is the Montage, the luxury spa that is part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where we meet up with Schwartzman, who is busy putting the finishing touches on the evening’s decor. We join him as he works, applying the final coat of paint to the venue’s massive green wooden doors, which serve as the backdrop for one of the evening’s most crucial scenes. Moments later, guests are treated to a glorious view of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, as the lights inside and outside the building are switched off one by one. It’s a fitting end to a day of feasting and fun, and it’s an ending that we, the audience, will not soon forget.