A Caribbean menu served on a 1700s pirate ship
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is my favorite movie of all time. Pirates was already my family’s favorite Disneyland ride so when we heard they were making a movie starring none other than my mom’s and my favorite actor, we were ecstatic. I saw the first film six times in theaters alone. I’m sure I’ve watched it hundreds of times at this point and I have the sound track memorized. That opening shot where Jack Sparrow stands proudly on his sinking ship and calmly steps onto the dock accurately sums up my life.
“This is either madness… or brilliance.” – Will Turner
To me, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl has everything you could ever want in a movie: pirates, swords, adventure, a supernatural curse, beautiful scenery, an epic soundtrack, pirate ships, humor, romance, Johnny Depp at his finest, an old-timey setting, fantastic quotes, rum, more humor, more adventure…even a horse drawn carriage makes a brief appearance!
This dinner was especially fun for me now that I’ve spent so much time in the Caribbean these last few years. Those trips heavily influenced the menu. This is the only non-animated film that’s part of my Disney Dinners series. Here’s how I hosted my Pirates of the Caribbean dinner party, recipes and all!
I wish my dining room always looked like a captain’s galley. The Pirates decor filled me with joy. I was originally going to go with much more of a modern Caribbean theme but seeing as Moana is next month, I decided to take a hard left turn and go with Pirate decor, inspired by Captain Barbossa’s dining room on the Black Pearl. I used sheer black cloth to cover my china cabinet and to hang from the opening to my dining room. I decorated the back wall with fishing net draped on a canvas print of the Caribbean, a photo I took in Turks and Caicos.
A fog machine added to the Black Pearl atmosphere (pro tip: we had a window open so the fog did not stay trapped in the house) and my lanterns helped illuminate the dining room.
I styled the table with a black tablecloth, fishing net cut into a makeshift table runner, and shells I pulled out of the ocean on various trips to the Caribbean. I found the adorable octopus at Michael’s to be a nod to Davey Jones. Going with the 1700s theme, the time period that the movie is set in, I used four taper candles in silver candleholders.
“Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.” – Jack Sparrow
I styled the side table with a lantern, pillar candle, and conch shell I brought back from Turks and Caicos. My friend Sarah and I actually ate that conch for lunch! Read the story behind the conch shell here. That is not a decoration: that’s the real deal from a tiny island much like the one Jack and Elizabeth are marooned one.
I brought in another side table for Pirates and styled with another pillar candle, a chest full of edible pirate coins, and a pewter dish full of green apples. Green apples are featured throughout The Curse of the Black Pearl, as Captain Barbossa loves them. He offers a green apple to Elizabeth during her time on the ship and (*spoiler alert*) drops a green apple after he dies, never getting to take the bite he so longs for. Jack even teases him at one point by taking a bite out of a nice, juicy apple, knowing it will bother him. Notice the green apples also formed a Hidden Mickey!
I did two centerpieces for Pirates because I just so happened to have two old-world-y pewter vases. I used red alstroemeria (also called lily of the Incas), red roses, and purple spider mums. I love the red and purple color combination for Pirates because it’s unusual. It feels sexy, mysterious, and very different from an arrangement you would typically see.
“Wherever we want to go, we’ll go. That’s what a ship is, you know. It’s not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that’s what a ship needs but what a ship is… what the Black Pearl really is… is freedom.” – Jack Sparrow
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The Place Settings
This is my favorite place setting yet! I used silver chargers and my Emma plates from Pottery Barn. I stewed and stewed over how to do the napkins for this and finally decided on the most simple style after rewatching the movie. The scene in which Elizabeth wolfs down dinner with Barbossa shows a fork and knife on a folded napkin to the left of the plate so that’s what I did. I love these huge grey napkins. (Thanks, Mom!)
My favorite part of the place setting was the octopus mugs I found at Pier 1. I mean, does it get more Davey Jones than this? I’m obsessed with them.
I bow down to Klaus Bedelt, composer of the first Pirates of the Caribbean film. I absolutely love the soundtrack so I played it all night long. Anything feels possible when the trombones get going in He’s a Pirate!
I changed my mind so many times before Pirates. I finally settled on this maroon-colored high-low dress that felt very modern-day Elizabeth Swann to me. It’s strong and feminine but practical. I wore a pirate medallion as a necklace, just like the one that calls the Black Pearl to Elizabeth. I also attempted an Elizabeth hairstyle, a poof on top and tight curls all around.
“That’s got to be the best pirate I’ve ever seen.” – Officer
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The Rum Tasting
I was inspired to host a little rum tasting right before dinner by my recent trip to Montpelier Plantation on the Caribbean island of Nevis. This is a fun, interactive thing to do with your guests, especially if they are not rum drinkers. Choose at least a white rum, golden rum, spiced rum, and flavored rum. I even served Bambara rum, which you can only buy in Turks and Caicos. The unanimous favorite was my personal favorite, Captain Morgan Private Stock. The favorite white rum was Bambara.
“Why is the rum gone?” – Jack Sparrow
Thanks to my friends at Hermitage Nevis, I possess the recipe for the oldest rum punch in the Caribbean! This is a 1-2-3 ratio of sour, sweet, and rum. It’s three parts rum but you can’t even taste the alcohol – a lethal combination! Be warned mateys, this is one strong and delicious drink! Please hydrate accordingly and enjoy. Watch me make it on the season one finale of The Rose Table video series here.
This is my favorite menu yet, partly because it’s quite easy and so glamorous, but also because it really reminds me so much of my favorite trips to the Caribbean!
“Hang the rules. They’re more like guidelines anyway!” – Elizabeth Swann
Pirates of the Caribbean Menu:
I make coconut shrimp all the time. I never measure and you don’t need to either. Dip these sweet morsels of heaven in my pumpkin curry sauce and you’ll never want to start dinner another way! This appetizer was inspired by one of my favorite dishes ever, coconut shrimp at Asu on the Beach in Turks and Caicos. Get the recipe for coconut shrimp here and pumpkin sauce here.
A popular dinner in the Caribbean is veggies, potatoes, avocado , and fish. I’ve gone several times during lobster season, when rock lobster is abundant. This dish is not nearly as hard as it looks. Grilling lobster takes just ten minutes and it’s so smoky and lovely, you’ll wonder why you’ve never done it before. Get the recipe for lobster tails here, ginger lime beurre blanc here, grilled zucchini here, and roasted potatoes here.
Pair this dish with heavenly ginger lime beurre blanc for a true Caribbean experience!
The most fool-proof potato recipe ever.
This is hardly a recipe, but rather an easy method for cooking up summer squash.
Captain Jack Sparrow Cupcakes
I came up with this recipe last year to celebrate the newest installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. I think Captain Jack would love this dark, mysterious cupcake that’s oozing with rum-caramel sauce. They’re to die for! Get the recipe here.
“Bloody pirates!” – Ragetti
It was a night full of rum and treasure indeed! Watch video highlights:
Savvy? Stay tuned next month – the next Disney Dinner is Moana!
Yo ho yo ho, a pirate’s life for