Dinner on Deck

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© This article first appeared in the August 2010 issue of Texoma Living! Magazine.
Photographed by Anne-Marie Shumate for Lasting Images Photography.


Aboard the Yacht Naughti Girl

Sometimes it is interesting to deconstruct an idea and trace how it came to be. The dinner party afloat featured in the following pages started out a long way from the tranquility of a sleepy cove on Lake Texoma. It began in early May as an idea for a party at a yet to be found Victorian manse.

“Let’s do a formal dinner in a vintage setting for September,” was the opening shot.

“Like a Victorian house,” came next.

“Wait, wait, let’s give it a 1940s theme.”

“No, no, not ‘40s, ‘50s—make it a mid-century setting, maybe one of the Donald Mayes houses.”

“Better than that, how about a ‘50s cocktail party—a ‘Mad Men’ cocktail party,” referring to the popular television series set in the world of Madison Avenue in the late ‘50s early ‘60s. “Maybe we could do it at the Barrett Apartment in Denison.” Now we’re really on a roll, so Mad Men at the Barrett it was, but…. But that didn’t work out.

A couple of days later: “I still like the formal cocktail party idea, so how about we find a place to do that?”

“How about at a really modern house—Mid Century Modern that is—something like Philip Johnson would have done, with a lot of glass?”

“I know of one sort of like that on the lake, very open, really classy.” Done and done.

We found the location, and we found a willing hostess—willing that is to let us bring forty strangers into her house for a cocktail party shoot. We lined up a photographer, we lined up a date, we lined up a caterer to do the food, but…. There always seems to be one but somewhere in the equation.

“We are overreaching. We can never pull this off. We can’t manage that many people. It will never look like what we think it will look like. Our reach is exceeding our grasp—or is it the other way around?”

“How about if we went back to the formal dinner party idea? We could have eight people and an elegant menu and….”

“Eight is too many. Why not just six? And we can do a feature on the house for the style section.”

“Okay, six it is for a formal dinner party—soup to nuts in tuxedoes—the guests, not the nuts.” But….

A few days later: “The home owners are okay with the dinner idea, but they don’t want to shoot the house this early in the summer. It’s not green enough. Besides, they’re leaving the country in a couple of weeks, and there’s just not enough time.”

By this time, the original idea for the summer issue, which was to have a Western theme, had been canned, so we were scrambling for a summer idea. (FYI, the Western idea is back on for September.) Summer—lake—boat—big boat—biggest boat we can find—dinner party on a boat. Anchors aweigh. But….

Captain Joe McCombs.

But this time it did work. We found the boat, we found the guests, we found the sea cooks and we set sail, figuratively speaking, of course, with a menu far distant from the bully beef, ship’s biscuits, and boiled peas that made up the old time sailor’s meager fare.

Hosts & Owners of Naughti Girl

Captain Joe McCombs, Founder and President of Smantha Spring ,Inc.
Executive Officer Monica McCombs, Administrative Assistant – Airport Development at DFW Airport

Passenger Manifest

Robert Sylvester, Jr., President, Landmark Bank, Denison
Karen D. Sylvester, Registered Dietitian, Consultant
Scott Hayward, VP Operations, Highport Marina
Brenda Hayward, Executive Director – Child & Family Guidance Center

The Crew

Chef Angela Boedeker and Chef Casey Kidwell – Angela’s Cafe, Denison
Anne-Marie Shumate – Photographer
Edward Southerland – Supervising Editor for Texoma Living! Monthly
Brenda Hantsche – Associate Editor for Texoma Living! Monthly
Justin Hayward – Equipment Boat Captain
Bryan Hantsche – Key Grip, Cabin Boy

The Menu

Spring mix, Water Chestnuts, & Almonds with Black Pepper Lime dressing
Salmon Mousse with Dill and Sour Cream
White Fish á la meunière with strawberry salsa
Spinach Stuffed Chicken Pinwheels
Snow Peas
Fresh Corn Relish
Cream Tart Cockade

Credits & Thanks

Di Jourdan, Highport Marina
Country Florist, Sherman

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