Mad Men Premiere Party Menu

Menus, Miscellaneous / Saturday, August 15th, 2009

mad menu

What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons.–Don Draper

Have you heard enough about the return of Mad Men yet?

I won’t bore you with a synopsis, because if you’ve never seen the show, a summary won’t make sense anyway.

People write a lot about the 60s-inspired fashion and cocktail culture, but Mad Men is more than a time capsule or an adult version of The Wonder Years. It’s the best kind of television show, the kind that has you waking up and wondering about the characters.

Caring about them.

Anyway, after a long hiatus, Mad Men‘s third season starts tomorrow night, and there will be great rejoicing at the Continental Crump House.

In honor of the return of Don Draper and the entire Sterling Cooper gang, we put together this menu of foods that are either show-related or truly horrible plays on words.



Pete’s Pan-Fried Onion Dip with Utz Potato Chips

No Mad Men menu would be complete without an homage to Pete Campbell’s chip-and-dip bowl, the one he tells the guys was meant to hold a dip made of “sour cream with little pieces of brown onion in it.” Bonus points if you can find Utz Potato Chips. On the show, Utz is a Sterling Cooper ad account, but the company is still in business.


Betty’s “Grin and Barrett” Gazpacho

In the second season, Betty Draper hosts a dinner party for husband Don’s colleagues with a “Trip Around the World” menu – all the rage in the 60s. One of her courses was gazpacho. “Grin and Barrett” refers to the Candid Camera-like TV show Bobbie Barrett proposes to Don – a show starring her husband, Jimmy. Bobbie starts an affair with Don, who lies to Betty, who learns the truth from Jimmy. “Grin and Barrett,” get it?


Sterling Caesar Salad

During one of Don and Betty Draper’s dinners out with Roger and Mona Sterling, their waiter makes a Caesar salad tableside. This is a classic Caesar salad recipe, complete with anchovies and raw egg yolks (mayo substitute provided).


FDDT Kebabs

What does FDDT stand for? That’s how Bobbie Barrett refers to Don Draper’s way with the ladies: getting the Full Don Draper Treatment. These kebabs are a meal unto themselves: hunks of rib-eye, new potato and portobello mushroom. A meal on a stick. You naughty little monkeys.


Joan’s Fresh Tomato Tart

An excellent vegetarian main course option or side dish, this tart is ripe and scrumptious and full-bodied, just like Joan. No tart jokes, please.


Peggy’s Mini New York Cheesecakes

If you know the characters, you probably associate cheesecake with Roger, who tells Don that they used to serve cheesecake to Olympic athletes. However, I’m going with Peggy, because most people associate cheesecake with New York, and Peggy’s always telling new people about how she works in the city. And lives in her little single girl apartment. That girl’s had a hard year. She deserves some cheesecake. Preferably with Father Gill.


Mad Men is known for its cocktails, so if you have a well-stocked bar and cocktail shaker handy, check out the retro cocktail recipes on Sally Draper’s Cocktail Cheat Sheet I or II. Otherwise, you’ve got to break out the Heineken (a Sterling Cooper client and Mad Men sponsor). And be sure to finish your meal with a cup of Eight O’Clock ® Coffee (another Mad Men sponsor).

Mad Men airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. CST.

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24 thoughts on “Mad Men Premiere Party Menu

  1. The dip…. the salad… the tart…. the cheesecake, oh my God, everything looks so delicious!! I'm new to your blog so all of these recipes are new to me and I can't wait to read more. YUM!!

  2. WONDERFUL! I once hosted a Mad Men party. The dessert was Joan Hollaway's "Curve-Enhancing" Triple Coconut bourbon cream pie!

  3. You are so much fun and all this food pairing with the show is clsasic! Good job on all of it. Guess I know where you will be tonight!

  4. Looks wonderful! We are recovering from our own Mad Menu party last night. I went the NY steakhouse route, but this is truly original.

  5. Love the menu! I was so excited when I moved to a place that has Utz just for this reason. :) Although tonight I'll probably be sulking because I stopped my cable and can't get my Mad Men fix with everyone else…

  6. I love your food homage to Madmen…but where's all the mayo and baby gerkins? You must also include a pack of cigarettes in there somewhere too…

  7. Nice! I'm juuuuust getting into it, so I only understood half of the references, but I'm DVD-ing my little heart out and will hopefully be caught up in a week or two. Everything looks good, but the tomato tart is especially fabulous.

  8. I love this! I had a themed party in honor of the premier. Our menu was a little less refined (pigs in a blanket, jellied meatballs, and red velvet cupcakes). I'll bookmark this for my next occassion!

  9. […] Men. Rebecca Crump from Ezra Pound Cake brings you the Mad Men Premiere Party Menu! I’m a fan of the show so this one definitely caught my eye. It features everything from […]

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