Dolly Parton’s Dream Dinner Party Includes 3 Kings and a Menu Straight From the South

For many people, Dolly Parton has a surefire spot on a dream dinner party guest list. She’s also thought about who she’d want to invite to her home. Parton revealed the iconic guest list and shared just what she’d make to cater to their tastes. Even though the guest list is limited, anyone without an invite can get an idea of what a dinner party with Parton would be like. 

Dolly Parton wears a black shirt and stands with her hands on her hips in front of a blue background.
Dolly Parton | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Dolly Parton loves cooking Southern food

Parton grew up in Tennessee and favors the Southern cooking of her childhood. She’s visited many different cities, allowing her to sample a variety of cuisines. Still, she always finds the most comfort in Southern food.

“I still like to try new foods as often as I can,” she said on her official website. “But when it comes to cooking for myself and my husband Carl and my great big extended family, which numbers into the multiple hundreds these days, what we really want to eat is what comforts us most: good, hearty food rooted in Mama’s cooking and those country gatherings of my childhood. It’s the food from those Mom and Pop joints that welcome you in as if you’re family. We really just want food that is lovingly made and joyfully served up.”

She revealed the guest list and menu for her dream dinner party

Though Parton has many celebrity friends who’d likely make for a fun night, she’d prefer a different guest list for an ideal dinner party.

“I’d have Jesus at the head of the table,” she told Bon Appetit. “And I’d also invite Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Elvis.”

Parton is determined to impress this table of influential figures and tailor the menu to each of them. It helps that both Elvis and Dr. King were from the South.

“For Elvis I’d make a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I’d make something good and Southern for me and Dr. King. I’m sure he’d love some collards, as would I,” she said. “Of course, we’d have to have some barbecue ribs. There’s nothing I love better, especially when it comes with a good sauce, which makes all the difference. I like my sauce between sweet and vinegary. And I like my barbecue to be real tender so I don’t have to gnaw on that bone. Now, Jesus, that’s another story. He may not want to eat. But just in case, I’d make sure we had some milk and honey. The others could drink sweet tea.”

Parton shared that though the guests are prestigious, she’d want the dinner to be casual.

“We’d talk about the gifts we have. What we have done so far to help people and what we can continue to try to do. I’d be asking Jesus a lot of questions. I’d be talking music with Elvis. And I’d thank Martin Luther King Jr. for all that he did and continues to do even though he’s gone. We’d have lots of good stuff to talk about.”

Dolly Parton has recommendations for anyone who wants to visit Dollywood after dinner

Because she served Elvis a peanut butter sandwich instead of a heap of ribs and collard greens, Parton has some suggestions of restaurants he might want to visit after dinner. In particular, she would point the King of Rock and Roll to Dollywood, her amusement park in Tennessee.

“We’ve got great restaurants all over the park,” she explained. “Restaurants that serve real Southern foods: barbecue, corn on the cob, and all of that. But we have a resort called DreamMore and there is a restaurant attached to it, Song & Hearth. People just love the food. He might like that or he might like Aunt Granny’s.”

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