It was an appropriate setting for a movie titled Eat Pray Love: fresh oysters, white sturgeon caviar, summer squash – and that’s barely the first course.
Less than two weeks before their film arrives in theaters, the cast and crew of Eat Pray Love celebrated with a seven-course meal at The French Laundry in Napa Valley, Calif. The dinner came after a press junket, which took place in the area.
Leading lady Julia Roberts, who was joined by husband Danny Moder, dined alongside her costars, including Javier Bardem, Billy Crudup and Richard Jenkins. Also in attendance: director Ryan Murphy, who created Fox’s hit show, Glee.
The evening opened with a canapé reception, followed by a very special private dinner.
“We were thrilled to welcome the cast and Sony executives of Eat Pray Love to The French Laundry,” Thomas Keller, restaurant owner, tells PEOPLE. “We crafted a special seven-course menu for the occasion to reflect our own classic dishes, such as ‘Oysters & Pearls,’ as well as newer dishes to highlight the wonderful summer produce from our culinary garden. We also included our version of macaroni and cheese in honor of Julia’s Southern ties.”
What exactly was on the menu?
Keller and chef de cuisine Timothy Hollingsworth served up sautéed fillet of Atlantic halibut alongside cauliflower, Tomales Bay clams and sultana raisins. The mac ‘n’ cheese was hand-rolled semolina macaroni cooked in Montgomery cheddar and a périgourdine sauce, which features black truffles.
Other items included watercress and Australian truffle coulis, Spanish capers and king trumpet mushrooms.
For dessert, the Eat-ers enjoyed cinnamon-sugared doughnuts, goat’s milk mousse and andante dairy peach cobbler.
And from a 2008 chardonnay fresh from the valley to a 2007 pinot noir, there was plenty of vino to go around the table.
The film follows the non-fiction journey of Elizabeth Gilbert (played by Roberts) as she embraces her inner globetrotter. Based on the 2006 bestselling memoir by Gilbert, the flick hits theaters Aug. 13.
Reporting by LESLEY MESSER