Let's start with the book and segue to the dinner.
For a shocker, open the extraordinary "What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets" by Napa-based photojournalist Peter Menzel and his wife, former TV producer Faith D'Aluisio (Material World/Ten Speed Press, $40, 335 pages; www.menzelphoto.com).
The book combines striking photos of and interviews with 80 people in 30 countries, accompanied in each case by a menu of their meals on a typical day. Their stories are arranged by daily caloric intake, from a low of 800 calories to a high of 12,300 calories.
In Kenya, one of the wives of a Maasai chief derives her 800 calories from porridge, bananas, tea, milk and sugar. In London, a mother of three consumes 12,300 daily calories from three full meals, plus three daily snacks.
Now for the five-course meal, inspired by the book: Menzel and D'Aluisio will give a presentation at a "farm-to-table" outdoor dinner-lecture sponsored by the Squaw Valley Institute, in a private home on "20 acres overlooking Truckee."
Preparing the meal will be chefs from some of the Tahoe area's top restaurants: Plumpjack CafÃ©, Moody's, Wolfdale's, Mamasake and Six Peaks Grille. Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing will offer samples of organic ales.
"The dinner is designed to pay homage to our local culinary leaders and providers, and to present an intimate evening where we can truly digest the topic - exactly what the Squaw Valley Institute is about," said executive director Renee Koijane.
Limited-seating tickets to the Aug. 18 dinner-lecture are $135 a person (including a copy of the book) at www.squawvalleyinstitute.org. More information at (530) 581-4138.