A friend of mine is organizing a dinner party for some of her husband’s clients and colleagues and clients. As an accomplished hostess, she thought the evening would be fairly simple. She planned to serve her famous roast chicken with vegetables, with a nice pie for dessert. Then her husband notified her that one client’s wife is a vegetarian. Another guest is on a gluten-free diet. And someone else has just had tooth whitening, and has been advised by her dentist to not drink red wine or eat anything with a dark sauce. What’s my friend supposed to do—make four different meals?
These days it seems like everyone has a strong food preference. I know so many people who have cut down on gluten, bread, and dairy, not to mention vegans and vegetarians. That doesn’t include those who are still embracing their New Year’s diets and are living off of egg whites and grilled chicken. I’m always sensitive to people’s diets and allergies, but when does a food preference become someone else’s problem?
Do you have a food allergy or specific diet? How do you handle it when you go to dinner parties? Do you decline the invite, offer to bring your own dish, or make do with what is served? A hostess always wants her guests to be satisfied, but should she be expected to appeal to every single person’s specific palette? Should your diet dictate the entire meal? There are certain foods I may not care for, but I’m generally willing to try, and I don’t always have to eat every bite on my plate. What’s your take?