Restrictive Diets at Dinner Parties: How Far Should a Host Go to Accommodate?

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Once upon a time, it was unusual to even ask dinner guests about food allergies, let alone their preferences. Today, it can seem strange to have a dinner party without some sort of food restriction. Paleo, vegan, no carb, no gluten: sometimes planning a menu can require research into what these diets mean exactly. Fortunately, specialty food like gluten-free flours and vegan meat substitutions are much easier to find. But where to draw the line before you’re practically making individual meals for each guest? The New York Times asked this question this past week — see what they had to say.

Jessica Bruder at The New York Times posed that very question to chefs and dieters across the country last week. Are food preferences killing the pleasure of the shared meal?

It depends on who you ask. No one wants to be stuck with a sad side salad while the rest of the group enjoys a main course. But stressing over creating a balanced meal for each guest is a sure way to a stressful night.

What do you think? Can a host plan a meal assuming some items won’t appeal to everyone or should they go the extra mile and ensure specialty foods for each of their guests?

Read more: The Picky Eater Who Came to Dinner at The New York Times

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