What’s the Best Way to Cook for Someone with Different Food Preferences?

updated May 1, 2019
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Q: I invited a friend over for dinner next month. We both have similar taste, enjoy cooking, and have adventurous palates. A mutual friend of ours heard about this and invited herself. She’s a nice girl and I have an open-door policy, so I don’t mind in the least; the more the merrier.

The problem is this friend (to me, anyway) has a very limited palate. She doesn’t like seafood, salmon, risotto, pasta, most vegetables, and other foods I consider “crowd pleasers.” She only eats halal Indian food (her background), which I’ve never really mastered. Halal meat is not easy to come by here. I’m very lucky in that all my other friends eat anything; I’m stumped on what to cook without having to make two separate meals or eating cheese pizza! Any suggestions?

Sent by May

Editor: This is a tough situation, indeed. Why not save a more adventurous meal for another time when it can be better appreciated? If pizza seems to be what makes everyone happy, why not have a make-your-own-pizza night? You can make the dough ahead of time, and then the night of the dinner you can each make individual pies, so everyone can add the toppings of their choice (be it cheese, or something more exciting).

Kitchn readers, what’s your best advice for May? How can she create a meal that satisfies everyone’s palate?