When planning any type of social event, the host is faced with a decision about food. Should the menu mainly focus on choices that the host finds appealing or does the preferences of the guests carry more weight? The fact is that anything from the finger foods offered at a cocktail party to the selections at a formal holiday dinner need to include a little of both.
Creating any type of setting for a party takes a lot of hard work. With that in mind, it makes sense that the host should have something there to enjoy. It’s perfectly fine to include several menu items that happen to rank high on the host’s personal list of favourites. Doing so ensures that as the host mingles with the guests, there is always the opportunity to eat and drink right along with them.
Keep in mind that while some of the selections may be based on the personal preferences of the host, anyone at the party is free to partake. In fact, there’s a good chance that several of the guests will also enjoy those same dishes with equal relish. In a sense, the host is making choices that are not just personal but also represent the tastes of a few others.
Part of the responsibility of being a host is making sure that guests are comfortable and have what they need to enjoy the event. That includes offering foods that they can enjoy. In order to do so, it does pay to make a few discreet inquiries.
The first focus should be on dietary needs of those who will be in attendance. Do some of those guests live with a chronic condition that precludes them from consuming certain types of foods? If so, making sure the offerings include things that they can eat and enjoy is simply part of the process of being a responsible host.
For example, if every side dish on the table is a starch, that leaves little for a guest with type 2 diabetes to enjoy. Adding in some dishes built around dark green vegetables and small amounts of complex carbohydrates will offer more choices. Best of all, guests who don’t have to be mindful of blood glucose levels will likely enjoy those same dishes.
With menu planning, it isn’t a matter of either/or. Include some personal favourites while keeping the needs and tastes of guests in mind. Doing so will ensure everyone has a wonderful time and looks forward to the next gathering.