We all know them: the people we truly love but who are extremely picky eaters. We’re not talking about people with genuine allergies or intolerances. Catering for them might be a challenge, but it should always be a joy to help people eat something that’s good for them. Today we’re talking about people who just have very specific tastes. When you’re planning a dinner party this can pose a challenge but we’re here to help. Read on to find our tips for catering for everyone at your table.
1. Serve a range of dishes
This almost goes without saying, but it’s the key to pleasing your guests. Serve a wide range of smaller dishes rather than one large dish. If you’re serving something spicy, make sure you have something milder to serve alongside it. Try serving some basic foods such as bread or rice with your dishes.
2. Put sauces and dressings on the side
Instead of dressing your salads or covering dishes in sauces, serve them on the side. This way your guests can make their own decisions about the flavors on their plates. Serve hot sauce for those who love things spicy and a cooling yogurt or mayo for those who like everything to be creamy. Put out dressings that work well with each element of your meal so that guests can mix and match.
3. Ask guests to bring dishes along
This is a great way to lessen the stress of entertaining, but it works especially well if you know you have guests with different needs. Ask them to bring along one of their favorite dishes and you’ll know that there’s at least one thing for everyone there.
4. Create dishes that encourage building your own meal
If you don’t want to serve a huge range of different dishes, try cooking something that can be different for everyone at the table. Tacos or burritos work well for this because guests can choose their own fillings. You could create a salad bar for your diners to choose from. You could serve a dish like raclette where the diners even get to cook their meals to their liking.
5. Make trying new things part of the fun
Of course, you want your guests to go away from your meal satisfied, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t encourage them to step slightly out of their comfort zone. Maybe start with an appetizer of unusual meats or cheeses, or even ask guests to bring along the most unusual ingredient that they can find for you all to sample.
6. Dish up a great dessert!
Almost no-one is fussy about dessert. Serve up a showstopper along with some basics like ice cream and chocolate truffles you’ll satisfy even the pickiest eaters. It’s all the last part of the evening, so they’ll remember your fabulous dessert even if the rest of the meal wasn’t so great for them.
Overall, try not to worry too much. Even if there is are picky eaters at your table they are there because they love you. All they really want is to enjoy your company, so enjoy theirs and don’t put too much pressure on making your meal a success.