A hypothetical question arising out of the Dietary Accomodations thread and the discussion of the difficulty of designing a menu for a dinner party that accomodates everyone.
Is it rude to organise a guest list based around people's food restrictions?
I like to cook, and there are some dishes that work best when made for more than one person, because they make a lot of food and take a lot of time to make. One example is vindaloo (very spicy Indian meat curry), while another is Cajun seafood gumbo (also spicy, and emphatically non vegetarian). So I'll have an evening where I cook, and have some friends over for a causal meal and conversation.
If I want to make gumbo for a group would it be rude to only invite people I know who will eat it? It's a very labour intensive dish, and you can't make a vegetarian version (I've seen people try, but the result isn't gumbo anymore. Lard is essential).
Same with curry night - if I'm making vindaloo, nan, rice and cucumber raita with papadums and chutney that's pretty labour intensive, and incidentally uses all my burners and stoves. If I invite someone who is a vegetarian and doesn't like spicy food I'm going to have to make a complete second menu if they're to have anything to eat, at a fair amount of bother. Again, this is a labour intensive meal I make well, and if I say that I'm doing a vindaloo night, my friends look forward to it.
So the options I see are
- Invite the whole group of people you'd normally have to a casual dinner
- Invite only those people who would enjoy the food
- Invite the spice hating vegetarian and prepare two complete meals
- Invite the spice hating vegetarian and let them eat rice
- Invite the spice hating vegetarian and let them know that they'll have to bring their own food
- Stop having curry/gumbo night completely
What is the best option?