So, I was watching a TikTok video from a man talking about inviting people to a dinner party. His suggestion was that an invitee to the dinner party should not contact the host regarding their food allergies and/or preferences and ask to change the menu. The invitee should simply decline the invitation to dinner and ask if they can come after dinner bringing a dessert or cocktail for after dinner to still enjoy the social aspects of the evening.
I can see his side of the story. The host has planned the dinner party and menu, will be potentially working for few days on the meal, and they want to have the party their way. Requesting a change to the menu to accommodate preferences or something you may not like, decline the invitation. For example, I HATE mushrooms. If the host was serving mushroom risotto, I would decline the invitation. I would not call to ask if the stock they were using to create the risotto was gluten free. The idea of mushrooms being in the meal would create an instant decline in my book. But if the host were making something like a BBQ chicken, then a call regarding celiac disease could be warranted. That leads into the next part though.
However, as the host of the dinner party, shouldn’t you know about your guest’s food allergies and as a good host attempt to accommodate those. If you cannot accommodate or don’t want to accommodate the person’s food allergies, the invitation should not be extended. For example, if someone has a known peanut allergy, the host should not serve a food item with peanuts. That would be simply rude.
Here is where the grey area is – if the host were making something that could potentially be made gluten free, I don’t think a call to the host to inquire about how the item is being prepared is unwarranted. Not only that if you have celiac disease or some other food allergy that could potentially do harm, the host should create a safe environment for you to eat. That is what being a great host is all about.
Now, this TikTok’er obviously hosts more formal dinner parties than I do. Each dinner party I’ve hosted has involved me setting a main course and everyone bringing a side. I fix my plate first and I only eat what I’ve provided so I know it is safe. Then I let everyone else enjoy the evening.
I disagree with this TikTok’er about food allergies and putting the burden on the invitee to decline invitations based on their lack of willingness to communicate with those that might have questions about the safety of their food. What do you think?