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Picky guest. Rude and ill-mannered or within his rights?

896 replies

AddToBasket · 29/06/2015 17:34

Gah. I am throwing a themed dinner party for friends from a particular interest. (A bit like a medieval feast for people from a 12th Century interest group.) The menu is complicated and of the 'Take one plucked flamingo' school of recipes. It's a massive deal and will require military-like organisation to pull off but I'm looking forward to it.

It's at my house but I have a co-host. The partner of the co-host will not eat anything on the menu. There are four options for starter, five for main course, four for pudding. My co-host tells me he eat won't eat any of them.

He's not vegetarian or allergic, he just doesn't like vegetables or anything 'complicated'. I've been asked to serve a plain chicken breast. The menu includes a roast chicken salad (offensive because of watercress) and a plain couscous.

I think it's rude. AIBU?

OP posts:
Woooooohoooooo · 29/06/2015 18:06

Or text 'I was thinking husband could bring/warm his own food on Thursday. Sadly I've got my hands full and any extra would be the straw that broke the camels back'

CatOfTheGreenGlades · 29/06/2015 18:06

It just displays a spectacular lack of imagination and empathy on his part. They will be working hard to make a lot of special, intricate food. He could cook his own chicken breast (far easier for him to do at home than them in the middle of preparations) and bring it. He could show an understanding that the do is not about catering to people who want plain food.

SuburbanRhonda · 29/06/2015 18:06

If someone's already cooking how is cooking a chicken breast PLAIN hard?

You're really asking that when someone is cooking 13 dishes?

StayWithMe · 29/06/2015 18:07

I'm vegan (ducks from thrown cutlery) but I always ask if I can help the host out by bringing something that can be chucked straight into the oven or microwave. Or I simply eat the veg with feigned gusto. I do love veg but if I'm permitted to bring something, then it's usually a fancy pie. If he's that fussy then the co host should be dealing with that. I second buying something ready cooked that can be microwaved, though I've a feeling nothing will be right.

AuntieStella · 29/06/2015 18:08


I'd want to send (but almost certainly wouldn't) this sort of response:

'As this special menu is the whole point of this gathering, and I understand that you do not feel able to participate at all, I shall look forward to catching up with you some other time'

With a limited food repertoire (ie not actual allergies), by adulthood, someone should be adept at picking out the bits they will eat and hiding the rest (and carrying an emergency Mars Bar to scoff in the loo).

JassyRadlett · 29/06/2015 18:09

If someone's already cooking how is cooking a chicken breast PLAIN hard?

How big is OP's oven? Does she have a double oven? How many burners on her cooker? How many baking trays does she have, and how many will already be in use? How much spare counter space does she have? What are the timings and temperatures for the food she's preparing?

Pumpkinpositive · 29/06/2015 18:09

You're really asking that when someone is cooking 13 dishes?

If she's already cooking 13 dishes, maybe the bloke doesn't think bunging on one more - and a plain one at that - will be any great hardship?

Hats off though OP, you are obviously some multi tasker!

mynewpassion · 29/06/2015 18:10

If there is sensory issues, its a medical condition maybe the partner doesn't want it being blabbed about.

ask the cohost to prepare something for the partner. What's she doing for the party?

SuburbanRhonda · 29/06/2015 18:11

Suburban but often people don't understand and telling them opens up a load of intrusive questions.

No-one on here has asked you any intrusive questions, nor the other poster with the same issue. Sensory issues with food - what more would anyone want to know?

TheClacksAreDown · 29/06/2015 18:12

DH is pretty picky but doesn't like it - I think he has some sensory issues around food. But in this scenario he would politely not attend the evening. This doesn't sound like, say, a group of friends meeting up and this time going to a curry house in which case the point is the friends and if you dislike spicy food you order an omelet or similar. Here the whole point is the food so I don't get why he is coming at all as he doesn't want to partake.

DinosaursRoar · 29/06/2015 18:16

While I do sympathise with people with sensory issues, if you really can't tolerate anything other than the plainest of foods and can't face just putting to one side items from a dish you don't like (like just not eating the watercress with the roast chicken), then perhaps the onus should be on the fuss pot person with complex food needs not to accept invites to themed food based events.

If you can't eat Indian food, you say "no thank you" when invited out for a curry. If you can't eat anything other than the plainest of foods, dinner at someone else's house should be avoided unless you know they have similar issues. This is a dinner party, it's not a professionally catered event, so rude to issue demands rather than just decline the invite.

JassyRadlett · 29/06/2015 18:16

I've got a friend who is a very picky, I think she probably has sensory issues around food. Frankly, we've never discussed it. When we're eating out, we make sure it's somewhere she's happy with, and she bends over backwards to fit in with other people and will offer to bring a dish or two if she's coming to someone's place for dinner.

She's completely fabulous and never, ever a pain to eat with because she doesn't make a huge issue out of it.

StayWithMe · 29/06/2015 18:17

I know people are saying 'how hard is it to do a plain chicken breast', but when I used to cook for the family I had to cook two different meals as my oldest has difficulties with food (? Sensory issues) and I would quite often to put something on for myself, especially if I was doing a spud, meat and veg dinner for DH and kids, with pizza, nuggets, or other junk for the oldest.

CatOfTheGreenGlades · 29/06/2015 18:18

If he doesn't want it discussed, then surely "I'm a bit picky about food and I don't want to inconvenience you so I'll just bring my own" is the perfect solution.

AddToBasket · 29/06/2015 18:18

My co-host won't be able to cook a chicken breast either. He's cooking the 13 dishes too! We're both needed to get everything together and onto the table. Pans and oven space are at a premium.

When my co-host mentioned this to me yesterday, I was pretty taken aback. I said, 'I'll have a think'. What I didn't say was' That's pathetic, and rude, and so anti-social. Just have the plainest things, leave what he doesn't want on the side and SUCK IT UP'.

I've cooked macaroni cheese for this guy before and he took one mouthful and said 'yeah, not really my thing'. He wouldn't try the homemade rhubarb ice cream.

OP posts:
whois · 29/06/2015 18:19

Sounds like a total PITA but I'd just buy a pack of ore-cooked roast chicken slices (plain) and let him have those cold with some of the couscous. Or bread.

CatOfTheGreenGlades · 29/06/2015 18:20

Sensory issues, allergies etc clearly do exist and I'm sympathetic to them, however IME there really are people who use food fussing as a way to be attention-seeking and make themselves seem important.

Looking at you SIL

DinosaursRoar · 29/06/2015 18:20

oh but don't be surprised at all that the DP doesn't think it's an issue, they live with someone like this, it's probably become second nature to cook additional dishes or plan menus around the fussy eater's issues. Someone who is fussy about food does tend to dictate the diets of the whole household, but unlike allergies, they tend not to realise it's a hardship for others because they don't want to eat those foods (rather than can't) and often don't 'get' that other people would like to eat differently.

SuburbanRhonda · 29/06/2015 18:21

If there is sensory issues, its a medical condition maybe the partner doesn't want it being blabbed about.

You seriously think that at a themed dinner party with such a spectacular feast of food that the guests are going to be talking about one of the guests medical issues?


AddToBasket · 29/06/2015 18:21

He won't have the bread (spelt). I could get him a roll. but I'm feeling bad tempered about it

OP posts:
StayWithMe · 29/06/2015 18:21

the fuss pot person with complex food needs not to accept invites to themed food based events.

That's a horrible attitude to people with genuine issues.

CatOfTheGreenGlades · 29/06/2015 18:22

I like whois's idea if you really do have to cater for him. Supermarket packet of chicken and a roll, on a plate, job done and it doesn't affect your kitchen schedule.

StatisticallyChallenged · 29/06/2015 18:23

In light of your last post (assuming the macaroni was a requested meal) then nope, I wouldn't be doing anything extra. Not 13 dishes level but even when I think about last time I did the big family christmas dinner (2 roasts) my oven space was planned to the nth degree, I knew exactly what was going where and when - and there wasn't a spare shelf or oven tray available! If you're cooking one meal then chucking a chicken breast in some foil isn't a huge deal but in this case it's not really reasonable.

Especially since there's a reasonable chance that you'll cook it and then he won't eat it for some unfathomable reason anyway!

ilovesooty · 29/06/2015 18:24

Tell him to going his own food if he wants to come
For an event specifically planned round themed food it's utterly rude to accept the invitation and expect special consideration to this extent.

ilovesooty · 29/06/2015 18:25

Bring not going, sorry.

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