Tricks to hosting a successful dinner party for a variety of food intolerances

 

Tricks to hosting a successful dinner party for a variety of food intolerances

What was once an easy and regular fun occasion is now becoming an overwhelming and near on impossible event. Dinner parties, who loves a good dinner party? I would choose a dinner party over a restaurant any day. If you’re like me who loves their personal space, not sitting on top of each other and hearing everyones conversations, the overcrowded restaurants gives me anxiety. You get up to go to the toilet and three tables are interrupted just so you can get out of your chair. Or you find yourself listening into the conversation next to you, not out of choice, and by the end of the dinner you know more about the people next to you than your mates you’re meant to be catching up with. Don’t get me wrong I do love a night out where you don’t have to cook or clean, however a dinner party is the best. You’re catching up with just your friends not 100 other random people. You can freely go to the toilet without disturbing everyone around you and you don’t have to worry about a 2 hour sitting.

 

Although I’m not sure if it’s just me or everyone feels the same way, holding a dinner party is not like it used to be. Yes the catching up with your friends is the same however the cooking part is so much harder. Nearly everyone has a different food request, ‘I can’t eat gluten, no dairy please, oh garlic and onion upsets my stomach, thanks, can’t wait to catch up.’ OMG where do I start, how can I cook to please everyone, this is a logistic nightmare.

 

Here are some easy tricks to holding a successful dinner party that caters for almost everyone.

 

1.     Keep it simple

We can become stressed over the thought of cooking for friends making sure it tastes amazing and looks fab. Especially with all the latest food bloggers making meals that look so incredible with a thousand different ingredients. However realistically who has the time and where do you buy half of the ingredients. I recommend starting with one food for example sweet potato and spicing it up. Sweet potato is a delicious, highly nutritious, gluten and lactose free vegetable. Smashed sweet potato crisped in the oven with dukkah sprinkled over the top is always a winner. You could also bake whole field mushrooms with pesto or goat cheese spread on top. Asparagus wrapped in pruscuto pan fried is incredible, will definitely win over your friends.

2.     Have variety

Have a few different dishes. Baked vegetables and a salad or two. Accompany with BBQ meat, meats, chicken, beef and or fish. This way your friends can choose their own piece of meat and extras, salads and vegetables, keeping everyone happy. 

3.     Plan a head and use the oven

When holding a dinner party you don’t want to spend your entire time in the kitchen. My trick is to have a few salads premade in the fridge ready to go. Have the vegetables ready to be placed in the oven. That way you can put them in the oven an hour or two before you plan on eating and pretty much forget about them. This will all reduce your dish load as well.

 

4.     Get your guests involved

Another fantastic option which I tend to do quite often is homemade pizzas. I make my own gluten free pizza dough and buy a large variety of ingredients. Prepare all toppings into separate containers and line them up along the serving table. Every guest has the option to make their own pizza with whatever toppings they want. This becomes a fun exercise and keeps everyone happy. You can also have a few salads on the side premade. 

 
Sarah Stewart