Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Dinner Parties


rich
 Share

Recommended Posts

When you are planning a dinner party do you only make things you enjoy eating or do prepare dishes that you may not like, but think your guests will?

For instance I had a dinner party for ten Monday evening (don't ask, I worked until 5PM - prepped most of the stuff Sunday and very early Monday), and made a couple of things I rarely eat because I knew my guests would enjoy them.

I made double lemon bars for dessert. I love lemons, but these are much too sweet for my taste. I made a roast butterflied tenderloin of pork with a Granny Smith apple stuffing. I enjoy pork, but am not a fan of fruit stuffing with meat. I also made a version of Coquille St. Jaques (albeit spicy) and while I love scallops, I'm not a fan of seafood and cheese.

I didn't eat any of those three dishes, but the guests said they were good. Just wondering if anyone else does the same thing.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless I'm dealing with a special request, I cook what I like. Seems strange to me to do it any other way -- the guests have the rest of their lives to cook what they think they want. For one night, they can play on my turf.

Let's look at this. You didn't like (a) the main course, (b) the cheese course, © the dessert. And you sound damned ambivalent about the fish. What's left, the salad? What fun is that for you?

Your enthusiasm will encourage people to like what you like -- dare to cook for yourself.

On the other hand, pushing stuff you know they will dislike is another story. Experiment with the pig spleens or wild nettles on another night. Or serve them late, after the tequila shots.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's look at this.  You didn't like (a) the main course, (b) the cheese course, © the dessert.  And you sound damned ambivalent about the fish.  What's left, the salad? What fun is that for you?

Well this wasn't a sit-down dinner. It was a tasting menu. There were 18 courses in all, 16 appetizer/entree type things and two desserts, so there was plenty for me to eat.

If I'm doing a sit-down dinner, I wouldn't make something I don't enjoy because it would look very strange for me to sit there with nothing on my plate while my guests ate. They would probably have second thoughts about what I was REALLY serving.

PS - I enjoyed the cheese, I'm just not a fan of sea/shellfood and cheese combined in one dish.

Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Busboy. Also, why would you cook something you don't like? When, presumably, this means you do not taste and even if you do, you don't know what you're tasting for. For instance, take a nightmare dish (mine anyway): tripe, brussels sprouts and okra. OK, this is a made-up dish BUT if it DID exist and I thought guests would like it, how on EARTH would I know if it were a good version or not? It would taste foul to me whether it was prepared with top-notch ingredients with great care by a good cook, or thrown together by an idiot.

I realise this is more extreme than the real-life example you gave, but I think the principle's the same.

Edited by Brithack (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's look at this.  You didn't like (a) the main course, (b) the cheese course, © the dessert.  And you sound damned ambivalent about the fish.  What's left, the salad? What fun is that for you?

Well this wasn't a sit-down dinner. It was a tasting menu. There were 18 courses in all, 16 appetizer/entree type things and two desserts, so there was plenty for me to eat.

If I'm doing a sit-down dinner, I wouldn't make something I don't enjoy because it would look very strange for me to sit there with nothing on my plate while my guests ate. They would probably have second thoughts about what I was REALLY serving.

PS - I enjoyed the cheese, I'm just not a fan of sea/shellfood and cheese combined in one dish.

I guess the real question, then, is what the hell were you doing laying out 18 courses on a Monday night, when you should have been sipping beer, eating takeout pizza from that great place you Staten Islanders are supposed to have, and giggling at Hell's Kitchen? :laugh:

If you're doing all that work, though, you may as well play to the crowd a bit, in the name of diversity if nothing else. You can even throw in the pig spleen in that case.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

tripe, brussels sprouts and okra.

How did you know what I made? Were you there Monday evening?

I'm not sure I agree with not knowing how something should taste if you don't enjoy it. I knew the apple stuffing was good and the pork was good, I'm not a fan of the combination. I knew the lemon bars were fine, except I don't have a sweet tooth, so it was not to my liking. The Coquille was prepared with great bay scallops (I tasted one before the cheese was added) and the gruyere was fine (tasted that too), I just don't care for that combination.

I believe you can understand how a dish is supposed to taste, even if you don't enjoy it. My mother makes terrific stuffed cabbage. And though I don't enjoy stuffed cabbage, I know what it's supposed to taste like. I could tell if the cabbage or meat was bad or if she left out an major ingredient or if she over-salted, etc.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess the real question, then, is what the hell were you doing laying out 18 courses on a Monday night, when you should have been sipping beer, eating takeout pizza from that great place you Staten Islanders are supposed to have, and giggling at Hell's Kitchen? :laugh:

Because me and my wife were the only two who had to work the next day. The others were all off and couldn't make any other time - what I do for my friends. :wacko::wacko:

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I usually make food I like, but there aren't too many foods i don't like. I often try to make dishes that I know my guests probably wouldn't have tried before, just to give them a new experience.

Dawn aka shrek

Let the eating begin!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only make food that I like. The reason is that I can't judge if a dish is good or not if I don't like it in the first place. Having said that, I do take my guests into consideration when planning a menu. Any special diets, dishes/ingredients that I know the guests like and special requests.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only make food that I like or want to eat. (Is there an echo in here?) Life is too short and making dishes that I have no interest in takes all the fun out of cooking.

Picky eaters can stay home or find somewhere else to go.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only make food that I like because that is what I have experience at cooking. I wouldn’t make something for the first time for guests. That said, I like just about everything.

I do take the guests preferences into account, of course. If I am having guests who have not previously been to my home I will make sure to find out if there is anything they do not eat.

"The smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us...."

Marcel Proust

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...