Have you ever been to a dinner party, or maybe hosted one yourself, and have someone request a change to the menu? After the menu has been set, the groceries have been bought, and maybe even after the table has been set, here comes someone asking to have the proceedings changed to adapt to their personal, and maybe peculiar, dietary wishes.
That’s exactly who I don’t want to be, I don’t want to be that guy. If I ever decided to become a vegan, which I won’t, I don’t think that I would ask my host to make sure they had something that fit my dietary “needs”. Instead, I would eat a bit before going out, and then snack on whatever fit the bill at my friend’s party.
The opposite is true as well. I love bacon, and steak and butter… and all sorts of things that some people think should never appear on your plate. If I go to a vegetarians house for dinner, I certainly don’t ask for my own steak, nor do I bring one over to prepare for myself while other people are nibbling on carrot sticks.
I understand that the French have a cultural expectation that when attending someone else’s house for dinner, you are expected to leave your own dietary desires at home. At your home, not at your host’s home. That’s much closer to my view. I am not suggesting that everybody munch down on whatever the host serves, especially if it goes against your needs, but prepare yourself before leaving home, maybe with a little snack, so that you are a polite guest and can enjoy the company and atmosphere of the evening.
So if you are gluten free, a vegetarian, don’t eat pork… whatever it is that floats your boat, great, I hope it makes you happy and healthy. But don’t push your idea of good eats onto me, especially while I’m hosting dinner for you! If we want to talk about different dietary philosophies, great, but there’s a time and place for that discussion, and it’s not while I’m cooking and serving others. Don’t Be That Guy!