Entertaining - do you "tone it down" for non foodies? [moved from General Chowhounding Topics]
When entertaining do you make sure to have non chowish choices for your guests who are not necessarily foodies.
I wouldn't call it "toning it down", but I do make a range of foods to suit all tastes..
Entertaining for Mr Goddess and I usually means 5 couples and their respective kids all down the beach house.
I usually do something "different" for those people who want to try it, my classic 2 salads (There would be blood on the moon if I didn't) a variety of breads and dips, some generic sausages and burgers for the kids and a few desserts.
Maybe a whole fish with a new rub, some mussels for thems that like them, a butterflied lamb for the traditionalists and a vegie dish, along with the above.
In winter, we might do a lasagne with a twist, a moussaka, some asian fusion thing, a beef roast or pork belly caserole.Maybe even meatloaf with a twist (venison and thyme was my last twist and was a hit with foodies and non foodies alike).. A WOW factor new pudding for desert,
If I am trying something new, I usually experiment on my ever-forgiving 15 y/o son, who is a total Hound.
With our busy lives, "entertaining" is no longer intimate dinner parties for a select few, with amazing new "show-case" dinners.
We'll have to wait until the kids leave home to get back to those!!!
If you use fine, simple ingredients, both foodies and non-foodies should appreciate them. As a foodie, I'm not looking for anything fancy as long as it has a wonderful taste. You can give me a plate of fresh sliced tomatoes with a little balsamic and I'm happy. Same with good bread and perfectly ripe fruit.
Don't feel you have to jiump through hoops for food lovers, that's a misconception. And in fact, if someone did something too fancy, I might be scared to eat it and for sure your non-foodie guests will be.
I only cook full dinner for good friends, and never dumb it down even though a few aren't very adventurous. They often look at it warily, taste it tentatively, and after the meal ask for the recipes. When I'm having a larger gathering, I do a wide variety of finger foods for both foodie and non-foodie palates.
Maybe we need to define "foodie" or "chowish". As one who might well be considered both foodie and chowish, I adore, simple, fine, fresh food. And most of my foodie friends do as well. It doesn't have to be complex, with rare and weird ingredients, taking hours to prepare.
I see a party, a gathering of people as a good way to share things I enjoy and others might like. I figure most people want to taste/eat good food and if it is new to them, have a comfortable supportive place to try new things. I try to present in a non-intimidating manner and really don't make a big fuss over it, if they try it, or not, like it or not,
I seldom do formal sitdown dinners with presented plates. Rather I like to offer various things and let people chose.