Ask Foodie Underground: Dinner Party Etiquette and Foodie Couture Wings

ColumnFrom recipes to love, Ask Foodie Underground has the answer.

Dear Foodie Underground,

Are dietary restrictions a right or a privilege?

When you disconnect that IV (irrevocably vegan) drip and venture into someone else’s dinner party, should you ask or expect your frantic host to accommodate your dietary demands?

Is it the host’s responsibility to prepare an extra buffet table to deal with your antipathy for meat, cheese and wheat stalks? Or are you obliged to give your dietary mandates the night off?

I am eagerly awaiting your answer, if not the next bowl of edamame.

Hip Deep in Hummus

Dear Hip Deep in Hummus,

Dietary demands are a touchy subject, but with a little social finesse you should be able to wow any guest at your next dinner party. These days, it is in fact the host’s obligation to check in on dietary restrictions. You don’t want anyone passing out at the table because they’re allergic to peanuts and your chocolate mousse was sprinkled with them, now would you?

People are allowed to eat as they choose, whether or not what they’re eliminating from their diet will actually have a negative effect on them. It’s not up to you to determine what makes them feel good.

That being said, if you’re hosting and your specialty involves a hefty dose of dairy, gluten and carnivorous delights, make it. Extra buffet table? No. But be sure you have at least one dish that satisfies a variety of dietary restrictions; it will push your culinary limits after all, and you might find yourself concocting a recipe you soon can’t live without.

And a word to the wise: Eat what you want, but if you’re the kind of company that is off nightshades and eggs, but you don’t offer to bring your own dish so that your gracious host doesn’t have to go out of their way to cook for you, you can expect them to start befriending some new dinner guests.

With love and sea salt,

Foodie Underground


Dear Foodie Underground,

I like to pretend that I love quinoa as much as the next person but really all I want is hot wings.

How do I make delicious hot wings but present them as “foodie couture”? How would I incorporate a mason jar so that I can do the whole country chic thing?

From Me and America

Dear From Me and America,

I appreciate your nationalistic attitude, it’s important to celebrate local food tradition after all! And who says wings and foodie couture can’t go together? There’s a reason Pok Pok opened up a New York City location after all. All you need to do in order to feel no shame bringing your wings to a foodie party is to put an edgy flavor in your glaze: cardamom, fish sauce, sesame seeds… the options are endless.

And while you’re at it, go ahead and serve them in a mason jar. Just make sure there is a layer of herbs that accompanies the flavor of the wings lining the bottom. The last thing you want to do is make something that isn’t food porn worthy. You might just start a new food trend that even Paula Deen can get behind.

With love and sea salt,

Foodie Underground

Have a question? Send it to Ask Foodie Underground. Email food [at]ecosalon[dot]com with any and all food questions. The more complicated the question, the better, and we won’t say that we can be bribed, but if it comes with a food porn attachment or a recipe, you just might get a response a little quicker than you think.

Anna Brones

Anna Brones is a food + travel writer with a love for coffee and bikes. She is the author of The Culinary Cyclist and Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Catch her weekly column, Foodie Underground.