Curate your dinner guests to cut down on special-request cooking

The Washington Post Food staff was recently joined by writer Adam Roberts to answer questions about all things edible. Here are edited excerpts from that chat.

Q: I’ve given up entertaining for the most part because everyone seems to have some food problem. This one wouldn’t eat cherries without wiping each one off with a paper napkin. That one wouldn’t drink iced water with cubes made from well water even though that’s what they drink, etc., etc. If I asked a group of people what they don’t like/can’t eat, I would have nothing to serve.

A: I hear that! This is why I try to limit my dinner parties to one or two guests with special dietary needs; then I try to make something that everyone can eat, including them. So, when I cook for my friend Jonathan, who’s a vegetarian, I’ll make a vegetarian lasagna that everyone can enjoy.

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