I love to entertain, but I don't host nearly as many dinner parties at the manor, as I used to. One tricky thing about feeding a number of people is food restrictions. It seems today they are even more common than ever before--no red meat, no carbs, gluten-free, non-dairy--the list goes on forever. A host can go nutty trying to accommodate a crowd. If I'm hosting a small dinner, I always try to find out if there's any allergies or restrictions, a few of which I happen to have myself, ahead of time, so my manor guests can completely enjoy the meal.
Even then, it can be a minefield of potential hostilities. Years ago, we entertained a guest from Egypt for several days. One evening, after being out and about all day, we ordered gourmet pizza. Did he like pizza? Oh, yes, he loved it. Fine. Upon its arrival, he began asking about the pepperoni and if it contained pork. He became almost hostile, refused to eat the pizza, even if the pepperoni was removed. I had no idea he was a practicing Muslim with religious restrictions. Why didn't he say so to begin with? Embarrassed, I quickly cooked him some chicken. Thank God for the defrost feature on the microwave.
There was also a certain manor guest, whose list of food allergies curiously changed with every visit. I began to think this individual was pulling my bluff. They would sulk and hold it against me, if I happened to serve even one dish they supposedly could not eat. Eventually, I decided to include this person's mutable set of restrictions into the "short-term elective dietary" category, like no-carb or fad diets, which I think are okay to politely ignore.
My two cents? If you are invited to dinner, make sure you tell your host any major restrictions or allergies. If you're hosting, always ask. And that's all I have to say about that. Happy eating, my friends.