Enjoy prepared meals at a dinner party – Times News Online

Published on February 11, 2022 at 9:59 p.m.

Dear Jacqueline,

I was shocked to see a guest arrive at a dinner party with food. The person brought food because it was picky eaters, not because of a dietary restriction or allergy. The host was friendly and said nothing. How about bringing your own food to a dinner party?

Dear reader,

Being invited to a dinner party is a wonderful gift and a host will have a hard time planning and preparing a meal.

Not mentioning in advance that you are bringing a saucepan will seem like an insult. The good thing to do is to ask the host in advance if there is anything you can bring for the meal.

Your host may say, “No, just bring yourself!” Next, you should bring a small gift for the host, such as a bottle of wine or flowers. If she says, “Sure, you can bring dessert.” So feel free to bring a treat.

Kudos to the host who didn’t make a scene and embarrass the picky.

Ultimately, dinner parties are about everyone sharing time together, which trumps pointing out a faux pas. The host is obviously aware of etiquette rule #1: never point out someone else’s lack of etiquette.

Now to address the picky eater. It is never acceptable to offend your host by arriving with your own meal in a brown bag.

Remember, anything you bring to a dinner party is for everyone’s enjoyment, not just you. The solution: refuel at home first.

If you can’t bring yourself to try something new, eating before dinner is half your battle. This way you won’t go hungry when dinner is served.

As a bonus, it gives you the opportunity to be brave and perhaps sample smaller portions of the meal being served. You should eat something on your plate without complaining. It’s the polite thing to do.

Respectfully yours,


Have a question? Email: [email protected] Jacquelyn Youst is the owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol, which specializes in etiquette training. She sits on the board of the National Civility Foundation.

All rights reserved &Copy; 2022 Jacquelyn Youst

Joseph K. Bennett