Post # 1
Okay, thanks to inflexibility all around (parents and FI), we have an entree dilemna. Please tell me what you think would keep everyone happiest (most importantly guests).
We’re having plated dinners. We’re also having mixed cuisine, Indian and "American". On our RSVP cards, we gave the options "Indian vegetarian, Fish, Chicken". The Fish and Chicken options are both supposed to be non-Indian, though we didn’t specify the meals.
So here’s the issue. My parents, and actually my Indian caterer, feel pretty strongly that a large fraction of Indian guests will also want a piece of Tandoori (Indian) chicken. For reasons I don’t care to relive, my parents were also insistent that we not put a fourth option on the RSVP. The truth is, though, that more than half the guests will be Indian who have selected "Indian veg." but about a third+ of those will be expecting chicken (don’t get me started on that one). The problem is, how/whether to give a piece of chicken to the guests who want it. The caterer offered to do a live plating. In other words, the waitstaff asks those who’ve selected "Indian veg." whether they want a piece of chicken added to their plate. FI feels that this would make guests who did not choose "Indian veg." feel left out b/c they might have chosen "Indian chicken". I don’t want to make the "Chicken" entree Indian, b/c it will still be mostly vegetarian with one small piece of chicken, which if I checked Chicken is not what I would want. We don’t really have room on the table to just put a platter of tandoori chicken (and it’ll ruin our beautiful tables). I don’t know if we can have waitstaff walking around with platters offering it to people b/c when I suggested that the caterer seemed hesitant (that’s when he suggested the live-plating instead). I’m trying very hard not to be infuriated with my parents for causing this problem…all could have been avoided simply by writing "Indian meal", doh!
Help, what should we do?
Post # 3
It seems like maybe the easiest route is to just put chicken on every "indian veg" plate. If you go with any option other than not having chicken for that plate, your caterer is going to have to cook enough indian chicken regardless, so you might as well just put it on the plate, avoid the hastle, and if they wanted chicken- they got it. If they didn’t, they don’t have to eat it.
Post # 4
I don’t think that will work, b/c many people who are vegetarian will be bothered by that. For the observant Hindus, they won’t touch the food if there was chicken on the plate. Ugh, so frustrating!
Post # 5
Oh man.. that is tough! Then I guess I would go with no chicken for those who selected indian veg.
Post # 6
Maybe the caterer can walk around with platters of tandoori chicken and offer it around? Or can they put raita, chutney and chicken at each table and people can help themselves? That is a difficult situation, good luck!
Post # 7
I agree with sparkle. The waitstaff should carry around a plate of tandor and offer it to guests. It’s like a during-dinner appetizer plate 🙂
Post # 8
I think your best solution is to have the caterers offer Tandoori chicken to all guests, regardless of what meal they choose. I don’t think putting chicken on all the vegetarian plates is a good idea, for those who chose vegetarian to avoid meat! And I don’t think offering the chicken to just those that ordered vegetarian makes sense, especially since it seems like some of your guests that chose the chicken option were expecting an Indian meal.
Could your caterer allow your guests to order at their tables? I’ve heard that its not too hard to prepare for this kind of meal, especially since you’ve already gauged it pretty well. Just have the waiters ask if they would like American fish, American chicken, an Indian meal with Tandoori chicken, or a vegetarian Indian meal. Though you said for some reason your parents didn’t want this on the RSVP card, so maybe they won’t like this either, but its basically the exact same as having the waiters bring the platter around, but more formal in appearance.
Good luck! Your guests are lucky to have so many options!
Post # 9
I voted to ask the caterer to offer tandoori chicken to anyone who would like it. It might also be a nice gesture to those who did not select the "Indian" option, so that they can have a taste of your culture. =)
Failing that, the live plating is a good option. Or you could always just say "tough" to the people who went with vegetarian but still expected chicken, because that’s just silly.
You won’t be able to please everyone whichever way you choose, but it’s a testament to your strength of character that you’re trying. =)