People don’t want to be associated with the wrong kind of olive oil, points out the New York Times, in one of those articles that makes New Yorkers seem like crazy people. Ah, the stress of throwing a dinner party when you're a lunatic foodie! I avoid this problem by throwing low-key dinner parties and not freaking out, amazingly enough. What I do is plan a menu that can more or less entirely be prepared in advance, say a roast or a tart for a main course. When my guests arrive, we enjoy hors d'oeuvres and appertifs in the living room. They always looks a little anxious when I hang out with them, instead of dashing around the kitchen. Then after a while I say, "Is everyone ready to eat?" and I usually dress the salad (vinaigrette and salad already made in advance too), pull whatever's in the oven out of the oven, and voila! Dinner is served.
Sometimes at this point I have a dessert that's made and that goes into the oven to bake while we eat. Sometimes it's already prepared or doesn't need anything more than a simple assembly. It's amazing how nicely this whole approach to dinner parties can be. I still of course obsess over the menu, and buy high quality ingredients. But for me the fun is having people over, and enjoying their company. I don't care if I'm associated with the wrong kind of olive oil. I care that my friends head home happy and contented after a nice evening.