by Carolyn Browning, CMP, CMM
We’ve all read about food allergies and intolerances and have had to figure out how to accommodate meeting attendees who have told us in advance of their needs. The other night I was out to dinner and got to talking with the chef (he often comes out at the end of his shift to talk with patrons). I mentioned that I was recently part of the catering team at an event where we had to create a separate meal for a guest who had several allergies, among them garlic, onion, soy and dairy. He was so thankful and impressed that we made something different (and delicious) for him. The chef told me he had very similar allergies - he didn’t always have them, they developed over time. Can you imagine how difficult it must be to cook food you cannot touch or taste? He explained that he needs to keep Benadryl and an Epi pen in the kitchen. He relies on his team to taste food he cannot, often wears double gloves to prepare certain foods and is vigilant about knowing the ingredients in each dish and making sure the staff knows as well.
Thanks to our own Tracy Stuckrath, I (and I know many others!) are more aware of the variety of allergens and ideas on how to make menu planning easier. I didn’t make the connection until now that there are many talented and dedicated chefs out there who literally put their lives on the line to prepare dishes for others that could cause them harm. Could you be so dedicated?
Carolyn Browning, CMP, CMM is the founder and Chief Solution Strategist of MEETing Needs and the volunteer Director of Communications for SPIN . For one of her clients she is fortunate to spend the week at The Masters as part of a catering team creating exceptional and delicious experiences for their guests.
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