Planning an event that has catering? Then you know the one thing that can be a real bug bear.. Dietary Requirements
Throughout my career, I think I have seen it all, from ‘please provide expensive champagne’ to a one page detailed list or simply ‘GOOD FOOD’.
The answers to the question – Do you have any dietary requirements? Can be far, wide and sometimes completely ridiculous.
Recently, I have become one of those people that now need to complete that request section. After discovering I had a dairy intolerance, my views on food and what I can and can’t eat has changed significantly. Some may think of my new dairy free lifestyle as a fad or a diet, but I can tell you my health and well being has changed for the better since discovering that my body did not process the lactose or casein protein found in dairy products.
I really feel for those that suffer from worse intolerances’ or allergies, as menus can sometimes be a minefield to decode.
For several years now, I have seen an increase in dietary requirements… but I often wonder, how many of these are legit or are simply a case of the “Pickies”.
Chances are you may know a pickie – the ones that simply say that they are allergic to tomato, but really they just don’t like the taste of it….. (Yes, I am thinking of a few friends here… you know who you are!)
I do wonder if the pickies, realise how much effort a chef goes into getting the taste of that dish just right or how many hours go into developing a menu for an event.
I can certainly now sympathize with those that have a genuine dietary requirements, the rise of the pickies is certainly starting to give you a bad rap for being fussy and hard to please. So much so, I hear it is not uncommon to bring a medical note from your Doctor to explain your food preferences.
If you are planning an event, make sure you are aware of your catering menus and familiarise yourself with the menu and what options are available for those common requirements, such as vegetarians or gluten free.
Speak with the chefs or your coordinator and find out what are the parameters for your lovely DR friends. Some venues charge a fee for any extra meals created, so educate yourself and make sure you are aware.
On the flip side – Chefs, please don’t go to your standard default, fruit plate and steamed veggies when a dietary request comes through. With so many options now available, it goes appreciated when something a little different comes out on a plate. Get creative and your guests will love you for it!
It goes without saying, I am not a dietary professional, these are purely my opinions – however to make it easier to decode dietary requirements, I have found a website which explains more of the different dietary requirements in more detail – but I am sure there are plenty more out there which have more extensive explanations.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject or any experiences you have had, feel free to drop us a line on our facebook page.
Til next time readers…