Accommodating Allergies and Dietary Restrictions
by Senior Event Manager Glynis Keith
Being the perfect host is a lot harder than it used to be. Keeping up with your guests’ growing list of food allergies and dietary restrictions can be a challenge, but it’s one we at Catering by Seasons are happy to meet. Over the years, I’ve seen more and more people being diagnosed with allergies and sensitivities to food. Add to that the number of people who are choosing special diets and you can end up having to accommodate vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, halal and kosher guests – all at the same event!
Catering by Seasons creates thousands of elegant meals each year and we take the food allergies and sensitivities of our clients and their guests very seriously. In fact, it’s one of the first questions we ask a client when we meet. Often we will amend existing recipes or create new ones altogether in order to comply with a special dietary request.
Last year we did a Cocktail Reception for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Our Chef, kitchen staff as well as the servers and bartenders assigned to that event took an online course and became certified by the NFCA Association. It was an experience that sharpened our sensitivity to the serious issues of food allergies and better equipped us to deal with our clients’ needs.
I often get calls from guests or parents of guests of an upcoming event. They’re worried there won’t be anything for them or their child to eat. I am always happy to field these calls – it gives us a chance to share our philosophy of making sure each and every guest feels “catered” to. Even if it means creating a special dish for just one guest!
Most Common Dietary Restrictions
For food allergies, Gluten is at the top of the list. But, when you’re talking dietary restrictions, we see more and more requests for Vegetarian and Vegan events. In the past, clients might have asked for one or two dishes to be vegetarian or vegan friendly, but now we often get requests to do entire vegetarian or vegan receptions. Even if the majority of guests are meat lovers, clients want their event to reflect their tastes and they’re excited to introduce their guests to innovative, delicious, seasonal and socially responsible foods.
This is such an important issue these days. And it’s important to ask your prospective caterer about their knowledge and comfort level preparing special meals. At Catering by Seasons, we confidently prepare vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, low-salt, halal, kosher-style and other special meals each and every day.
Our goal is to create the most delicious experience for you and all of your guests. We’re caterers and that’s what we do!
Posted in: Allergens, Allergies, Allergy, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Dietary, DIY, Events, Farm to Table, Gala, Garden and Partner Farms, Maryland, Our Food, Our Garden, Philadelphia, Seeds to Celebrations, Venues, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Weddings
Catering By Seasons exceeded my expectation. I used them for a brunch at my house after my son’s bar mitzvah. The level of professionalism along with their responsiveness made me feel at ease right away.
Stefanie was such a huge help! Everything was smooth, she helped us find ways to cut costs and advocated for us with our venue.
Alberto is the best catering manager ever!! Everything about working with Catering by Season, from the planning, communication, to the execution was phenomenal!