How to Cater for Guests with Special Food Requirements

It seems like these days there is always someone who cannot eat gluten or who is intolerant to dairy, so what is the best way to deal with guests who suffer from these various allergies?

When you plan your party, ensure you ask guests if they have any special dietary requirements. Most people will inform you of their needs, particularly allergies, but it pays to ask just in case. It is also helpful to understand if they have an allergy or it is a dietary preference.

Here are some ways to make it easier for you as the host to provide party catering to suit all your guests. 

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Our menu items in our Catering section also indicate dietary choices available.

How allergic or intolerant is your guest?

Some people may have an intolerance or preference not to eat gluten. Others may have a severe allergy. It is important to be aware of what level of allergy your guest has to the allergen/s. When you have several guests with allergies, navigating the allergies issue is further compounded, so understanding is the key.

Where severe allergies may exist, you and your guest do need to consider whether you can provide a totally gluten free and allergy free food preparation environment. Always discuss this with your guest.

Serve something that can be adapted

It can be awkward for the guest to be served a completely different meal than everyone else. Nobody wants to get a side salad when everyone else has a delicious piping hot meal!

If you can make a meal that can be easily adapted to meet all your guests' restrictions that might be the easiest way to ensure everyone is kept happy.

For vegetarians, it might be as easy as switching the meat for tofu or egg dish, or replacing wheat pasta with a gluten-free version or a rice dish for everyone.

Put specially prepared dishes on the side

If you are planning on serving up bread as a side, see if you can dish it up on side plates rather than as part of the main meal.

Nuts are another common allergy that might be best dished up separately. This allergy can be severe, so it is worth ensuring guests are kept safe. A slight adjustment to your recipe makes for a much more successful event than a hospital visit!

Be honest with your guests

That sauce either has milk in it, or it doesn't. There is no middle ground. Make sure you know which ingredients are in your foods so you can be helpful to your guests.

Some of these allergies and intolerances can be severe rather than just being lifestyle choices.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou