Catering to Dietary Restrictions

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I don’t want to say that this is a food trend but I’m finding more and more of my friends to be diagnosed with celiac disease, or in other words gluten free. Trying to decide on what to write today’s Munchie Monday post on I stumbled upon an “Ask Amy” article in the Chicago Tribune where a wedding guest is both vegetarian and gluten-free but is in fear that the bride does not know and will not be serving any food options she can enjoy. She said, “…I would like to avoid inconveniencing them with my dietary restrictions. I would prefer to eat in my hotel room beforehand, but I would hate for them to pay for a plated meal that I cannot have.”  Amy responds with the idea of eating gluten-free vegetarian side dishes and let the hosts know ahead of time so they can talk to the caterer about offering some food options for other guests that my have the same dietary restrictions.

If you’re a bride that is looking to cater to your guests dietary restrictions we have some ideas to please them, you, and your caterer.

1. RSVP Food Option

Get an idea of who can eat what before talking to your caterer by adding these options to your RSVPs. You can bring a final headcount to your caterer and work with them to help figure out how many people need to eat a certain type of food.

2. Side Dishes

Ask Amy passed this question along to Mollie Katzen, author of “The New Moosewood Cookbook,” (2000, Ten Speed Press), whose work helped popularize vegetarian cuisine and made it totally delicious. She says it is as simple as a one-sentence request, “I’d like my dinner to be an assortment of lacto-ovo vegetarian, wheat-free side dishes.” You keep stick to some simple options that can appeal to every one’s tastes without running the risk of leaving them without food. Here are some gluten-free friendly and vegetarian side dishes: Apple-Pear Salads, Cauliflower Piccata, Cider Roasted Vegetables, and Thai Carrot Ginger Soup.

3. The Wedding Cake

The flour in your wedding cake is harmful to gluten-free friends and your vegan friends may not be able to eat it because of eggs. This is where things get tricky for the vegans. This is where the importance of an RSVP card comes in so you have idea of who can eat what. Offer gluten-free cupcakes, macaroons (they’re naturally gluten-free), and ice cream. Vegan friends can enjoy fruit based desserts like this blueberry pie, sorbet, and this vegan chocolate cupcake recipe. You can decorate your dessert area with cute signs notifying guests of which dessert is which.

I hope you have a better idea of how to handle guest’s dietary restrictions and have a backup plan for the caterer. Don’t let them eat alone in their hotel room and let them come out to enjoy your reception!

Happy Planning,

Tat