If you run a supperclub, what is your approach with regards to guests with "special diets"?
For example, if someone books and tells you they are vegetarian, can you accomodate that?
Vegan guests - if you are not vegan yourself, are you happy to cater for vegans? Do you find that difficult?
How about more medically related diets - eg if someone has an allergy to egg, dairy, nuts, gluten... do you still take their booking? Do you issue a disclaimer? Or would you politely turn down the booking?
I'm curious! Obviously we cater gluten free so that isn't an issue. We also don't like to turn down business on the basis of a "special" diet as it goes against the whole reason for our own supperclub. However, personally I would probably turn down a booking for someone with say a peanut allergy as I know all about the dangers of cross contamination and would not be confident that my kitchen would be safe to cook in for them.
With vegan, vegetarian or pescetarian guest I always want to try and serve something that is in keeping with what everyone else is eating rather than serve them a course that is obviously vastly different. I'm interested to know how other supperclub hosts deal with this!
I usually ask at the time of booking if people have any dietary requirements. But I'm sure the guests are aware that you cannot guarantee there is no cross contamination. I did cater for a Vegan once and went to special lengths to make sure there was enough all round. In the end the Vegan cancelled at the final hour due to very bad weather and not wanting to travel in it.
I look at it as adding to my baking skills, knowing that I can cater for anyone's needs. I would definitely make it clear that there is still a risk of cross contamination.
I think all we can do is to try to accommodate as much as is practical. I would worry if someone was very allergic to a particular ingredient but I think it would be up to that person to manage their own condition, after all they know how far they can go. However they are intitled to the same service as the other guests, you have to keep that in mind when deciding your menu, so others are not left waiting and they re not left out.
Life is never straight forward is it???????
We ask when people book if they have any allergies or dietary needs, and if needed I will give them a call to make sure we have something suitable.
O the morning of our last event we were contacted to say that someone had an allergy to mushrooms and could we leave them out because they wanted the dish minus the 'shrooms. UUUmmm quick rustle round in the kitchen we managed it.
Service that night I asked how the game pie was for him without the mushrooms? "Oh its lovely he said , in fact I have been pinching the mushrooms from my wifes meal cos they looked so good" Stunned silence from me followed by a smile and "Glad your enjoying it"
Run back to the kitchen for a silent scream !!
People, not sure I will ever work them out
Perhaps the question we need to be asking guests is 'What will happen if you eat the said Allergy'.
I had one guest who said they had a particular food allergy, only to find out they were simply frightened of being near the said allergy, the same as being frightened of spiders, people call it an allergy.
It is a little nightmare for all of us cooks. When I met my ‘to be’ husband he told me he was allergic to egg. I then realised he was happy to tuck into meringue. When I asked him, it turned out that he just doesn’t like the egg white, in egg form. His mother still can’t understand how I now have him eating poached egg, scrambled egg etc. Nowt strange as folk! It’s like saying you have flu when you just have a cold!!
Wow... well firstly, I didn't even consider that some people could just be *Scared* of a food and call it an allergy... Argh! Haha
I had a lady who came to my last tea party who was definately allergic to all wheat products...So a Gluten Free Menu was concocted for her.
I have to be honest, she paid the same as the other guests, but buying all of the GF products was a very COSTLY experience, so I was glad that she did actually turn up, unlike Lynn's guest. Although if it had happened to me, I would have to agree...the experience is one I can add to my baking CV for sure.
But admitedly, I didn't enjoy it, as i was constantly paranoid that I was going to get something wrong and make my guest unwell...of course, I did warn I could make no 100% guarantees, but it all went swimmingly and she enjoyed it all.
But, I would be glad not to have make GF again for a while....the worry is tiring when you haven't done it before! : )
I think you did really well! You put so much research and effort into it.. one of the many things that supperclubs can offer our guests!
If any host has a wheat free, gluten free or coeliac guest coming along to one of their events I am more than happy to be a sounding board, offer any advice I can and generally support you - just message me :-)
Annie you are a STAR, you don't know how much you helped me...hehe maybe you do ; )
If ANYBODY needs advice on Gluten Free/Dietary needs...Annie is your woman! She is a whole OCEAN of knowledge!
I have had an approach from someone wanting to attend a Clarkies night who is Vegan and who has never eaten out because of the complications, we spoke on the phone and she was amazed that in a few short minutes I could discuss a menu that allowed her to eat almost the same as everyone else!
Us foodies are just that people who love food and making sure that everyone enjoys it whatever their needs may be.
During our conversation she mentioned that she loves cookies but wont buy them in the supermarket as they taste like cardboard and cost a fortune.
She lives close so a couple of days later I was in a baking mood so made a few batches of cookies, called her and asked her to come and collect them. She stood in the kitchen like a kid at Christmas stuffing fresh baked cookies into her mouth.
Cherry and Almond, Oat and Spice, Apricot and Walnut and Double Ginger,all totally vegan, she took home 4 tubs of cookies and a promise to attend our next Clarkies that she can!
One satisfied customer, it just takes a little thought and research and we can do it !