Welcome to dining 2012

9 Jun


I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but eating out is going through a revolution. The days of everyone being able to eat anything and everything are over, and the best in the business are taking action to ensure their customers enjoy a safe dining experience.

Matt Moran’s Aria restaurant at Circular Quay is the perfect example. Flooded with diners suffering from food allergies and intolerances, they make sure to have one or two staff members on site with full first aid training, including training in how to treat food allergies.

Jye from Aria says they deal with food allergies and intolerances every single night. “We deal with gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance and shellfish allergies. To tell you the truth we have all of the above, everything and anything.”

Fifteen years ago when I decided to be vegan my requests for vegan food were met with distain and much eye-rolling. I was offered risotto countless times (there were limited options for vegans and vegetarians then) and I dreaded eating out.

Lorenzo from Napoli in Bocca is happy to cater to food allergies. “Several times a week we get them. We’re getting more and more every week, mainly gluten-free.”

At a friend’s wedding I was dreading trying to figure out what my son could eat. He’s severely allergic to egg and nuts. When the waitress came over I started the long conversation about ingredients and the best choices for us. When I asked if the ice-cream was egg and nut free she said, “Just a moment”, tapped on her ear piece and said, “Kitchen, just confirming the ice-cream is egg and nut free” and seconds later received confirmation that it was. It was amazing!

Welcome to dining in 2012.

Gone are the days when special food requests at restaurants are treated with distain. Some of the best chefs and restaurants are willing and able to cater for ANYTHING. Calling ahead of time is always a good idea but I find that’s becoming unnecessary.

It’s a sad reality that food allergies and intolerances are reaching epidemic proportions and we still don’t know how or why. You’ve probably dealt with them several times in your own home at children’s birthday parties or dinner parties.

Millone’s Restorante are a family friendly restaurant in Baulkham Hills. Peter from Millone’s says, “We get a lot of people every night who need gluten-free” and when I asked him about children’s food allergies he said, “We get a lot of young kids with nut allergies and egg.”

My friend Grace Farah has put together an amazing documentary on food allergies. Her daughter has severe food allergies. We’ve have our work cut out for us making sure they stay safe. It’s easy when they’re little and with us all the time but I worry that when they’re older at school camp or at a restaurant with friends they’ll run into trouble.

Many restaurants now carry first aid kits that include shots of adrenalin for allergy sufferers so I’m feeling more relaxed. The food revolution continues. Bon appetite!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: