Allergies, celiac disease, food intolerance and special diets make it tricky when it comes to menu development. We are receiving more and more of these special dietary requests every year, as many people are embracing a gluten-free and dairy-free diet.
This is not going away, so our culinary team needed to figure out how to best manage it, so our clients have a great food experience and our kitchen is not in the weeds trying to deal with all these special requests.
In catering we are often producing events with a large guest count. It is not unusual when w plan a sit-down dinner for 150 guests, to have 10 to 20 different dietary needs.
Menu engineering helps us to mitigate the need to have 10 to 20 different food offerings for a sit dinner down. Here are some of our favorite tricks and products we use to handle both lactose and gluten intolerance.
Coconut Milk or Almond Milk
Gluten free Tamari – substitute for Soya sauce
Chickpea tartlets made from chick pea crepes and baked until crispy
Chickpea panisse (similar to polenta)
Quinoa flakes to replace bread crumbs
Quinoa flour housemade without any stabilizers, for quinoa cookies and bars
Rice crisps – used for garnishes and bases (cooked, pureed, dehydrated)
Celeriac crisp – dehydrated
Vegetables and potatoes roasted with olive oil instead of butter
Sauces – pure reduction with no dairy or gluten
Here are some of the menu items we have created to accommodate special dietary requests.
Spicy Tuna Poke on Rice Crisp
Chickpea Tartlet with Spiced Chicken