Friday, July 8, 2016

Vegetarians are people too

I have always tried my best to accommodate people with dietary restrictions. Having 2 of my own I know what it is like to show up to a feast and find that 2/3 of what is served to everyone else will either make me sick or kill me. To be offered a "substitute" of more bread or starch instead of a protein like everyone else. I used to carry "emergency" food with me to events because I could never guarantee that there would be enough for me despite warning the cook and despite paying full price. I was never one to complain, I have never expected catered service but what I did expect was communication and consideration. 

The last 3 events I have cooked at (and all the others as well) I have tried very hard to be in constant contact with those who have dietary issues. Emails for clarifications and private messages to check on details. I have only ever once needed to tell someone I could not accommodate them. If it had been a smaller event I would have been able to do something but one of 150 people makes it impossible.

Anyway, the last 3 events my personal accomplishment has been the compliments from those that needed "special" attention. After KWDS I was complimented by a young woman with gluten issues. After AiA I was paid a very high compliment. She said that for the first time ever I managed to provide for her and she did not feel left out or hungry at the event. After this last event I had not one but 2 compliments from the vegetarians, praising me for making them feel included in the full feast experience. One was surprised (she is from out of region) about the attention I gave to the vegetarian menu substituting protein for protein and not just giving an extra helping of starch. She was much appreciated thanked me several times. This attention was not only paid to feast but to lunch as well where she was again surprised. Feast though is where it is most noticeable where one is "different" or apart from the others and to be told that they didn't notice this and they felt included and comfortable. This is an achievement I am most proud of. It was my privilege to be able to serve them and make them at ease.

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