How to cater a gluten free event
Do some of your guests require gluten or nut free meals at your wedding or event?
This month’s blog gives you some tasty and exciting menu ideas and advice…
How to cater for gluten free with Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering
These days it is extremely common place to cater for your guest’s dietary requirements at events. In the past this meant having a vegetarian option but now it is important to give guests the chance to flag up any allergies they may have beforehand as part of their RSVP. Typically we are asked to provide vegetarian (sometimes vegan), nut free and gluten free options.
‘Always give guests the option to inform you of a dietary request with their RSVP.’
Recently, Mary was asked to cater for a wedding that was to be entirely gluten and nut free. It was also requested that the meat be halal. It was a hot sit down dinner and evening buffet.
This comes as no surprise when you hear that in the USA 1 in 100 people are on a strict gluten free diet with more and more people unofficially trying it out to see if they can benefit from it. Sales of gluten free food, have doubled in the past year in supermarkets.
Recent studies also show that nut allergies have doubled over the last 5 years and 1 in 3 people in the UK suffer from allergies with nut allergies sufferers inexplicably tripling in the last decade.
Here are some important things to bear in mind when providing gluten free meals in particular:
Even the wine used in cooking needs to be carefully selected to avoid contamination. (Old world wine typically uses wooden barrels lined with wheat paste and therefore new world wines must be chosen).
It is vital that no oil used in the fryer has had gluten in it.
Make sure that all sauces are gluten free.
Cornflour and eggs are good thickener.
It is possible to buy a large range of gluten free products such as bread sticks, crackers etc from most supermarkets.
Following a gluten free recipe is advised as the flour gives a different result to normal flour.
Great things that are naturally gluten free:
Chocolate is gluten free so you can provide plain chocolates with the coffee or After Eight Mints are also gluten free. Meringue and fruit are also fine so this makes for a good selection of desserts.
Don’t forget that meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, rice, potatoes and lentils are all naturally gluten free which gives you a lot of scope!
Here is the menu we came up with…and I’m sure you’ll agree that it is extensive and doesn’t in any way feel limited by those restrictions.
SMOKED SALMON TARTARE
with shallots, dill and soured cream in cucumber cups
GOAT’S CHEESE AND RED ONION JAM
on a gluten free crostini (V)
on mini poppadum’s
THAI FISH CAKES
with a sweet chilli dip
BRAISED BEEF IN RED WINE
slow-cooked with onions, tomatoes and herbs producing a rich gravy
with slow cooked chicken pieces, chorizo sausage, rice, sundried tomatoes and black Lingurian olives
GREEN THAI VEGETABLE CURRY
Vegetables cooked with lemongrass, green chillies, garlic, spring onions and coconut (V)
Creamy mashed potato
TRIO OF DESSERTS
with strawberries, raspberries, crushed meringue and whipped cream
with raspberries and popping candy
(Gluten and Nut Free)
COFFEE AND GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATES
with potatoes and vegetables
Ice cream and chocolate
THE WEDDING CAKE
(made of cheese)
accompanied by gluten free biscuits with chutney, figs, grapes and celery …………………………….
The evening buffet was carved beef, fresh salmon, smoked salmon and prawns garnished with cucumber and dill coleslaw with shredded carrots, red cabbage, onion and bound together with mayonnaise.
Gluten free Rustic breads in a large basket