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Food and Cakes

Gluten-Free Vegan?

Hello! I'm starting to get all my RSVPs back and my cousin's girlfriend indicated that she is a vegan with Celiac's Disease so in addition to being a vegan, she must also be completely gluten-free. I anticipated this, however, since my aunt had told me a few months ago. I spoke with the venue coordinator during our tasting. He assured me that a vegan option would not be a problem but said that his kitchen was not prepared to be gluten-free and unfortunately would be able to accommodate anyone with a severe sensitivity to gluten. In other words, there was no way to promise no cross-contamination. So now I'm not sure what to do because it seems as though the venue coordinator was suggesting that I tell my gluten-free guests that they will have to provide a meal for themselves, which I immediately thought would be an awkward and rude conversation to have with someone. I am wondering what I can do at this point? Has anyone experienced anything similar?
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Re: Gluten-Free Vegan?

  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Most venues do not allow outside catering but I would strongly suggest asking and pressuring your venue if necessary to be allowed to bring in an outside food option. And that's something that you should pay for and arrange.
  • atlastmrsgatlastmrsg member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited July 2014
    Talk to your venue and tell them what to make.  Things that are gluten free: a salad with grilled chicken/steak (watch out for marinades...so just simply season with salt and pepper).  Tell them no croutons, just simply ______ (lettuce, tomato, chicken--whatever).

    Vegan gluten free?  Dinner salad with sauteed veggies (specify which ones, and olive oil only) or a berry salad.

    The venue is probably thinking that they have to come up with something crazy like handmade gluten free pasta--something time consuming and (relatively) difficult.

    Go to venue and say you need x number of _____ (fill in blank with gluten free item) and leave it at that.  Be specific about what can be included.  Venues have to deal with this when people are kosher, on cardiac diets, etc.  Just tell venue what you want.  Dinner salads are a good choice because the venue can't screw that up.
  • Agree with lc07.  I can understand cross-contamination might be an issue if there is only one fryer/prep area, etc., but your venue may be able to work with you to develop a dish that drastically reduces the chances of any cross contamination.  I'd ask your cousin if she could give you some example meals you could send to your coordinator and talk about.  It may be that if you can show your venue coordinator a meal that can be prepared more in isolation - something like a sauteed veggie dish that would be prepared in a different pan away from other meal elements - they may feel more comfortable working with you.

    From there, if your venue is unable or unwilling to provide a GF option, you need to make sure you can bring in a second caterer to provide those meals in a safe way and at no cost to your guest.  Again, I'd ask people you know for recommendations and menu items to make sure you're providing something that meets your guests needs.

  • Rice and veggies sautéed in olive oil.  
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  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited July 2014
    I have been vegan and gluten-free - just not at the same time (currently gluten-free). 

    For someone with diagnosed celiac, they can become sick with even minute particles, less than a crumb.  So take the cross-contamination factor VERY SERIOUSLY.  I can see why they would tell you this because they don't want to take the risk making what is technically a dish made with gluten-free ingredients when they can't certify it as "gluten-free" due to the potential for cross-contamination.

    I would probably,
    1. See if you can work with the venue to especially bring in one meal catered from somewhere else just for her, akin to what many people do when needing to provide a kosher meal.  Then find a restaurant or caterer that can certify gluten-free and get her a meal from there.  The logistics of keeping it warm, etc. will be tricky, but I'm sure you'll figure it out.  Or

    2. While I hate to make this her problem, I do think you owe it to her to find out if she's comfortable with a meal made with gluten-free ingredients, but cannot be made in a certified gluten-free facility and be subject to cross-contamination.  Many with gluten-sensitivity might take the risk, but many with diagnosed celiacs will not.  If she is, then work with the venue to create a dish and minimize the risk.  Just be aware that gluten is hidden in a lot of places you wouldn't expect it, like seasoning blends, salad dressings, sauces.  I'd be inclined to do roasted or sauteed veggies in quinoa (quinoa is a complete protein, unlike rice). 

    3.  If you can't get 1 or 2 to work for any reason (but try very hard to make them work), then chances are she'll probably have brought food with her because every celiac I know is used to doing that - though that sucks.  But I would work really hard to get her a little basket of pre-packaged certified gluten-free goodies for her to enjoy then.  Trader Joe's is excellent about labeling their g-free products if you have any near.  I would probably go with something like gluten-free crackers, a small crudite platter, and now they make little individual cups of hummus in refrigerated cases.  Get a Lara Bar or two.  Maybe see if you have any certified gluten-free bakeries and get her a cupcake.  Not sure where you are, but I know we have a store that specializes in allergen-free products and only carries gluten-free goodies.
  • I agree with PP to talk to guest on food recommendations that will work with their dietry needs and see if there are any resturants that have meals that she likes and maybe you can arrange for a meal from that resturant and then microwave it. I know microwaving doesn't sound the best but if I had the guests meal restrictions and could have a major reaction to gluten, I would rather have a meal that I know I could eat that is re-heated instead of risking a fresh meal that might not be 100% gluten free.
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