Post # 1
My finace and I plan on having a kosher meat buffet at our Jewish wedding in November. As of yesterday, his mom found out that she is allergic to peanuts, almonds, eggs, and pineapple, in addition to the allergens that were already known: white fish of any kind, dairy (whey and casein), all beans except garbanzo/chickpeas, and gluten. I think that’s everything.
Because it’s a kosher meat meal, we can’t use butter, milk, cream, etc in any of the dishes, and thus many chefs make heavy use of eggs as a substitute. But this allergen means no quiches, no omelettes, no cakes, no challah bread.
It means that the buttercream-like substitute traditionally used by kosher caterers, made from a mixture of nuts, cannot be used. It means a caked would have to be made without eggs.
The woman cannot help her allergies, obviously, and I am happy to provide her a meal that she can eat and enjoy. But be honest with me, how selfish/mean/cruel am I being for saying I don’t want the entire buffet to accommodate her allergies? If there is at least one entree, one starch side, and one vegetable, plus some fruit for dessert that she is not allergic to… am I doing my duty to be a polite guest?
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
@mordantmaxim: definitely. She doesn’t have to be able to eat everything. And if she just found out the allergies they can’t be that severe (like can’t be anywhere near her severe)
Post # 4
Can they make her a special dish? I know most venues I looked at would provide the main selections for everyone but then could accomodate any vegans or those with a lot of allergies.
Post # 5
She does have such extensive allergies that it is reasonable to not cater the entire buffet to her. Buffets are inherently dangerous for people with food allergies because of cross contamination. If at all possible I’d have a separate plate of food put together for her or make sure she goes through first so that things have not been mixed around (splashing, guests using the wrong utensil ect).
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
As a vegetarian, I usually only have one option at wedding buffets. Unless she’s high maintenance, your FMIL should be okay with one entree. Since she is a VIP guest, I would talk about the menu with her, and make sure that she’s okay with the choices she can have. The whole buffet doesn’t have to be foods she can eat.
Can you do a separate small cake or desert for her?
Post # 7
My FSIL has been put on an extremely strict diet to weed out allergens. She can only eat certain things on certain days. We plan on providing a separate set of appetizers for her and her boyfriend (he can’t kiss her if he’s eaten anything she’s allergic to). What we make for her will of course be determined much closer to the big day. It was just impossible to balance our hors d’oeuvres reception around what she might be able to eat.
Post # 8
I’m sure you can get her a special plate to fit her needs. Should not be a problem at all, just talk to your caterer/venue.
Post # 9
@mordantmaxim: Do exactly as you plan. So long as she is fed then there is no pressure for you to make the whole buffet allergen free. If she was the only Jew would you make every dish Kosher? No, but you would make sure that there was enough for her to eat. It’s the same thing, so long as she is fed then everyone will be happy.
ETA: Make sure that her husband has the same meal if him kissing her could set her off.
Post # 10
Nope you are not selfish. Can you have them make a special plate just for her?
Post # 11
I have a bunch of stupid allergies/intolerances and I would never expect that I’d be able to eat everything at an event with a buffet. At our own wedding I could only eat the salmon and the salad! I am sure that she understands. If you can get her a ate that she can’t eat, great, but if not I’m sure she will be prepared to eat beforehand anyway. It’s awesome that you’re thinking of her, but most people with special dietary needs figure out their own coping mechanisms…she will learn 🙂
Post # 12
I think having a separate plate, or making sure a selection is available that meet her restrictions, is more than accomodating.
Also, as someone with nut allergies, now I know that if I ever go to a kosher wedding, I may not be able to eat the cake! That is something I had never heard of before.
Post # 13
@mordantmaxim: I think as long as you provide one entree with side plus a fruit or dessert you are being accomodating to her needs. I don’t think you should have to change the entire buffet for one person.
Post # 14
As PP said, if there is one plate of a couple of different foods that she can eat that will be plenty.
I also have crazy allergies / intolerances & when i eat out, if there is ONE thing i can eat, i’m over the moon. I would never expect an entire menu to be Nic01 friendly.
Post # 15
You can not accomodate all those allergies + kosher diet
You have to do what is best for the majority of your guests. You can ask for special plates (non kosher if possible) to made just for her. Or just have two dishes for her- you can buy an allergy friendly cake for her (or have a little one made for her table).
Post # 16
@mordantmaxim: Certain allergies can be so severe that even if a utensil has touched the allergen the person could go into anaphylaxis. I know because my brother’s family is like this…We actually have separate toasters even for when they come visit! In that case you would need to have a separate plate prepared for your FMIL. If she just found out yesterday can you imagine what it feels like to be in HER shoes?! Her life will never be the same (I know my brother’s isn’t) and honestly that sucks bad enough let alone having your own family treating it like it is a burden for them.
Although this wouldn’t make a difference in my decision, are they paying for part of your wedding? This is your FI’s mother…not just some random guest that may or may not come. I would definitely go out of my way for her.