Catering for guests with food allergies or an intolerance can be a challenge – especially if you don’t suffer from one yourself
We enlisted the help of Dominic Teague, the executive chef at Indigo restaurant in London, to give us his top tips for entertaining guests with a gluten or dairy allergy or intolerance.
1 Focus on meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. They are by design gluten-free and dairy-free. Serve a beautiful piece of fish with a sauce vierge, warm tomato vinaigrette or a simple roasted or grilled meat with herb salsa.
2 Instead of a creamy sauce make a warm vinaigrette with a reduction of fresh juices such as beetroot or carrot. Add a bit of red wine vinegar and whisk in two-thirds olive oil or rapeseed oil.
3 Quality gluten-free flours are now readily available – I use Dove’s Farm – so for some recipes it’s as simple as swapping the flour and you may have to increase the liquid.
4 Xanthum gum is a good ingredient to create binding for bread and scones as it does the job of gluten. It’s available online or from speciality food stores.
5 For homemade canapés, replace bread or toast bases with gluten-free versions or cut cucumber or vegetables in disks instead.
6 Plan ahead. The day before a dinner party, blanch vegetables, refresh in ice water, drain and refrigerate. The next day, just warm them up in a small level of stock with olive oil. This allows you to cook them perfectly and there’s a lot less mess and cleaning up of pots and pans on the day.
7 When guests first arrive, serve unsalted and unroasted nuts and nibbles, and then canapés, so they don’t disappear too quickly. Don’t send out your best ones first.
8 For dessert, a freshly baked polenta and almond cake stands up on its own against any gateau.