As you all know I am currently at the N.E.C in Birmingham on our industry conference. I just wanted to round up yesterday's event on how I was dealt with, in regards to my dietary requirements.
Although all seemed to have been addressed, pre-ordered, sorted out and noted for all the 'group' dinners and meals we still had issues.
Stressing no oil seems to go in one ear and out the other.
Luckily I know I won't die from the intolerances I suffer from ( I will do a health update in a few weeks when I know more ) however despite stressing no oil my dish of risotto came in oil, my throat within minutes was bumpy and began to close up. I rushed to the toilet to calm myself as I could feel myself panic. Being in a massive conference room filled with 600 delegates. I calmed myself and returned to explain I was going to get some Pitron to calm my throat. I had some Pitron and calmed down, returning to the conference. I just about got through the day, however I didn't feel with it - I didn't feel in the room or 'there', my stomach was cramping and I felt very sick. Having to listen and note take whilst feeling so awful is hard work.
We then went out to a Medieval ball, which again we stressed no oil and although they said they had served my risotto with no oil the salad was caked in oil. They did not explain that I couldn't have the salad. They then said they would 'get me the other half of the risotto on a clean plate.' I was then served a totally different risotto, where the rice was still hard ( so not fully cooked ) and the risotto was a lot more water based and as others said 'not as starchy'. This was good that I had got a dish finally that met my requirements but not good that A. It looked like actually the first time it wasn't cooked to meet requirements so has to be re-make the dish to fit these. B. I was almost in tears because I didn't want to be ill but I was embarrassed sat alongside 8 other people. C. We had stressed, over and over. D. I didn't want to be the 'awkward' one that causes hard work.
Today is the final full day of conference. I am looking forward to the day itself however I am still not feeling good. I haven't slept well, my throats still has sore lumps which will remain for the next few days now and I still don't feel with it, like in a brain fog.
They offered me carrots in ketchup for lunch today. I know it's hard to cater for my intolerances but I am fed up of having to eat like a 5 year old! They also haven't done their research properly as ketchup has wheat and barley starts in. So is not suitable to serve me. I tried to give them alternatives but it's whether or not they actually listen.
I don't want to complain as I know they do try hard and have a lot of people to cater for & feed but it's embarrassing, and EXTREMELY hard to manage the outcome if I react.
It's bad enough I have to watch everyone enjoy my old fave foods without being served a plate that frankly a three year old may be served - carrots and ketup! Hopefully they took my advice and I won't receive this for lunch.
As frankly I don't want the judgement, embarrassing looks and words of those around me. I have tough skin but it's not always so easy to keep going.
I just hope to keep raising awareness for people like myself. It is SO hard! SO difficult to eat out, trust in the waiters and chefs and travel.
These issues need addressing! Asap!
Thank you for reading.