Back again foodies, I know it’s been a while. My bad. Food allergies have gotten out of control. Big time. Something that used to come up maybe a few times a month, now happens on a day to day basis. Chefs are being forced to deal with aversions to certain foods, people who are on the fad diet of the moment where you can’t have gluten, dairy, (insert other delicious foods), and to top it off, severe or life threatening allergies. The icing on the cake? You gotta deal with those assholes who lie about allergies. Allergy Fakers What’s a chef to do? Besides make me want to pull out whatever hair I have left, it causes an already stressful job to reach a boiling point. Allergies are way different than preferences or partialities. Celiac disease? I get it. Allergic to salt? Get outta my restaurant. If you haven’t read my previous post about allergies, give it a read. Allergic to Allergies So you know what really grinds my gears? People who show up to the resturant with a list of ingredients they cannot supposedly have and expect me to create a miracle. Stay at home por favor. And they always seem to show up when it’s busy too. 7:00 on a Saturday night? Perfect. For example, a guest arrives and notifies their server they cannot have garlic, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, ect), gluten, dairy, and soy. The manager and I will then grab a menu and go through each dish to see what they can and cannot have. So they can’t have garlic, what about onions? Or scallions? Or is it rather you just don’t like the taste of onions? Big difference there fella. We have to go communicate with the guest again. Meanwhile, I might have a window full of food that needs to be run to the dining room. But instead, I must give this one guest my full attention, because if I don’t, there could be grave repercussions. Not trying to kill a guest ya know, just the line cooks and servers. In all honesty, it’s stressful. I have to give the same consideration to those with serious allergies to those who simply don’t like something. So everytime I might give an allergy ticket an eye roll or make jokes about it (order in gluten free fish, add extra gluten), I still have to take it as it’s honest and life threatening. If it’s a serious enough issue though, call ahead. The more information I have ahead of time, the more time can be spent to provide a dish that will suit your restrictions. Downside of that? They keep coming back expecting the same dish. Showing up with a list of allergies unannounced is tantamount to tying a chef’s arms behind his back. Walking in to an Asian restauarant and saying you can’t have ginger/garlic/soy is kinda like arriving at Olive Garden and saying you can’t have tomatoes and garlic. You get the point. Just don’t lie about it. No one likes an angry chef. Cheers foodies!