“We’ve been experimenting with gluten-free baking in the kitchen and wondered if you could give us your opinion on these,” were the words out of the Amora Hotel chef’s mouth partway through the morning of our Wellington Roadshow. I swallowed my threatened giggle, ate the (very nice) chocolate chip macaroons, and reported back to him that they tasted excellent. The same chef had brought me gluten-free toast, and the banquet coordinator had made sure I saw their menu which clearly showed the gluten-free options on the buffet breakfast and made sure I had plenty to eat. It’s the first time at a conference that I have felt so pampered and cared for!
Morning tea was a honey soaked polenta cake – gluten-free – not just for me but for everyone. It was very tasty. This harks back to my point from last year that you don’t have to provide a special plate of food for the gluten-intolerant – just make some items which are gluten-free for everyone. And not gluten-free related in the slightest, but I have to say that the Amora team were all incredibly helpful with our boxes, requirements and changes, right down to calling to check that the correct courier was picking up our shipment. Full marks to the Amora!
I have to confess that the event manager we use did send both the Amora and SkyCity a copy of the blog I wrote last year about conference food and how bad it was for the gluten-intolerant. And how I thought that hotels could and should do so much better. She reckons I am single-handedly making conference food better for people with food allergies. That would be great if it was the case!
SkyCity did pretty well too. I’d chosen the menu to be gluten-free and vegetarian friendly, and they also made sure I had breakfast and let me know they had some gluten-free cereal if I would like it. Their labelling wasn’t anywhere near as good though, so they don’t get as good a write up as the Amora. I have attended other events at SkyCity however where the labelling has been great and very gluten-free friendly.