Repeat after me. It’s Only Food. It’s Only Food. It. Is. Only. Food.
I’m not trying to convince you. I’m trying to convince myself.
Well, two things happened this year. Kate got a new job and we are renting a different house. It too comes with a chef (yeah…I know…poor me), which certainly beats trying to explain celiac disease to a different restaurant each night, but I’m still nervous.
I reached out to the chef a few weeks ago to introduce myself and to find out how experienced he was with the whole gluten-free thang. Here’s part of the email:
Please let me know your experience with cooking gluten-free (for celiacs, not the fad dieters…big difference). I’d be more than happy to help you and answer any questions you may have.
We have vacationed the past two years at a private villa in Tortolla and the chef was able to accommodate me with no issues by making small adjustments for my meals.
Thank you in advance and again, if you have any questions, both now and during the week we are there, never hesitate to ask me. Better safe than sorry.
Look forward to meeting you and the team.
I like to approach this as a partnership between myself and the chef. I want him to feel like he can ask my anything in the world. Here is part of his response.
(Just kidding…just making sure you’re still paying attention). Here’s his email.
My staff and I will make the best effort to make your stay memorable and safe.
Unfortunately we never had gluten free meals to prepare at the villa…but…I already made inquiries about your disease and I fully understand that you can’t have any gluten AT ALL including nano quantities.
I also understand that we’ve got to be careful when buying groceries cause I saw that lot of preparations have “traces of” gluten.
Let me know your grocery list and if you have typical menu and or recipes, let me know.
This was just a great response. Did it bum me out that he hadn’t had to do this before? Absolutely. But the guy is a professional and he responded in the best way possible. He researched and he seems to “get it”.
And my final response to him:
I will be asking tons of questions while I’m down there. Please don’t take offense to it. It’s just what I need to do to stay safe.
Many thanks in advance for all your work.
Mrs. Dude and I had a nice chat last night about the upcoming week. As much as we say that vacation is about the people, we can’t pretend that food doesn’t play a big role in it as well. There are times when I get caught up in the excitement of eating something different that I may not be quite as diligent as I should be. And Mrs. Dude does not feel like policing me for the week. Can you blame her?
So from now until departure I’m going to keep repeating my mantra.
It’s Only Food. It’s Only Food. It’s Only Food.
I’m blessed to be going away, but dang…I hate having celiac disease.