Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Traveling to Canada with Food Allergies, Hotel Chefs

What I recommend as an advocate, food allergy coach and someone who has traveled the world with active atopic disease: break down the traveling tasks into bite-sized manageable tasks and start ahead of when you leave. So, I’m headed to Toronto next week for the Toronto Jazz Fest. Very often, I find that hotel chefs are the most accommodating about food allergies. But like all chefs, they need some advance notice. So at least one week ahead of my trip, I contacted the chefs in both hotels where I’m staying to talk about food allergies and how they handle those needs.

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Some tips about contacting hotel chefs:

-Call the concierge desk and as them to connect you to the chef – it’s way quicker than using the front desk.
 
-Have your needs and questions all ready.  Need a script of what to say – my book, Allergic Girl has plenty!
 
-I have a one page sheet of my allergies, intolerances and what I CAN eat on letterhead ready to go 
so they have it all clearly written out.
 
-Use your pleases and thank yous.

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If you spoke to the chef on the phone, follow up via email spelling out your needs once again. Here’s an example of how the Chef at the Sheraton Toronto followed up with me after our phone call.

Hi there,

As discussed, if you could put as much information as possible on your allergies and preferences that would help us out a lot! We take allergies very seriously here at The Sheraton Center and look forward to looking after you!

I have also cc’d Chef Leanne on this email as well as chances are, she will be looking into your meals on the evening’s of the 27th and 28th

If you have any other questions at all please do not hesitate to contact me on my cell: XX

Thank you
Chef Sean

Sean Ellis

Executive Chef, 

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If you are contacting a hotel by email here’s an example:

Good afternoon Melanie,

I'm coming to Toronto for the Jazz fest and staying with your hotel June 29-30 and would love to dine with you!

I'm severely allergic to tree nuts and seafood and wonder if your chef feels comfortable accommodating food allergies?

Let me know.

Best wishes,

Sloane Miller
 

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Both of these hotels so far have done great jobs of communicating to me that they are able and happy to handle my requests. I will check in once onsite.

And as always, I will triple check my needs, bring a chef card, have my emergency action plan and medications on me and bring my smile to the dinner table (never hurts to smile).

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