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Dec 1, 2010 05:20 PM

Ever miss out on a special culinary experience because of a food allergy or health-related dietary restriction?

i ask because at this very moment i *could* be taking a tour of the kitchen at Morimoto Napa before sitting down to enjoy a private dinner cooked by Chef Morimoto himself...but i had to turn down the [very generous] invitation from a close friend because thanks to my Celiac disease & soy intolerance i wouldn't have been able to eat half of what was put in front of me, and i felt it would be disrespectful to the chef if i just sat there and didn't even try the dishes that could potentially make me sick. grrr.

when i was griping to Mom about it, she reminded me that years ago she & Dad were invited to a tasting dinner at Lespinasse in NYC...and before they even got into the first course they had to leave because the odor of fish was so strong that Mom's life-threatening seafood allergy made her severely ill.

have any of my fellow Hounds had to forgo something similarly great or unique for a reason like that? c'mon guys, commiserate with me!

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  1. Oh. Poor thing. :(

    I have zero allergies (and have the constitution of your average junkyard dog) and really my only dietary restrictions can be tossed aside for something interesting.

    My husband, on the other hand, is allergic to shellfish. Which means "I" am allergic-by-proxy. This will sound both kind of crappy and whiny... but it drives me insane that some of the easiest, best things I used to cook are off the menu forevermore in my home.

    Nothing in comparison.. but to have oyster stew just one more time on Christmas morning would be heaven.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shanagain

      my Dad feels your pain. it's been 20 years and i swear i think he still hasn't gotten over missing that meal at Lespinasse because of Mom :)

    2. Answer to post question- no

      and thank God for that.

      1. Boy, I hate to pile on, ghg, but no. And I grieve for you, a lover of wonderful food. I can eat and drink anything, anywhere with impunity. I really can't even imagine what you and others go through.
        PS: My waistline bears witness to this :)

        1. Oh no! I am so sorry. I am a "celiac foodie" too and that is a tough one. Asian cuisines are challanging for us because of all that darn soy sauce.
          You know what I miss? Wine tasing dinners. We used to go to several a year and if the food is especially made to match the specific wines, I don't feel right requesting something different... kind of defeats the purpose.
          Why don't you go to Morimoto as a regular dinner guest? I am sure they would make a fabulous meal for you.

          3 Replies
          1. re: PamelaD

            wanna hear the worst part? the friend who invited me sent me a text last night during the meal to tell me that Morimoto was literally *feeding* her (as in, putting food in her mouth with HIS hands) AND that it turns out he would have been happy to prepare special dishes for me to accommodate my issues! i was so upset i almost threw my iPhone across the room.

            BTW, i know i could theoretically go to the restaurant as a regular patron, but this was a really special setup - a private event for just a few people AND i wouldn't have been paying for my meal, car or hotel room.

            alas, such is life. she promised to bring me along for the next event :)

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              My deepest condolences that you couldn't attend, I'm a huge fan of chef Morimoto and I can't believe you didn't call me to ask me to sub for you (JK- sort of)
              Smart of you, though, to decline. I have a friend that I suspect would have gone and then sat there and not eat enhalf of it- you're absolutely right, it would be shamelessly disrespectful.

              I would have snarfed it all down and then died happily of anaphylactic shock, so I guess it's good I wasn't offered the chance.
              Easy for me to say since I don't have any food allergies and don't mean to make light of them. I'm just dizzy from the opportunity you had and being more than a little jealous. :-)

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Oh. DAMN on finding out he would have prepared special dishes for you, ghg! (just reading this now from your link on the "best food-related gifts" thread).

                I hope the next event your friend plans is just as amazing!

                And in response to your OP, I luckily have no food allergies, so there's been nothing I've had to turn down such as this. But then again, I've never been invited to a dinner such as this either! :-)

            2. No, but I am paranoid every single day that I will develop an allergy; the fear actually tips into the irrational side a bit...