Gluten free dining at cocktail parties – Talks and interviews at the RBA Foundation
Most of the times when we go to an event where there is a cocktail type dinner, celiac people cannot eat anything, especially if we have not informed beforehand. Imagine if, in addition, you were also allergic to fish and some fruits. It seems impossible, doesn’t it?Most of the times when we go to an event where there is a cocktail type dinner, celiac people cannot eat anything, especially if we have not informed beforehand. Imagine if, in addition, you were also allergic to fish and some fruits. Gluten free dining at cocktail parties seems impossible, doesn’t it?
In the great majority of the events organized by the Fundació RBA (an editorial of 28 magazines such as Lecturas, Saber Vivir, El Mueble and the Spanish edition of National Geographic and more than 4,000 titles in books), the opposite happened to me. One way or another I have been able to eat.
The last event I attended to was for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Spanish edition of National Geographic, with a guest as special as Mr. Michael Yamashita – a collaborator of National Geographic for more than 35 years – who came to present his a report called “The Encounter between Europe and Asia”, in which he narrated the voyage of Marco Polo and the expeditions of Zheng He, through the photographs. Fascinating!
On that day, I arrived earlier than usual. In fact, while the entire RBA Team was completing the last details to have everything prepared, I think I was the only person sitting in the auditorium.
After a while, still alone in the room, the Chef Nandu Jubany (from the well-known restaurant Can Jubany, on the Carretera de Sant Hilari, in Calldetenes, Bacelona) and Ana Saura (owner of sushi bar Sakura- Illa Diagonal in Barcelona) stopped next to me talking about how the dishes would come in, and in what order. Seeing me there so early, Nandu came up to me smiling and told me that it was still a little early for the event to begin, so – considering that those July days were very hot – if I wanted something to drink I just had to tell him. After thanking him for his offer, taking advantage of the fact that they were still there, I took the opportunity to explain my allergies and ask them if there would be anything gluten-free and without fish in the cocktail at the end of the event.
Nandu put his hand on my shoulder and told me not to worry, that they would prepare something especially for me.
After a while, they returned with the Maitre of the event – who recognized me from other events where, at the last minute, he had prepared something apart for me – and Nandu explained him that they would prepare a special plate for me. WOW! When both cooks left, the Maitre told me that, when they would have opened the terrace, I should have to go in the opposite direction and wait next to the stairs. Then a waitress would bring me the tray. I also took this opportunity to thank him for the attentions he had given me in other events (such as the plate of chicken skewers they brought to me the day Kilian Jornet was interviewd (one of the most outstanding mountaineers of our time), or the tray of hamburgers and canapés from the 7th Crims de Tinta Awards.
A little later, he returned with a waitress to tell her that I was the person to whom she had to give that special tray. I was dying to see what they were going to bring me! And to taste it, of course!
As in the talks organized with Steve McCurry (the very famous National Geographic photographer, who took the photo – which I dare say is the most famous of the magazine – of that Afghan girl with vivid eyes and redveil), with Kilian Jornet (one of the most outstanding mountaineers of his time), with Jane Goodall (the well-known anthropologist) and other people of world-wide reputation; as expected, the talk of Mr. Yamashita was super exciting.Actually, when you leave these conferences, you feel like gathering everything and going around the world to experience and feel what the speakers felt on their travels. Amazingly amazing!
Once the conference finished, they opened the terrace and as people was going out, the team of RBA collected the chairs to make space in the inner part of the auditorium. Following the instructions of the Maitre, I approached the stairs he had indicated and waited there. After waiting a few minutes, a waitress came with a tray for me. On the tray were: lentil hamburger with gluten-free bread – yes, yes, without gluten! – a spritz balls, a cannelloni of turnip daikon and eggplant, a salad of zucchini and a cream of lime potato and spices. Delicious! I was super happy!
Beyond the very friendly treatment that the Maitre has always given me when I spoke with him, something very important is that all the waiters know perfectly what food they carry, since they can explain each of the canapés they have on each tray. This is necessary to be able to serve everyone well, not only those who have allergies and intolerances, but anyone who wants to know what is eating.Although sometimes they have not been able to give me anything due to the risk of contamination in the kitchen, I am very grateful for the treatment and flexibility they have had whenever they have been able.
Thank you very much Fundació RBA and the cooks in charge of these cocktail dinners!
BY CLICKING ON THE MAP OF GLUTEN FREE RESTAURANTS YOU FILL SEE ALL RESTAURANTS WE DESCRIBED IN THIS POST LOCATED IN THE MAP OF GLUTEN-FREE PLACES:
AND HERE WE LEAVE THE CELIAC TRAVEL CARD IN SPANISH:
AND HERE WE LEAVE THE CELIAC TRAVEL CARD IN CATALAN:
P.S.: Please keep in mind that in this blog I share my trips, anecdotes and experiences about gluten free travel around the world. It is possible that, in any of my trips, I go to some restaurant not trained by the associations where the risk of being contaminated with gluten exists. I kindly ask you to also take into account that the list of references can change. Please, always double check before eating in the restaurants we recommend. Thank you very much!
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