You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:33 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:22 am
Posts: 51
Location: Toronto, ON
My 7-year old is anaphylactic to milk, eggs, peanuts, treenuts, fish, shellfish and soy. Up to recently, he had only eaten in four restaurants in his life including: Swiss Chalet (he can have 3 menu items), Disney Orlando (Rainforest Cafe and Cinderella's castle - these were booked and planned with the chefs three months ahead of time) and Il Fornello (they used to serve pasta without any 'may contain egg' warnings, but Molisana pasta is not always safe now). Needless to say, we very rarely eat out.

Last month we discovered that the Fairmont chain of hotels and restaurants has incredible allergy policies and special menus to accommodate many food restrictions and allergies (we stumbled upon this at the Fairmont in Barbados where they made a special meal for my son). So, last night, we celebrated a milestone birthday for my husband at Epic at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. While the meal was not cheap, it was by far one of the best that we have ever had and they absolutely blew us away with how well they handled our son's allergies.

When I called ahead to inform them of the allergies, I was connected with the head chef (Tim Palmer) who explained to me how they manage special meals and requested that I review the menu and send him an email with all of my son's food limitations and some options for what he would like to eat that evening. After reviewing the menu, my son decided that he wanted to try a duck appetizer and a beef entree. I received an email back confirming that they understood the allergies, that the information had been shared with all the chefs and managers and that the chef on duty that night would come out to our table when we arrived.

The restaurant called two days before our reservation date to confirm our reservation and let us know that my son's meal would be well taken care of and that the chef would come to our table to speak with us.

When we arrived at the restaurant, my son was greeted by name and welcomed. When we were seated, my son had his own special menu card prepared at his place outlining his meal based on what he had requested to try: Confit duck salad with quince puree, fresh apples and thyme vinaigrette for appetizer, Petit Filet steak with olive oil mash potato, organic seasonal vegetables, natural jus for the entree and Exotic fruit plate for desert. Then the chef (Tom Phuong-Luu) came out to greet him and ask if he had any questions or concerns. He let us know that the chefs love being able to plan special meals to make the night perfect for guests and that they all had a pow-wow to come up with the special meal for my son. The rest of us ordered from the main menu and winterlicious menus.

The meals were served beautifully and my son literally ate ever crumb on the plate at each course! I have NEVER seen him happier about eating a meal in a restaurant. Then, the chef came out to see how he was doing and invited him and our daughter back into the kitchen to see how the food is made and to meet the other chefs. They both came back with chefs hats and my son's was signed by all the kitchen chefs. A fantastic experience.

When we left the restaurant, we toured the hotel's main lobby and ran into Jimson Bienenstock, the Director of Fairmont Outlets who realized that my son was a very special guest (everyone had been involved in planning for his meal!) and subsequently invited him and a few others from our group to tour Canada's largest kitchen (the cooking floors for the banquets). They came back with massive smiles and little souvenir Royal York stuffed lions.

So, while we may not be able to afford to eat out like this every week, we have definitely found our special occasions restaurant! :happydance The best part is that this level of care and attention is not just in Toronto, this is Fairmont's international approach to meeting clients special food needs. Expectations were BEYOND exceeded!

_________________
Son 7 yrs: Anaphylactic to eggs, milk, fish, peanuts, tree nuts and allergic to soy, animals & environmental + Asthma.
Daughter 9 yrs: No allergies!
Me: Allergic to animals & environmental.
Hubby: Allergic to deer, horse flies & bees.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:37 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2946
Location: Toronto
How wonderful for your son! (And the whole family.)

Thanks for an inspiring story. :thumbsup

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 1:49 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Westlock, Alberta
That is awesome! How amazing for your son and the rest of the family!

_________________
DD: 2.5 years old, allergic to milk, outgrown egg


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
Your story brought to tears to my eyes especially this part:

Fiona wrote:
...He let us know that the chefs love being able to plan special meals to make the night perfect for guests and that they all had a pow-wow to come up with the special meal for my son. ...


We have a special occasion to celebrate soon and my husband suggested the Fairmont here :happydance

_________________
me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
klklkjl

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


Last edited by alberta advocate on Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Amazing! Thank you for sharing this experience.

_________________
16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 375
Location: Alberta
That's awesome! Sounded delish too.

What are the 3 things he can eat at Swiss Chalet? Last time we tried there they refused to serve my ds, who has almost the same allergies except for egg and soy. They said that he couldn't have anything cooked in the oil as they deep fry perogies in there (so no fries :( )


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:22 am
Posts: 51
Location: Toronto, ON
At Swiss Chalet, he can have the plain 1/4 chicken, a plain baked potato and the steamed fresh vegetables (just have honey on them). He cannot have the Chalet sauce (soy) or the bun (cross-contamination), so we ask that those are left off the plate. We always speak to the kitchen manager when we arrive to confirm that they understand the cross-contamination issues and that they will use a fresh chopping board and knife for his chicken and that the potato and steamed vegetables are still dairy-free. We often bring bread and olive oil or Earth Balance (soy and dairy-free margarine) for his baked potato. A few times, we have also brought our own french fries cooked at home for him (although they get soft by the time his chicken is served). We have never had any problems with a meal at Swiss Chalet although we try to avoid going at a busy time. It's a cost-effective option on the go and has been the only real consistent local option to-date.

_________________
Son 7 yrs: Anaphylactic to eggs, milk, fish, peanuts, tree nuts and allergic to soy, animals & environmental + Asthma.
Daughter 9 yrs: No allergies!
Me: Allergic to animals & environmental.
Hubby: Allergic to deer, horse flies & bees.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
That is WONDERFUL!! :banana What a wonderful wonderful dinner out for your son...and for you to be able to relax knowing they 'get it' fully and really do know how to create a safe meal. :bouncyblue I know from our own amazing experience at Moxies just how much it means to be able to eat out...not just safely but with such a positive all round experience. When they go out of there way because they WANT to not just because they have to the entire experience is just that much more special.
Quote:
Fairmont Royal York in Toronto
We will absolutely eat there now when we go to Toronto! :happydance
Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:26 pm
Posts: 406
Wow, what a great, wonderful, and heart-warming story. :thumbsup to Fairmont! Thank you for sharing.

_________________
anaphylaxis to tree nuts and peanuts; asthmatic, dairy intolerant, vegan
other family members allergic to to dairy, egg, peanut, peach, banana, sesame, environmentals


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 799
Location: Vancouver, BC
Fantastic! Thanks for sharing your experience. Might have to try them out for a special meal out with the kids.

_________________
DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 924
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Wonderful story and experience! Thanks so much for sharing... we are close to Toronto, so this would be a possiblity for our family, and one that I never, in a million years, would have realised was available! Thanks again and so glad that you were able to experience this as a family.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:42 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
I wrote to Fairmont to let them know what we were saying about them and to see if this was a polciy across their chain or if it was specific to those few hotels. Here is their reply:
Quote:
Thank you for sharing a link to your blog and the wonderful Fairmont experience one of your members shared. It is a pleasure to read that our team members in Barbados and in Toronto delivered on our Fairmont Service promise, and in the process left a wonderful impression and created memorable experiences. Our mission at Fairmont is to turn moments into memories for our guests.

At Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, we recognized that our guests are unique and some have special travel and dietary needs. At all our locations, we have our Lifestyle Cuisine program that caters to the special dietary needs of all our guests, whether it is food allergies, lactose intolerance or any other dietary requirements. Our Lifestyle Cuisine program is available to all our guests whether a guest is staying over night or just visiting for dining. We highly recommend that our dinners call ahead to secure a reservation and advise of their special dietary needs.

Some of our locations offer hypo-allergic rooms, where our colleagues take special care in preparing these rooms ensure a comfortable stay for guests with environmental sensitivities. For additional information on our hypo-allergic guest rooms and a reservation, please call us toll free at 1-800-441-1414.

Again thank you for sharing your blog and the wonderful dining experiences from one of your members

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
jhhjkllkjkl

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


Last edited by alberta advocate on Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
We will SO be going to eat there when in Toronto. I would rather eat out once or twice a year and have it be an amazing experience for me (being able to relax) and for DS..to seeing him be able to have a very special (safe) meal.

TWO thumbs up to the Fairmont!! :thumbsup :thumbsup

Quote:
Our mission at Fairmont is to turn moments into memories for our guests.
At Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, we recognized that our guests are unique and some have special travel and dietary needs. At all our locations, we have our Lifestyle Cuisine program that caters to the special dietary needs of all our guests, whether it is food allergies, lactose intolerance or any other dietary requirements. Our Lifestyle Cuisine program is available to all our guests whether a guest is staying over night or just visiting for dining. We highly recommend that our dinners call ahead to secure a reservation and advise of their special dietary needs.
:banana

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group