One of the joys of the trade we practice is meeting such a variety of people, from all walks of life, from all continents, beliefs, backgrounds and racial origins.
One of the first questions we always ask is, ‘any particular dietary restrictions, allergies or preferences?’
Certain continents seem to have far more intolerances than others do and gluten-free, lactose-resistant vegetarian menus have become the norm. Consequently, the good old-fashioned Italianesque menus that we are known for become somewhat of a challenge!
A delightful Australian girl told me earnestly that she was vegetarian but could eat eggs… so long as they were vegetarian eggs. Visions of vampire-drooling chickens spun through my imagination. When I inadvertently asked where she thought I might find vegetarian eggs 200 kilometres away from any civilised shopping, I was curtly told, “The vegetarian supermarket!”
Allergies can be more of a problem, and the sweet young thing that said she ‘didn’t do peanuts’ gave us a fright when she started going into anaphylactic shock at 4.00 in the afternoon. Everyone else in the lodge knows you do not break a leg after four, as that’s the cut-off time for the air rescue plane to get into Elsa’s. Great team work and nifty flying by the local charter company got her to Nanyuki hospital in time for her to recover without treatment.
Preferences are very personal and although we sometimes have to change the menus to include Elsa’s Layer Cake (chocolate. biscuit and cream with more chocolate and cream) or Lemon Meringue Pie which is heavenly! I was gently teasing a Norwegian guest about the Scandinavian predilection for buried dead fish when he told me about his own preference for pickled polar bear penis. For once I was speechless…
Philip & Charlie