They might not be your typical free-from foods, but all the dishes on the menu at the Duke of Edinburgh in Maidstone, Kent are gluten free.
When Adam Phillips decided to start offering food at his predominantly wet-led pub, he was told by everyone not to go gluten free.
But after just seven months, the Shepherd Neame pub has been shortlisted for the best pub restaurant in the national FreeFrom Eating Out Awards.
Adam works hard to ensure anyone with an allergy requirement can eat in his pub. His menu boasts homemade flatbreads, tapas and regular specials.
He has designed an extensive menu guide, so customers can see exactly what allergen is in each dish and what can be cooked especially without.
“We have a key, so red means it contains X, green means we can easily cook this without X. And we also have an option where if customers let us know 24 hours in advance, we will tailor that dish so it is made without eggs or whatever they need,” he explains.
“It takes patience, but the satisfaction you see on people’s faces when they can finally eat out comfortably is indescribable. We had one woman who hadn’t eaten in a pub in 20 years because she didn’t want to inconvenience people. Now she can comfortably.”
Customers have traveled over 90 miles from Newmarket in Suffolk, especially to enjoy the allergen-free food.
All the produce is made fresh on site by the knowledgeable head chef Paul Larcombe, who has a daughter with serious dietary requirements. Paul bakes gluten free breads and even doughnuts.
The pub is also looking to start offering allergen friendly hampers.
For more information on the importance of catering for customers with dietary requirements, read this.