Chelsea Clinton is set to wed Marc Mezvinsky today in what can only be described as the most high-profile gluten-free wedding ever! Until now, all-alternative banquet menus have been rare, but with Ms. Clinton blazing the trail for others, the gluten-free trend is sure to continue.
Many people may not realize that Chelsea Clinton has been a vegan since she was a teenager, meaning she doesn't eat meat, dairy, eggs, or any animal products. Chelsea is also said to have a gluten allergy, meaning she cannot eat wheat, rye or barley either; which is why her wedding cake will be gluten-free and vegan, along with most of the other food that she will be serving to her guests on Saturday.
A Gluten-free diet can be very restrictive, and vegan diets can be limiting too. Which is why gluten-free vegan's must be extremely careful with what they put in their body. While Chelsea probably chose her wedding menu due to her own personal health needs, it is likely to also have a trickle down effect on the general public. Grace Clerihew, of Table Tales, a New York Catering Firm responded to Chelsea's wedding menu saying, “This will empower people to make these requests. Prior to this, they might have thought it was not mainstream enough to even talk about, but now that they see it being done by such a public persona it becomes acceptable.”
While gluten-free and vegan diets are often met with a great deal of scrutiny from mainstream consumers, chefs and caterers that understand specific dietary restrictions make delicious dishes that often have even the most extreme critics of the diet going back for seconds. Says Paula LeDuc of Paula LeDuc Fine Catering in San Francisco, “We've gotten very savvy about creating wonderful things with alternative ingredients.” According to LeDuc, she always makes extra vegan dishes because many times guests will want to trade in their meat plate when they see the scrumptious vegan options that others are enjoying. In fact, LeDuc says that gluten-free requests have increased from about one per month last year, to one per week this year. LeDuc goes on to say, “Three or four years ago, gluten-free wasn't even part of the conversation.”
Original article written: 07/31/2010