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Food Allergy Challenges and Our Menu

Executive Chef Mtele “Abu” Abubakar orchestrates the show at Normandy Farm’s farmers daughter restaurant and is always creating new and inventive dishes. His award-winning techniques, rooted in his native Kenyan culture, infiltrate the true farm-to-table cuisine on his menus. He continuously challenges himself by incorporating current cooking trends into classic dishes and always adds his personal flair.

One of his largest challenges is constructing plates (and menus) that are allergy-sensitive (life threatening), food-tolerant (non-life threatening) and even lifestyle-specific (vegan, vegetarian, low-sodium, weight-loss).

Most common food allergies are gluten (or wheat), lactose (or milk), peanuts and tree nuts, shellfish, soy, fish, eggs and corn. Chef Abu mentions that his 5-year-old daughter has many typical food allergies and is well aware of the health issues involved, so he remains diligent of guests’ requirements.

Training other kitchen staff is important, and Chef Abu continuously confers with his stable of chefs on current allergy avoidance techniques and methods. Keeping specific kitchen instruments and areas free from cross-contamination and assigning specific food allergen personnel to the task remains important in food preparation. Ingredient substitutions and incorporations are made where needed without sacrificing the flavor and quality of the dish.

He also notes that it's crucial to discuss—in advance—diet specifics with one of Normandy Farm’s qualified planners or in some cases directly with Chef Abu himself before any visit or event.

The team at Normandy Farm is proud of recently producing a gluten-free wedding event menu that wowed the bride, the groom and their families and guests with dishes like crispy skin salmon with citrus sauce, Cabernet (not aged in wheat-glued barrels) braised beef short ribs and wild mushroom risotto.

If you're looking to dine with us or set up a wedding or event, call one of our experts at (215) 616-8500 to nail down the details for a flawless and dietary-aware menu.

Located just 25 minutes from Center City Philadelphia and situated in the heart of Blue Bell, Pa., Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center is more than a meticulously restored American landmark—it's a fully wired, high-tech hospitality venue. Relax on our grand terrace, sip a cocktail in America's oldest silo, play a challenging game of golf on our championship course, plan an event with us or dine on our delectable farm-to-table cuisine. It all adds up to One Historic Experience.

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