It’s fair to say that I live a fairly spontaneous life; my husband is notorious for literally “last minute” impulsive decisions. I recall one morning while he was in Florida and I, at home in BC and he called me and said “babe, meet me in Seattle – let’s go to Maui tomorrow”. For the first 8 years we were together, with a daughter as old, this was our reality. We lived, played and travelled with very little regard to logistics.
Things changed dramatically 9 years ago after the birth of our son. I nursed exclusively for the first 13 months, however eczema and adverse reactions to newly introduced foods curtailed any “flying by the seat of our pants” excursions. We navigated our way through a plethora of tests, doctors & specialists and along the way learned that “packing light” was no longer an option for our son was diagnosed with several severe life threatening allergies – anaphylaxis became our greatest fear. Not only did packing include epi-pens and epipen back ups, but it also included Rubbermaid containers full of his food. We were fortunate and grateful for all of the times that the airline attendants waived the excess luggage surcharges and the customs officers in foreign countries waived the “disallowed” incoming food, but hauling his food was only one consideration.
His meal preparation cannot have any cross contamination; there is no room for error. With allergies to dairy, eggs, wheat, oats, rye, barley, gluten, fish, seafood, shellfish, nuts, seeds, black pepper and anything with wings, it is not a simple “dietary request” when ordering at a restaurants; thus he’s not eaten a full meal outside of our home – save and except for three restaurants. Our new reality is that I need a full kitchen everywhere I go, and if we are going out for dinner, I prepare a meal for him at home prior to us going out. His typical experience at a restaurant is playing a game on his ipad while we eat – no exactly ideal, and for that reason, our dining out days have significantly dwindled….a dinner at home with the family eating together is so much more enjoyable anyways!!
I write this blog post though to tell you about the comfort of visiting one of these trusted restaurants. It’s the dining room at Sonora Resort. Annually we plan a getaway to Sonora – our favourite place on earth. There, Executive Chef Terry Pichor will prepare and serve exquisite meals for our son; as a scrutinizing allergy mom, I can tell you that I inherently trust Terry’s overseeing our son’s menu plan. BUT, yesterday we (my husband) made a spontaneous decision while ocean cruising through Desolation Sound – 45 minutes later we arrived at Sonora Island. – which meant that I had no supplementary provisions (butter alternative, gf/seed oil free soymilk, gf pasta etc) onboard. Assuredly though, just as if at home, Chef Terry and his team prepared a delicious meal that our son could enjoy – which meant that as parents, we too could enjoy the experience! It was a dining experience at a restaurant just as – if not more enjoyable than dining at home – because I did not have to do the dishes!!
As a family, we travel a lot. Thus far in Canada, I can unequivocally say that I trust Executive Chef Terry and his team at Sonora’s Dining Room, and Executive Chef Ned Bell and his team at the YEW Restaurant at Four Seasons Vancouver. The only other comforting dining experience we’ve had with our son is with former Executive Chef Reiner at the Ritz Carlton, Cancun.
Thank you Sonora, and most especially Executive Chef Terry Pichor & Team for making an ordinary day on the ocean turn into an extraordinary and spontaneous “sail by the seat of our pants” kinda day!!