Five of the best gluten-free catering hacks

Gluten-free: if you're not doing it, you know someone who is. Event asks the experts how to navigate a menu design without that carby protein composite.

Not all grains are gluten-heavy, say caterers (iStock)
Not all grains are gluten-heavy, say caterers (iStock)

Swap blinis and bruschetta for something more imaginative

Even the seemingly harmless canapés can be coeliac’s nightmare at events. Try swapping the bases – which tend to include some form of bread – with meat, fish or vegetables. John Brodie, head chef at Payne and Gunter, recommends cucumber cups filled with pulled pork and topped with green apple cider jelly, or seared scallops with lemon puree. 

Add a crunch with crisped cheese

Parmesan, and other hard cheeses, can both be used to create tasty, lattice-shaped sides that add a satisfying texture that crackers and toast might otherwise provide. London-based caterer The Recipe serves up the gluten-free-friendly Capricorn goat’s cheese mousse sandwiched between Comté crisps with a lemon confit.

Corn can be your friend

It is widely considered that corn, while containing a variety of gluten, does not bring about adverse effects for coeliacs or those who suffer from gluten sensitivity. This opens up a world of Mexican food – think tortilla stations stocked with fresh tomato salsa and ceviche.

Play with polenta 

"Polenta is a great gluten-free staple and can be packed full of flavour with a select choice of toppings," says Nicole Richardson, co-founder and executive chef of new luxury event caterer Hunter VIII Hunter. She makes hers with toasted pine nuts, however the foodstuff can also be combined with cheese, chilli and herbs to create a hearty side dish.

Spruce up your salads

The new wave of healthy food blogs and chefs has meant that salad no longer means lettuce in a bowl, and the options to available to those going gluten-free are just as wide as sandwich-lovers.

Rhubarb has gone to town with its colourful bowl food salad options. Its Salade Niçoise features confit of tuna, fine green beans, new potatoes, vine cherry tomatoes, black olives, quail’s eggs and lemon thyme aioli, while rare roast beef, bitter winter leaves, new potatoes, grilled artichokes, cornichons, capers and parsley feature in Rhubarb’s classic salade Parisienne creation.

More catering inspiration: Five of the best frozen canapés for events

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