Hyatt Hotel Eases the Concerns of an AllergyEats Community Member

[This AllergyEats Blog post was submitted by an AllergyEats community member who has requested to remain anonymous.]

Hyatt Hotel Eases the Concerns of an AllergyEats Community Member

My youngest, age 11, has a diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis and multiple food allergies of dairy, egg, and shellfish.  He is particularly sensitive to dairy and has experienced 9 anaphylactic reactions by the age of 9.  He has asthma and other immune conditions and is being recommended by his infectious disease doctor for further differential diagnosis, including DOCK8 – a condition that includes the presence of airborne sensitivities.

An Allergy-Friendly Trip to Boston

Recently, my two sons and I visited Boston.  We knew that Massachusetts had some allergy-friendly laws around restaurant training and also knew of some restaurants via AllergyEats that pride themselves and make it part of their mission to accommodate and provide for a safe dining experience for those with food allergies.  However, we also know from experience dining with food allergies that it is more than saying the right things and going through the motions, more than advertising and schmoozing, that what people may say and what they may do may not coincide.  Some people don’t get it and as a young man, my son has had to learn to navigate these situations, to speak up, and when it doesn’t look or feel right, to walk away.

For my son, dining out successfully means looking out for his health and well-being, and it requires sound food allergy management practice at all levels.  It involves dependent trusting relationships, counting on others to recognize and avoid allergens in food selection, and to avoid the cross contamination risks in seating, prep, plating, and serving.  It’s akin to the handoff one would make with hospital staff and a surgeon, where you are giving permission to have your child undergo an invasive procedure by their hand.  In this case, the restaurant is feeding your food-allergic child.  You are trusting them with your child’s life.  Your goal is inclusion in the social fabric that is the dining out experience, sharing a meal with others, intimate in its own way.  You don’t really have to eat out, and you’re not sure if you should as you have no measure of credentialing or other experience benchmarks, just the relationships you make with restaurant staff at the time.  They all have to get it.  You just hope they all know what they’re doing, that they take it seriously, and care enough to do the very best.

We didn’t know what we would face when we bunked with my sister, so like our other vacations, we had pre-cooked homemade foods that were frozen and packed for my youngest to have during our stay.  In the meantime, my sister had informed the staff at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge of our situation and, prior to our arrival, I received two calls from the staff at the Hyatt.  I spoke with Meaghan, who wanted to inquire about considerations for cleaning our room, and with Chef Ryan about the special dietary needs.

Meeting with the Hyatt Chef

On our first evening at the Hyatt, we met with Conroy, the evening chef of the Zephyr.  It felt like we were trapeze artists hanging on the edge of the platform.  After some back and forth, we decided the dining plan sounded workable, so we took the plunge – we went in, ordered, and were served.  It’s a weird feeling like a slow motion free fall without a net, not knowing if your extended hand reaching for another would find it, if you would be caught, or if your landing would be soft or hard.  In the end, we ate at the Zephyr for breakfast and dinner throughout our stay.  Head Chef Robert (and this was a first) even offered to have me tour the kitchen.  Each time, things seemed to get better and better, rough edges smoothed over or corrected, and our experience was remarkable.  My son was able to relax, to trust, to enjoy, and to know what things could be like when people care enough.

I can’t remember all the names of those that were part of our experience.  A few that I recall were Nanny, Deanna, Katti, Maria, and Ram.  I hope in writing this that they and the others at the Hyatt will be inspired to continue their great efforts and know of our deep gratitude.

We look forward to coming back!

I wish to extend my thanks to our community member for sharing this story with us and invite you to share your comments by clicking on Reply below.  How did you feel in your first experience dining out?  Have there been individuals in a restaurant that you’ll never forget because they went so far out of their way to help you?  Share your thoughts with us.  We want to hear them!

Also, please take a little time to rate any recent restaurant experiences you’ve had – good, so-so, or bad – on our core AllergyEats site or app.  Each new rating you add makes AllergyEats more valuable to our entire food allergy and intolerance community.  Thank you!



    Thank you for sharing your experience. Its a wonderful feeling when you can enjoy a meal with a food allergic child comfortably. My child is 18 and looking at colleges. It will be a challenge to work with the food staff for 3 meals a day


    I am in my late 40s and was diagnosed 5 years ago (dairy, soy and tree nuts). Like many people, after having several significant reactions, I became very hesitant to eat out.
    We had booked a European cruise with Celebrity and after talking with the company, was assured they could accommodate, we made the decision to go anyway. The first day on the cruise saw a reaction, with the very first meal ending in tears – afraid the whole trip would follow suit. After talking at length with customer services, we were able to connect with one of the head chefs who helped us understand how to get what I needed. Additional notes were added to my file and arrangements made to have sit down meals at the same table from then on. Each of the following meals the attendant had a menu for the next meal and I would select a dish. The food from then on was delicious with no additional reactions. They sent a midday snack to my room each day and incredibly the chef even created a different dessert for every evening meal. Celebrity Cruises staff did a fabulous job of making meals for the rest of the cruise enjoyable. I recommend upon booking to make sure your allergies are noted in your profile, and that you check in at customer services shortly after boarding, make sure the allergy is noted and to check on how to arrange for meals.

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