For those with food allergies, a skiing holiday might seem like a bit of a minefield when you consider that it usually takes place in an area with a mountain cuisine heavily featuring dairy, meat and wheat, plus a limited choice of eateries, during a time when extreme temperatures and physical activity require you to eat well and often.
That said, however, year on year we get more and more guests coming out to our chalets in the Alps with dietary restrictions. This is perhaps partly to do with a general increase in awareness of food allergies and also, (we like to think!), down to the fact that we’ve dedicated a lot of time, training and creativity to catering for people with allergies. We get lots of questions about Morzine from allergy travellers and here we have pulled together a few tips for those planning a free-from skiing holiday.
France is not known for having great allergy awareness in restaurants. Allergy travellers on the website Allergy Travels gave the country just three out of five votes when it came to awareness in restaurants. The good news is, that as a hub for mountain sports – VTT, Road biking, trail running and hiking, as well as skiing – Morzine attracts large numbers of health conscious, active types, which has been enough to support the opening of eateries which are making healthy, allergy-friendly and organic options a priority on their menus.
In the centre of town, Satellite Coffee (142 Rue du Bourg, 74110 Morzine) offers allergen-free cakes, snacks and high protein vegan-friendly dishes. Try it for delicious veggie/ salad bowls and such things as spiced chickpea pancakes and beetroot falafel. Lean meat dishes are also served.
As well as being experts in crafting their own beers, Bec Jaune Brewery creates a menu focussed on nourishing food with fresh, local ingredients. Hearty dishes for both carnivores and vegetarians, from vegan superfood burgers to pork belly ramen and ceviche tacos. As the chef likes deconstructing dishes and building them from raw ingredients, you can expect thorough knowledge on what goes into every dish.
For other restaurants in Morzine, we recommend booking ahead and giving the chef a heads up of your dietary requirements. You’ll get a better meal and a friendlier response if you give the chef time to custom-make your meal.
Shops and brands
La Vie Claire is a large specialist store for organic and natural products. Shop here for whole foods, vegetarian and gluten-free snacks, baking products and general groceries.
Food packaging in France carries allergen labelling according to EU standards and most big supermarkets will have a modest range of free-from foods. The Carrefour supermarket in St Jean D’Aulps has a large range of allergen free products and is a five minute drive from Morzine. Amazon sell various free-from brands and will deliver to Morzine. Shop online before you arrive and arrange to have your products delivered directly to your accommodation.
Call ahead to discuss allergies and show up for ski school early to ensure the instructor has full awareness of any severe allergies. Explain how to use and carry any specialist medical equipment needed in an emergency.
Find out where and when your child will be having lunch and consider meeting up with them to help navigate the menu or self-service line.
Give kids safe snacks and always carry extras. Kids will burn loads of energy on the slopes, and you won’t always find friendly allergy friendly snacks when you need them (like on a chair lift!)
Did you know that unless they are completely fundamental to the dish, we will usually eliminate both gluten and dairy from our recipes? Our aim is always to ensure that the food that we offer guests on restricted diets is just as delicious and interesting as the main menu – if not more so!
If you’re interested in discovering some of Kat’s #freefrom recipes, follow our foodie Twitter profile @AliKatsKitchen.