Definitely, a medical condition when planning a menu, is not something to be avoided, as are religious and cultural ethics.
Add in food allergies, food intolerances and sensitivities along side self-imposed restrictions and it’s a whole different ballgame.
There are a slew of dietary restrictions, and the list is endless; Lactose free, gluten free, sugar free, low fat, low sodium, no carb, macrobiotic, probiotic, no fish, no meat, it goes on and on, each with it’s own unique reason as to why it should be removed from your diet.
For those with dietary issues it's a lot to deal with, no one asks for an intollerance and I feel sorry for anyone who has them.
Many may say that it's part of the chef's job to accomodate it dietary requests and I agree, using the request as a challenge to create a new and exciting dish. But as a chef many requests are accompanied with a certain attitude that is bitter pill for many chefs to swallow.
Attitudes have changed about whose responsibility it is to meet their needs.
The focus of responsibility, as with so many other things, has moved from the eater to the provider.
I will never forget the time someone turned up at my house for a dinner party and informed me, as I was serving the starter, that they were detoxing, had very limited foods they could eat and did I have any of them around.
Surely it was the responsibility of that guest to tell me in advance so that I could prepare something special. They hadn’t thought of bringing something that might work for them but the restrictions became my problem it’s that attitude that makes for a bit of consternation.