Honestly, when we had this episode on the docket, I was pretty unfamiliar with Universal Orlando Resorts’ focus on satisfying dietary needs, preferences, and allergies. As someone who is lucky to be able to eat a wide range of foods, I hadn’t considered how guests with a more limited palate could navigate our parks in the same way. We had experienced a few moments where our executive producer, Michelle Westfall, had specific requests due to her food allergies, but that was about it.
Meeting with our on-site nutritionist Nicole Martino completely opened my eyes and helped me discover the amazing ways our food and beverage team take each guest’s individual food needs, preferences, allergies (and tastiness!) into account.
First of all, Nicole’s so cool and fun, and has such a bubbly personality! On this episode, she shares that she grew up with special dietary needs, so she has a personal connection to food safety.
Nicole walked David and I through the research and development process of each menu. Whether it’s a temporary food stand, a fine dining experience, or a walkable treat, chefs keep unique dietary needs at the forefront of their recipe design.
Nicole also helped David and I spot the visual cues on menus around the park that show dishes with restrictions or allergens. For example, a leaf icon indicates vegetarian, two leaves indicate vegan, and an acorn icon indicates tree nuts. We also learned that the kitchens have different prep surfaces and tools to meticulously keep special foods separate! This episode was a crash course on the importance of food inclusivity for all our guests.
Oh, one more cool detail: did you know our chefs will personally cook to your liking if the menu doesn’t suit your needs? Just ask your server at your next Universal Orlando dining experience!
Nicole also share the team’s number one priority: taste and safety. “We want every menu item to be delicious, no matter what!” says Nicole
If you’re coming to Universal Orlando Resort for something yummy, you can count on our chefs to deliver a memorable, attentive, and tasty meal! Listen to this episode to learn even more about the steps we take here to cater to all dietary needs. You can also check out our Guide for Healthy and Allergy-Friendly Food at Universal Orlando Resort.
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