GLUTEN-FREE & FABULOUS
We know. Vacations can be risky when you’re gluten intolerant. Eating out three times a day, seven days a week is a scary thought because many restaurants cannot guarantee your safety.
For the daughter of one of our owners, this was the reality. Her severe form of celiac disease held her back from ever vacationing. And being sick on vacation, in her words, is “really a drag”.
In 2014, our owner decided to do something about this. Inspired by his daughter, he did what had never been done before in Costa Rica — he pioneered a full gluten-free initiative at Arenas del Mar.
- We consulted with Monica Glass, a top pastry chef in the US who also has celiac disease. Her guidance was invaluable and her advice simple: gluten-free cooking is easy once you know, and it often tastes better.
- We invited celiac bloggers to Arenas del Mar to advise us and to spread the word about their experience.
- Most importantly, our kitchen and dining room staff all trained in the demanding Great Kitchens course by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). Today, both restaurants at Arenas del Mar are fully certified by the NFCA as having the expert ability to prepare gluten-free meals.
On our journey towards gluten free, we discovered that the more local ingredients we used, the easier it was to cook gluten free for our guests.
Here’s why — Costa Rica’s national diet is corn-based rather than wheat-based. It mainly consists of rice, plantains, beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, and corn.
By focusing on cooking with these local ingredients, we’ve managed to become experts in gluten free.
Today, for those with celiac and an intolerance to gluten, Arenas del Mar is a safe place to spend a vacation.
For our owner’s daughter, she now says — “Dad, you all get it!”
“The owner of the resort, Jeremy, assured me I was completely safe eating at Arenas and he was right. The food was incredible, the best I’ve ever had. 5 star quality with amazing variety. I particularly enjoyed passionfruit ceviche and chocolate lava mud cake. I rediscovered my passion for mouth-watering food and it felt like I did not have celiac disease.”
– Susie, New Zealand