Food is Good Medicine

This blog comes from Alison Cullin-Woodcock from Clifton Foodservices Consultants Ltd.  You can find Alison on LinkedIn.


Treat your food like good medicine, so you dont need to eat your medicine as food. 

So many companies and groups have written and presented volumes on the trends and insights for the future of 2021 and beyond, and whilst it’s all amazing research there are really a few vegan allergen friendly nuggets that we need to all take away.

As a chef you learn that food is fuel, but it is also a medicine and now needs to be handled and managed very differently to prevent both positives being a negative to our customers.

As a chef you are also trying to take a holistic view of the industry right now- asking if a circular economy is sustainable, and we all want to be good citizens and do the right things- hence the exponential rise in food box deliveries from some of the country’s best chefs – but if you have allergies – how do you manage this?

Do look at “Tredwells” by Chantelle Nicholson and “All’s Well” her pop up in Hackney.

Chantelle’s focus on sustainability and conscious cooking flows through Tredwells’ offering, with locally sourced, seasonal produce at the forefront. Choose your own culinary adventure with the a la carte menu, or put your trust in our chefs with our five-course tasting menus; Vegwells or Taste of Tredwells. 

Staples from the menu include cauliflower mac’n’cheese, the now-famous chouxnut and the salted caramel soft serve with honeycomb. The Sunday roasts, served with the crispiest roast potatoes, and with a plant-based option available, are not to be missed.

Customers with allergies, have historically, I suspect, eaten out at known spaces that were allergen aware, but how many really struggle to combine both allergen friendly and vegan options.


Clarisse Flon set up her business in 2013, called “The Sunny Spoon”- a fully vegan and allergen aware patisserie, but her work to make traditional French patisserie work without the main key dairy ingredients was a huge challenge.

Clarisse told me “At the time I was still working in patisserie and I noticed that gluten-free or vegan options were close to none. French patisserie to me focuses on highlighting and enhancing one ingredient or flavour and working on finding the right pairing of textures and tastes to let the raw material shine.”

Clarisse shared that she used butter that was substituted with margarine and vegetable oil. I use a whole range of plant milk depending on taste, and cream with oat or soy cream. She uses Vegan white and ‘milk’ chocolate to make the Caramel, peanut, shortbread and mylk chocolate bar as gluten free.

I asked her if customers ask for specific items.

“Yes if ordering a birthday cake. On the shop I try to include gluten free items and nut free items however I work in a very small space and can’t avoid cross contamination”


As a development chef I was curious to know how long does it take you to develop a new item for the menu? Clarisse shared “It really depends on what the new item is. If it’s a variation of something I know how to do a couple of days, if it’s veganizing a recipe it can take months”.

As the offering is fabulous and sweet right now, I wanted to know if she would be moving into savoury bakes as well?

“When I move into a shop – yes”.

About | The Sunny Spoon


In the past few months, we have all learnt more about ourselves and our diets than we probably realised and needed to make some changes.

With the rise in the use of items like Seitan or wheat meat and pea proteins we are all looking forward to eating out but safely, on so many more levels.

Consumer trends are calling out healthier, sustainable and indulgent – which has to be evident in looking at some of the new options in BBQ, smoking foods, Japanese & Thai food flavour bases.

Your gut health is also going to take centre stage as we look at its combination effect with the mind body balance and creating a healthy gut, helps your mental health.

Did you know your gut health leads to 70% of your immunity?



Already available are products like Driftwell from Pepsi, and MUDE drinks.




We’re going to be seeing adaptogens which are ingredients to help stress, such as CBD for anti-anxiety.


  Space Cream which is ice cream with CBD


As we go through 2021 and beyond, as chefs we all want to ensure we create as much food for the soul, as for the body, and ensuring we’re all allergy aware and providing safe options is what we should do as a community. So, there’s no bad time for ice cream I guess?


Alison Cullin-Woodcock

Clifton Foodservice Consultants Ltd and Craft Guild of Chefs member!


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