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Jamaica - Hedonism Iii All Inclusive Includes Gluten Free!

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Several months ago my husband and I booked our travel to Hedonism III in Runaway Bay Jamaica to celebrate our 1st anniversary. It was only after we had already booked the travel that I started to worry about what I would eat at our all inclusive resort, would they understand my special dietary needs and questions? Immediately I contacted the resort's management and they put me in direct e-mail contact with Chef Joseph Kalynuik. He directed me to bring gluten free flours, breads, breadcrumbs, muffin mixes, bread mixes, pizza mix or crust, etc. Basically he told me to bring whatever I wanted to eat and he'd make it. I thought okay, maybe this isn't going to be an anxiety filled experience where I'm stuck eating Chex cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner after all!

Upon arriving at the resort Chef Joseph came down to speak with me about my intolerance to gluten and what foods I had brought with me for him to prepare. He offered to store everything in his personal on site refrigerator and put notes on all of my items to ensure there was not any cross contamination. Chef Joseph then proceeded to walk me through the items offered on all of the buffets offered daily as well as my options at the other cafes and restaurants on site. He was also available upon request for any questions I had and also made me fresh food (anything you can possibly imagine!) when I was in doubt of what was already prepared on the buffet or menu.

For our first anniversary my husband and I made a reservation at the on site Italian restaurant Pastafari. Chef Joseph called our room before we arrived and personally asked me what I would like for dinner. He made me chicken puttanesca served over gluten free pene pasta that I had brought with me. My husband agrees that it was even better than the fillet Marsala he ordered off of the menu. Chef Joseph came out and presented my dinner to the awe of all the other diners. To top it off, Chef Joseph directed and supervised his sous chef to make us a gluten free cheesecake in which they inscribed Happy Anniversary in chocolate on top. It was giant and delicious! My husband and I shared it with friends we had made during our trip and they were equally as impressed. Normally I feel awkward and like I'm annoying restaurant staff when I request my special dietary needs, however Chef Joseph and his staff at Hedonism III made me feel like I was V.I.P. or a rock star at that! I have been home now for several days and have not experienced any symptoms of being "glutened".

On our last day we were very sad to leave. Upon arriving at the airport we found out that our flight had been canceled and we wouldn't be able to fly home until the following evening. The airline offered to comp our room at a nearby hotel but my husband and I knew we had to go back to Hedonism III to continue our anniversary celebration and also to alleviate any food fears I had, even if we had to pay out of pocket. When we arrived we found that the dinner buffet's selection was not as appetizing as it had been the nights previous and we tried to get in at the on site Japanese steakhouse. Unfortunately it was booked solid. I talked to Chef Joseph and within minutes he had written us in at the Japanese steakhouse! We were thrilled as we hadn't had the chance to try it before we left originally. Chef Joseph called over the grill chef and we sat and talked thru my options. Then while all of the other diners at our grill sat waiting to eat, she prepared my meal first to ensure there was not any cross contamination. My dinner was incredible! Seared chicken with garlic, fresh veggies, wine and my remaining pene pasta (I didn't want rice).

If you're considering a trip to Jamaica, but you're hesitant on where to stay due to your dietary needs, think again. Hedonism III and Chef Joseph Kalynuik are simply amazing and go above and beyond to meet any and all of your needs! My husband and I are already planning our next trip!

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