Great chefs in Manhattan, celebrity or otherwise, have the talent and skill to cook gluten free dishes that are up to their standards. Most of them, however, do not add these dishes to their restaurants menus, at least not on purpose. The main question is why? I understand that there are a number of reasons they may give, but are they really just excuses.
The GREAT Kitchens, 10-City Gluten Free Chef’s Table Tour, which launched in NYC’s Metaphor restaurant on October 23, 2013, which seeks to promote a 90-minute training course for restaurant professionals. Restaurants can learn how to offer a safe cooking environment for gluten free cuisine.
After meeting the President, Alice Bast, of Celiac Central at the recent launching a gained a greater appreciation for the issues and necessity of this campaign. Chef Jehangir Mehta provided a multi-course gluten free meal, which shows how a small kitchen can prepare this type of meal without issues. Of course an awareness and this kitchen training program assisted along the way.
I have friends with celiac and also those who have chosen a life style that does not include eating gluten. I can not imagine the stress it must cause to try and eat out at nice restaurants with these restrictions. I’m used to dealing with meatless options, due to the Vegetarian’s diet, but this seems worse. Shouldn’t those allergic to gluten be able to enjoy a high-end gourmet meal at restaurants too? Word on the street is that Mario Batali’s restaurant Del Posto now offers gluten free pasta. That’s a step, but not everyone who doesn’t eat gluten is ready to spend $200 on a meal. The middle-to-high end restaurants need to bite the bullet and take these training courses and offer more gluten free choices.
Most cuisines, specifically those surrounding meat, would be really easy to offer gluten free choices and menu items. Much of the problems stem from contact in the kitchen, the use of the same utensils for both gluten and non-gluten items. With a some education and a little more effort in the kitchen, those who do not eat gluten should be able to enjoy
the same almost the same meal as everyone else.
Some photos from the delicious dinner:
Fois gras with raspberry crostini
Oyster with whipped potatoes and crispy tapioca
seabass with dehydrated lentils, and spicy broth