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Chef That Wants To Borrow Your Shoes...i'm Taking A Walk

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Hello Again All,

 I want to thank everyone for replying and contributing insight into your food frustrations. I keep saying it's one thing to cook it, it's another thing to live it.

I have decided to challenge myself, for 30 days, of going completely gluten-free. Like a secret shopper, so to speak, for my industry. I want to experience what it's like on the other end-I want to live these frustrations. My hope is that following my "shopping", I can report back to the restaurants (as an insider) and offer them insight. When I'm not dining out, I'll be testing products at home (and at work) and attempting to make some of your long lost favorites.  

I'll be reporting back with my findings. Keep the suggestions coming for food goodies missed or product favorites. (Especially gluten-free beer)

Cheers,

Chef Patterson

 

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Good luck, and thanks, however, you'll have to take the word of the restaurant that something is totally gluten-free because you won't have a physical reaction to indicate cross-contamination.  At least you'll be able to look at menus and processes and see where some of our difficulties lie.  Make sure you get a good list of ingredients to avoid from this site and check for them.  If you want something deep-fried, ask what else is cooked in the oil.  Ask whether pasta water is added to a sauce.  Tell them you can't take the burger off the bun or pick the croutons out of the salad and see how they react.  Expensive, exclusive restaurants will often be more accomodating, but many of us can't afford it but would be more likely to go to something like Friday's or Ruby Tuesday.  Consider the level of training at the restaurant - many cheap chains will be lousy with cross-contamination even if they say they can accomodate you.  Note also the reactions of servers/chefs when you ask for gluten-free - there is everything from concerned compliance to eye-rolling disdain.  If you get a chance, take along someone who has been gluten-free for a long time who can point out things you might not think of.  If you're ever in central NJ I'll be happy to be your guest at expensive restaurants  :lol: .


Lee

I never liked bread anyway.....

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Read every label every time. That's your mantra for the next 30 days. 

There are some tricks to discover if they've taken you seriously or have a good understanding of what it takes to keep you safe. If there are croutons on your salad before you send it back bury a sugar packet in it, then when they bring you a "new" salad, check for the sugar packet -- if it's there you know they just picked the croutons off & brought you the same salad back. 

Ask if they have a dedicated area for prepping gluten free.


Gluten free Dec. 2011
Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Reynaud's October 2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis October 2018

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Also if they bring you a burger with a bun on it cut the whole thing in half so they can't just remove the bun & bring back the contaminated burger. Same goes for a steak you order & they bring bread on the plate -- cut the steak in half so they can't just take the bread off the plate & bring back the contaminated plate & hence the same steak. Actually if any of these scenarios happened to me I would walk out of the restaurant rather than try to make them get it right. I would not be able to trust anything they did but in your case things are a little different being a "secret shopper". 

You'll need to carefully & thoroughly wash with soap & water every fresh veggie before you use it. That squash could have been handled by a grocery employee who ate a sandwich & did not wash their hands before putting stock out. Bananas need to be washed before you peel them as there's no real way to peel a banana without touching the skin & then touching the fruit inside. Wash the top of every can with soap before you open it. Stock rooms hold all manner of goods & flour bags could have broken open & flour floats in the air & can land on anything. 

Imagine flour as particles of sand. 3 grains of sand can make us sick.


Gluten free Dec. 2011
Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Reynaud's October 2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis October 2018

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You might want to subscribe to the Gluten Free Watchdog. It's $4.99 per month. 

https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org

 

They test 8 products per month. You get a notification in your inbox each time a product is tested -- they do 2 products at the time. Just this month a Rolled Oats product labeled gluten free tested well above 20 ppm of gluten. 


Gluten free Dec. 2011
Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Reynaud's October 2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis October 2018

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I always talk directly to the Kitchen Manager or Chef and then fill in the Wait Staff.  Some tips:  If getting grilled food, ask if they use seasonings and/or sauces on the grill.  Check if gluten free.  Some Chefs have offered to clean a portion of the grill while others may offer to grill on tin foil.  Always ask for baked potatoes un-cut with butter, etc. on the side (you don't want someone grabbing any knife and cutting your potato).  Check drinks for any mixes used to make the drink.  

 

If you want to know what it really is like to be celiac....check your medications and suppliments for gluten.  Buy a new toaster.  Buy new pans if teflon is scratched.  Throw away any wooden spoons/cutting boards.  Buy a new strainer.  Buy new plastic food storage products.  If it is pourous or scratched...it must go.  Vacuume out all your cupboards and wash them.  Same with pantry.  These are just some of the things celiac's deal with on a regular basis.  It is very difficult to trust your food prep to someone other than yourself.  This is why many celiacs do not dine out often and is why a third degree questioning is necessary and why it is necessary for staff to take you seriously, regardless of the fad dieters out there.

 

Good Luck :)

 

Colleen


HAVE A SUPER SHINY DAY

 

LTES gem 2014


*Multiple AI Diseases

*General Insanity


"We cautiously travel through life to arrive safely at our death" - J. R. C. , my Son.

 

Are We There Yet? and Dad says...All you have to do it ride it out.

 

Comments/views/opinions expressed on the site are my own and are not representative of Forum Admin/Owner

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

 

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You might want to subscribe to the Gluten Free Watchdog. It's $4.99 per month. 

https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org

 

They test 8 products per month. You get a notification in your inbox each time a product is tested -- they do 2 products at the time. Just this month a Rolled Oats product labeled gluten free tested well above 20 ppm of gluten. 

 

This is a great site, I am glad I signed up with them.  I highly recommend them.  They also have some great informative articles that can really deepen your understanding of things like gluten contamination in food processes, etc.


I am my husband's "Silly Yak Girl" :)

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in January 2013. I also have Lupus and Common Variable Immunodeficiency(CVID) for which I am on IVIG.

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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If you have pets feed the gluten free pet food. Not everyone does this -- not everyone agrees thai is necessary but if you are like me & love & kiss on your dog (or cat) all the time then it's not a bad idea. We all know cats lick themselves but dogs lick themselves in many places too. I feel much better knowing I don't have to worry about my dog having gluten spit. Yes, I wash my hands before eating or cooking anything but I don't always immediately run & wash my hands after touching my dog. If I did that all I would ever do would be pet the dog & wash my hands. :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

Oh, to add to what Colleen said --- you have to buy all new condiments to make sure they aren't contaminated with gluten. And if you have gluten eaters in your household you have to mark those condiments as yours & yours alone so they don't get cross contaminated. 

Well here; you can get a lot of info. out of the Newbie 101 thread.:

https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/91878-newbie-info-101/


Gluten free Dec. 2011
Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Reynaud's October 2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis October 2018

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If you wear makeup you are going to have to check with the makeup companies to make sure that the makeup you are wearing is gluten free.  Also check out your soaps and conditioner and facial products, lotions etc.  Most of the information lines are only open 9-5. Check any over the counter medication that you take for gluten. Good Luck. 

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Check prescription meds too.


Gluten free Dec. 2011
Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Reynaud's October 2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis October 2018

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Sorry I had not seen your messages earlier. I'm a former chef and ACF Hawaii president who has had celiac for about 10 years. I work with and advise many of resort chefs in Hawaii where I'm located. At the beginning, there was a vey large learning  curve which took some time. Ten years ago  less than 1% of the guests had a dietary requirement. Currently each hotel on the KOna coast reports its at 12% of our guests require Gluten free, Vegetarian, Vegan Raw, lactose free diets. Each hotel has a dedicated  gluten-free area and storage as well as stock are or dedicated metro cage.  Every year or so at one of our ACF monthly lunches we have a educational lunch where I invite a number of other celiacs and the chefs can watch how we go through a buffet line both before and after others  go through. This  has helped them to mitigate  cross contamination issues which is the biggest fear for many of us more sensitive celiacs.  

 

Most of our Exec chefs at resorts here like the Fairmont and Four Seasons are most interested in  substitute grains. Having trained in Japan 30+ years ago I usually recommend they  work with  buckwheat flour or "sobako".  It can be used  in so many ways...

 

Good luck with your project.

ken

Hello Again All,

 I want to thank everyone for replying and contributing insight into your food frustrations. I keep saying it's one thing to cook it, it's another thing to live it.

I have decided to challenge myself, for 30 days, of going completely gluten-free. Like a secret shopper, so to speak, for my industry. I want to experience what it's like on the other end-I want to live these frustrations. My hope is that following my "shopping", I can report back to the restaurants (as an insider) and offer them insight. When I'm not dining out, I'll be testing products at home (and at work) and attempting to make some of your long lost favorites.  

I'll be reporting back with my findings. Keep the suggestions coming for food goodies missed or product favorites. (Especially gluten-free beer)

Cheers,

Chef Patterson


"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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It's pretty neat that you are willing to try and learn about our situation.

 

Here's some background info for you and threads that might be interesting.  You "DO NOT" have to read all this stuff! :D

 

I made a list of tips for gluten-free beginners a while back.  Here they are:

 

Some starting the gluten-free diet tips for the first 6 months for interest:

Get tested before starting the gluten-free diet.
Get your vitamin/mineral levels tested also.
Don't eat in restaurants
Eat only whole foods not processed foods.
Eat only food you cook yourself, think simple foods, not gourmet meals.
Take probiotics.
Take gluten-free vitamins.
Take digestive enzymes.
Avoid dairy if it causes symptoms.
Avoid sugars and starchy foods. They can cause bloating.
Avoid alcohol.
Watch out for cross contamination.

 

Falling off the gluten-free wagon Post #37
https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/67218-falling-off-the-gluten-free-wagon/?hl=%2Bfalling+%2Boff+%2Bthe+%2Bgluten-free+%2Bwagon

 

How bad is cheating?
https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/94443-how-bad-is-cheating-on-the-gluten-free-dietperiodically/
 

Anger, Quick Temper, Depression
https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/34917-anger-quick-temper-depression/

 

Gliadin Triggers Innate Immune Reaction in Celiac and Non-celiac Individuals
https://www.celiac.com/articles/23149/1/Gliadin-Triggers-Innate-Immune-Reaction-in-Celiac-and-Non-celiac-Individuals/Page1.html

 

Night sweats
https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/7242-night-sweats/page__hl__%20night%20%20sweat

Celiac disease symptoms
https://www.celiac.com/articles/1106/1/Celiac-Disease-Symptoms/Page1.html

 

a little on elimination diets:

 

An elimination diet is pretty simple really.  You don't need to read a lot of theories about it or prescribed foods to eat etc.  Just pick out 5 foods that you don't think will bother you and eat only those foods.  After 2 weeks if you feel better then you are most likely ok with those foods.  So pick out one additional food to add to your diet, again something that you don't think you will react too.  It your same diet with plenty of that new food for 3 days.  If you get sick then that new food is probably the reason.  So eliminate it and try again.

Everything counts though, coffee, tea, sodas, spices, vitamin pills, meds, etc.  Anything you consume is a potential problem, not just food.

 

A brain in the head, a brain in the gut NY Times  (serotonin, gut depression link)
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/24/health/24iht-snbrain.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

Zero gluten for some celiac patients can help.  Fassano article
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-230X/13/40

 

Ubo's, Epilepsy And Celiac
https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/20198-ubos-epilepsy-and-celiac/?hl=%2Bunidentified+%2Bbright+%2Bobject
 


Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."

Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.

Thyroid cyst and nodules, Lactose / casein intolerant. Diet positive, gene test pos, symptoms confirmed by Dr-head. My current bad list is: gluten, dairy, sulfites, coffee (the devil's brew), tea, Bug's Bunnies carrots, garbanzo beans of pain, soy- no joy, terrible turnips, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, celery, strawberries, pistachios, and hard work. Have a good day! 🙂 Paul

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Hey, it's awesome that you are doing this! There is only 10 restaurants I will take my gluten-free teenager to here. We learned the hard way that some restaurants gluten-free menu is just options from the regular menu that are already gluten-free which means, the kitchen isn't even told the person is gluten-free.

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I think what you are doing is great, however, you will not get the full experience because you will have no reaction when the waiter, menu, kitchen staff, manager, etc. is wrong.  Our extended family is constantly rolling their eyes when we decline dinner invitations because they just don't get it.  If the place has a gluten free menu, why don't we just enjoy it?  The consequences of putting our health into someone else's hands - a stranger who may or may not know what they are doing - is just too great.  And, too stressful.  Sometimes I can't even enjoy my meal because I am so worried about what may happen tomorrow.  

 

We have a limited number of places we trust (CPK is one, but only the location at the Pru, not the one downtown) and sometimes even that can be inconsistent.  The fantastic waiter one day may not be there the next time.

 

If I was just "choosing" to be gluten-free, there would be 100s of options for me.  The reality is very different that what it may appear.

 

Maybe you could get those test strips (never tried them) and test each meal to see how often mistakes really happen.

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