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sneako

*sniff* I Need Help!

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Today at work I was given the task of making a single entree for one person that was with a family of 7 shellfish free, because the person is deathly allergic to shellfish. Now, as a Caliac I started to freak out, as a Chef I know what its like to deal with picky customers and I used to make fun of people like Celiacs for being so damn picky, but now that I am one...

I picked a new saute pan, grabbed a new set of tongs, opened a new can of crushed tomatoes, grabbed a new ladle for a newly made batch of marinara, and used a bleached plate. I started sweating instantly, I was nearvous beyond belief. Now, I've been gluten free for about a week and a half and have felt no real big difference in my abdominal region since, and it still hurts often, and I have runny stools... But thinking that this person could die from my actions made me really think. The longer I'm gluten free, the worse the reaction is that I have if I accidently injest some gluten. Why bother going gluten free then? Some others on another post warned me to find another career, I'm planning on becomming a chef, I know of no chef that is famous because of gluten free crap, what am I going to be then? I try so hard to be the best chef I can be, whether it is flowering veal to brown nicely (250 pieces! 20 minutes of work, my chef walked up to me when I had my undershirt above my nose and mouth and said "Mike, are you getting weird?" in an Italian accent, "No sir, just freaked out about the flour, besided, I'm always weird :)" he didnt say anything, just turned around and continued on his b usiness) or rolling out some wheat pizza dough to make a wood fired pizza, what am I going to end up!? Am I going to HAVE to choose a different career!? Please help !!! Any chefs out there!?I wash my hands so oft en everyday that it sparks up my "eczema" DH?(or whatever its called..) blood tests are out there. I'm sooooo confused PLEASE HELP!!!

And I was recently prescribed with Seroquel which I do believe I am now addicted to, can't sleep at all unless I take some. And when I say I can't sleep, I mean I Can't Sleep At All!! I am also on Prozac (for depression) and Flonase (for stuffy nose for my CPAP machine, diagnosed with Sleep Apnea 6 or so months ago))

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Guest nini

you say there are no chefs that are famous for this gluten free crap? Well, why don't you change that! There are so many Celiacs that would be eternally grateful to you if you devoted your energy to serving only gluten free meals... oh, and what about the Chef from Whole Foods that has gotten national coverage because he has Celiac and started making Gluten Free baked goods at the stores and then opened up the dedicated facility where Whole Foods makes his Gluten Free Bakehouse line... I think his name is Lee Tobin... yeah...

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/pr_10-04-04.html

and what about the Chef that just opened up the first gluten free cafe and market in Michigan? Chef Andrew and Bel Cibo?

http://belcibo.com/

I'm sure if you really wanted to you could create a niche for yourself... Where there is a will there is a way my momma always says...

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you say there are no chefs that are famous for this gluten free crap? Well, why don't you change that!

I totally agree with Nini!!! You could be world famous! You have something to offer that others do not! YOU know to look at broths and soups, where others might not!!! I say stick with it, if you want to, because you could change things for a lot of people, and get rich and famous doing it!!!!

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I just drove over 50 miles one way to Bel Cibo, chef Andrew's new place in Michigan. If you want to be a gluten free chef you will have the most dedicated following of customers waiting for you. You could be there to help the newly diagnosed learn how to cook all over again.

Reminds me of the old, "When life hands you lemons...."

I think everyone will agree, after you get diagnosed, there is a lot of personal growth that has to happen. Your relationships with people, social situations, and responsibility for your diet all change dramatically. You have to make some tough decisions, tell people very firmly "NO" you can not eat the family special recipe dessert, the try and force on you. I have told a neighbor that I can not accept a last minute invitation over for a birthday party, because I need enough notice to make a gluten free substitution for my kids to have for the cake. I don't need anyone rolling their eyes about the fact I carry healthy snacks around in my purse for emergencies.

Realize that you can control this, Celiac doesn't control you.

Laura

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Today at work I was given the task of making a single entree for one person that was with a family of 7 shellfish free, because the person is deathly allergic to shellfish. Now, as a Caliac I started to freak out, as a Chef I know what its like to deal with picky customers and I used to make fun of people like Celiacs for being so damn picky, but now that I am one...

Hm. Nice to know we are being made fun of when we try to go out and eat. <_<

Anyway, I think that if you put your efforts into making some really fabulous gluten-free food, you would be successful. Just look at the reaction here when someone finds a *really* good gluten-free product, or a special restaurant. Celiacs are very loyal and appreciative customers, I'm sure that you could build a really successful business around gluten-free items.

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As one of my many varied occupations in my life, one was I was also a chef, but no longer. However, today I thought if I had the funding I would start a gluten-free restaurant. I have a friend who is also a chef that has to be gluten-free and it would be the first of it's kind in the city.

You can change it where you are too. You can become famous for being a gluten-free chef. You would have a killer following and you would not be glutening yourself if you were able to have a place like that.

It would be great to find a backer or backers who need to be gluten-free or have allergies. A restaurant who is gluten-free and adapts to different allergies would have quite a following.

Here we have a vegan restuarant that is straight gluten. Great for vegans but not Celiac or gluten intolerant ones.

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I agree with everybody. Go for it! Even if you don't want to go the "world famous chef" route, you could offer your services occasionally as a celiac educator for the kitchen staffs of local restaurants.

You could set up one day a month or whatever where you would arrange for a restaurant to gather their staff for a brief class on celiac. You can offer your own experience and thoughts as a pre-diagnosis restaurant worker who thought the people who were being picky about their food must just be nuts. Then offer your own experience as a post diagnosis celiac trying to navigate everything from your own kitchen, to restaurant work, to family get-togethers.

The actual concept of celiac is a really easy thing to explain, it's more the convincing people that, as bizarre as it sounds, it's completely true. (Maybe see if your diagnosing doctor (if you like him/her) would be willing to accompany you and give some M.D. validity to what you're saying.) Let them know also the things they need to do to prepare a safe meal for a celiac.

Maybe let them know what a great niche this is to get into. Having just a couple gluten-free options on a special gluten-free menu presented to them by a knowledgable and considerate restaurant staff will bring any celiac to tears. Most of the time it can be the same as something on the regular menu, just prepared differently. And that means very loyal repeat customers, big tips and huge word of mouth advertising. Like mommida said, a celiac will drive for MILES just to go to a restaurant where they can order their food without having someone roll their eyes at them.

It sounds like you're in an Italian restaurant, which might seem like an impossible celiac situation, but there is a great gluten-free pasta called Tinkyada, and Kinnikinnick and Chebe have gluten-free pizza crusts. Maybe you could offer to develop a couple dishes on your off time and when you're ready to make them public do a tasting for the staff to show how easy it can be done. If they like it, maybe it can go on the menu, if not, back to the drawing board.

You could just educate restaurants when you had a chance, and slowly, you'd help educate your whole area. Maybe see if your boss will let you have a few minutes to do a brief presentation to your co-workers.

And, on the rich and famous side, with 1 in 133 people in the general population of the US having celiac (most of whom haven't been diagnosed yet), eventually there will be a show (or at least a special) on the Food Network about gluten-free cooking.

So stick with it. You'll find your way.

Nancy

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See, I don't mind becoming said famous chef, but in order to receive proper training and skills in the kitchen I must work for chefs. And since most chefs are not running gluten free restaurants, and those that are are I'm sure below my skills as of this point, and only do basic stuff, I must work in a gluten ridden restaurant for a good amount more. I do have access to plenty of financial backers in my life however, without the necessary skills to run a restaurant, and no business plan, I have nothing.

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See, I don't mind becoming said famous chef, but in order to receive proper training and skills in the kitchen I must work for chefs. And since most chefs are not running gluten free restaurants, and those that are are I'm sure below my skills as of this point, and only do basic stuff, I must work in a gluten ridden restaurant for a good amount more. I do have access to plenty of financial backers in my life however, without the necessary skills to run a restaurant, and no business plan, I have nothing.

While I can see you may need to work with chefs for a while longer, you do not need to be a chef (or work with flour) to learn how to run a restaurant and develop a business plan. Much of the work beyond that will come from your own talents. So, if this is something you want to do, learn the two things you don't have to learn from a chef, while learning the cooking that you do need chefs for. It will speed up the process. You may also find that there are some places/chefs you can work with that will minimize your exposure (eg - don't work for a pastry chef...).

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yea, I work in an Italian restaurant right now as the pasta cook. Which is terrible I"m sure for me. inhaling water that boils wiht tons of pasta pieces and crap in it, using tongs in said water, touching my food at the end of the night (I make sauce, then take it home and use gluten-free pasta with it), and bah, I'm tired all the time :( But I am finding out more and more things that I have been eating that do have gluten, ie Hornsbys Cider, Beef Jerky (soy sauce), and a few other things I never even thought of.

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Guest nini

Maybe you could be an advocate for gluten free people IN THE CURRENT RESTAURANT THAT YOU WORK IN and get your bosses to implement a gluten free menu, that way you could (at the very least) help make them aware of the issue and maybe even attract a whole new loyal following of customers. I know there are other restaurants that have done this... Check out Maggiano's Italian Restaurant in Atlanta, GA... ask them how they do it... I'm telling ya, it's possible! Where there is a will there is a way and YOU CAN MAKE IT WORK!

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Good idea on the suggesting a gluten-free menu at my restaurant, unfortunently the place I work at now is a chain, mainly out of Cali but 3 here in Denver (btw, I HATE working for chains, and have a "Support your local independent everything. End corporate dominance, Promote Diversity, Stop cultural homogenization" bumper sticker that I live by.) And the Chef at my locale doesnt have too much say, though I will talk to him, maybe he can get it approved for all the locations.

Btw, I got glutened today :( I raided the pizza station at work last sundsy for some pizza sauce, mozz, pepperoni and basil. Made a gluten-free pizza this morning with Namastes dough (btw, is it supposed to be so damn crumbly!?) and tonight I feel like absolute crap, dizzy, nausious, huge stomach ache, the runs, and general stupidity. Then I took a look over at the pizza station, flour EVERYWHERE, in every nook and cranny, even flour in places I didnt know flour could be, and the guy used the ladel to smooth out the sauce on the pizza dough. When I saw it to get my stuff it was all cleaned up, and during service I never even think of other peoples stations. Went through all that trouble, and got glutened. <_<

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poor thing! it must be very frustrating to have to work with all that gluten! i used to be a waitress a few years ago and now i can't imagine how crazy i'd be handling all the bread and whatnot at Cracker Barrel. ;) just know that if you do decide to chef it up and do the restaurant thing, we'll all come see you..

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Here's a site I just came across, and they link to interviews with some chefs who cook gluten-free:

http://www.theglutenfreelifestyle.com/

I don't know if these chefs do gluten-free all the time or just for special occasions or for spas, but you might be able to find out more from them or about them. Also consider, once you're established and educated and can do your own thing, whether a place like New York's Risotteria would want to franchise or expand. There are gluten-free restaurants out there and we all wish there were more of them! Don't give up, but for your own health consider another type of restaurant for now! Best of luck.

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Here's a site I just came across, and they link to interviews with some chefs who cook gluten-free:

http://www.theglutenfreelifestyle.com/

That is a really cool site. :lol:

If you get a business going, or even just get gluten-free menu choices where you work, that would be great. I know I need more restuarant choices.

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I'm still too tired to really do anything anyday. Joining a gym tomorrow to see if I can get back in that rythum (felt great when I used to go). 90% of my walking around I just stare randomly. And while driving, oy, no good, I just stare off at one thing and drive. I take Prozac (Depression), Seroquel (Anti-Schiz(dont think I'm a schiz) and sleeping aid, even though I never had a problem sleeping) and I'm on CPAP for Sleep Apnea.

ps: I apologiize to all for not searching for very long, just one general search then I just get tired of reading. Sunday comics with anything more than this sentence, and I pass over it. If anything longer than that, I get halfway through, and either forget what I read, or just zone off.

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