25 Oct 2012

The Author

Sheryl Goldstein
Sheryl is the founder of The No Gluten Solution: Feeding Family and Friends, which is the culmination of her talents, skills, and her personal desire to develop an effortless style of cooking good food, making her guests comfortable, and always having an excuse for a dinner party.


4 Star Restaurant Meal of ...

I need to complain, and feel like a spoiled brat doing it, but what happened the other night is really bugging me.

I was invited for a personally prepared tasting meal by the chef of a 4 star NYC restaurant. The chef was aware of my gluten restrictions and I was so looking forward to a world-class dinner without compromise.  It is an incredible invitation for any food lover, but even more so for me since there are often few gluten-free menu options.

My husband and I dressed for the occasion and couldn’t wait to share this experience, one that we don’t often have since my diagnosis.  We arrived at the restaurant and were treated as royalty-given the best table, fussed over by the staff and reminded that the chef was creating a five course meal, just for us.

Let me start by saying, the food was delicious and beautifully plated.  The service was impeccable, we wanted for nothing.  As the courses were served, my husband and I were served different foods, which is often done by a chef to give the diners the opportunity to taste his many specialties.

A Delicious and Beautiful Plate

But, what I realized after my first course was that the dish I was served was not specifically designed gluten-free, but was in fact an existing dish with the gluten component removed.  I was unable to taste any of my husband’s dishes since they all were made with gluten.  I don’t want to give the impression that the food was less than perfectly prepared and yummy, but I would be lying if I told you that I was very disappointed.

When I was told that a meal was being prepared especially for me, and the chef knew that it had to be prepared gluten-free, I was expecting my meal to be filled with the scrumptious sauces and condiments that is worthy of his talents.  Instead I was served edited versions, which I now call The Tasting Menu of Omission Perhaps the chef thought that his attention to removing gluten from the plate was the best way to approach the issue.

I am making a plea to all the grand chefs who value the patronage of people like me, who love to eat, appreciate fine food and savor the poetry of a great meal, please take the time to create signature dishes that are gluten-free.  I know that I would go back over and over again, bring friends, rave about it to anyone who will listen, if I felt that the chef was thoughtful and offered specially prepared choices.

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