Are you a restaurant interested in being a part of our Chef to Plate program? If so, fill out and submit the following form.
This spring, GIG’s Chef to Plate Program kicks off its 8th year of increasing awareness of both celiac disease and of restaurants which offer gluten-free options. Participating restaurants partner with GIG during the month of May, which is Celiac Awareness Month, to educate their clientele about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. GIG posts a listing of these restaurants so that gluten-free consumers can find out about restaurants which provide gluten-free menu options.
Chef to Plate has reached millions of consumers since its inception, and the program’s goals remain unchanged. This year, GIG will be taking a slightly different approach to achieve the same results.
Our goal is to help you to make educated decisions when you are looking for a place to eat outside of your home. In addition to providing a list of restaurants which offer gluten-free options, you’ll also find important information to consider when evaluating possible restaurant selections. Ultimately, only you can decide whether a particular restaurant/menu selection is something you want to try. Chef to Plate helps you to obtain the information you need to make this determination.
An important note to consumers. Chef to Plate restaurants may or may not be certified by programs such as GIG’s Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) Certification Program. When dining at restaurants which are not certified, it’s especially important to consider the “Restaurant Dining Tips” provided here.
Dining out Gluten-Free:
Increased awareness around gluten-free living has led to more restaurants than ever before offering gluten-free menu items. It is terrific for gluten-free consumers to have these increased options. At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that only you can make the ultimate determination as to whether a restaurant or menu option is something you are comfortable in trying.
Is the restaurant you’re considering certified by a program such as GIG’s Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) Certification program? If so, you know the facility has gone through extensive training, as well as review of processes and ingredients, and you can have a high level of confidence in the safety of its gluten-free menu items.
If the restaurant you are considering is not certified gluten-free, but states it offers gluten-free items, it is up to you to determine whether you are comfortable with the facility’s ability to provide you safe, gluten-free food.
Call ahead and let the establishment know that you must be absolutely gluten-free and inquire as to whether they are equipped to meet this need. Some restaurants may use gluten-free ingredients but may not address prevention of cross-contamination.
Avoid busiest peak hours. When kitchen staff as well as servers are less rushed, they are more likely to attend to your gluten-free needs thoroughly.
Questions to ask when ordering
Restaurants which offers gluten-free menu items should be aware of gluten-free basics but it is still important to ask questions. If your server is unable to answer questions to your satisfaction, see if you can speak with the chef or the manager of the facility. Here are some examples of questions that they should be able to answer for you.
Are gluten-free items prepared and cooked in/on separate, clean surfaces? Cutting boards, serving utensils, sauté pans, grills, frying oil: all of these must be free of cross-contamination.
Salads: Ensure they come with no crouton or gluten-containing dressings. If the staff is unsure about dressing ingredients, ask for oil and vinegar (avoid malt vinegar), or oil and a slice of lemon.
Soups and Sauces: May contain gluten-containing thickeners.
Fried Foods: Make sure that any gluten-free fried item is fried in oil that is not also used for gluten-containing/breaded items.
Confirm your order before eating. Is it the “special” meal you ordered? Were your instruction followed?
When you’ve had a successful dining experience, thank your food server and leave a generous tip. Let them know that they have done a great job for you and make sure to come back!