Archive for March, 2011

Update on Chef Damian Cardone

Yesterday I blogged about Damian Cardone, the Colorado chef who went on a rant on his Facebook page admitting to poisoning those with Celiac disease.

Although his Facebook page appears to be shut down, here’s a snapshot of the page yesterday:

Damian Cardone

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Head Chef at U.S. Restaurant Calls Gluten-Free “BS”

Damian Cardone, a chef at Florindo’s Italian Cuisine in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, has posted this on his Facebook page:

Gluten free is bullshit!! Flour and bread have been a staple of life for thousands, THOUSANDS of years. People who claim to be gluten intolorent dont realize that its all in there disturbed liitle heads. People ask me for gluten free pasta in my restaurant all the time, I tell em sure, Then I serve serve em our pasta, Which I make from scratch with high gluten flour. And you know what? nothing, NOTHING! ever happens! People leave talking about how good they feel gluten free and guess what, They just had a full dose! Idiots!”

There is also this gem: “May god help the Liberal hippie idiot whos going to ask for gluten free pasta this weekend.”

This is just appalling. It looks like the Reddit hivemind is taking some action… but it’s terrible to see such appalling, harmful behavior from someone who is supposed to be an executive chef in the food industry.

UPDATE: The Facebook pages referenced above are now unavailable. Will keep you up to date if I hear more on this winner of a chef!

UPDATE 2: Here

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Gluten-Free Food is a Tax Deduction!

We just found out something interesting while doing our taxes: you can claim the higher cost of gluten-free food as a medical expense. The official Canadian government site is here, while information about the United States tax ruling is here. (If you’re outside of these two areas, check with your tax agency to see if you are eligible.)

Basically, you need to prepare a summary sheet showing the average cost of each item, the cost of the gluten-free item, what the difference is, and how many of that item you purchased during the year. You can then claim the total difference as a medical expense. In the United States, you can claim mileage and shipping costs, too!  You need all of your receipts and a letter from a doctor stating that you do have Celiac disease.

It sounds like a pain in the butt, but a little work all year could really help offset the costs of gluten-free food, particularly for low income families. Get your gluten-free tax year off to a great start!

I’ve created an Excel template to summarize the claimable expenses for Canada. (U.S. residents might want to add travel claims to this sheet.) You can download it here.

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Bear’s New Venture MIXes Things Up!

I’ve never visited any of famed chef Bear’s restaurants, so when he opened MIX Fresh Kitchen last November, Mike and I were eager to try it. Reviews described it as budget-friendly upscale comfort food, and MIX certainly delivers on that (although it took me two visits to appreciate this unique approach). On our first visit, Mike was impressed by the curry maple glazed chicken ($13), but I was unimpressed by the 10 oz. New York striploin ($25; one of only two items over $20 on the menu). My steak first arrived with gluten-filled gravy, and then was returned lukewarm and flavourless. I figured, however, that it wasn’t fair to do a review on their soft opening, so we returned last week to give it a fair shot.

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Kim’s Recipe for Gluten-Free Mozzarella Sticks

One of the few things that I really, really miss since starting the gluten-free diet is mozzarella sticks. There is just nothing like fried, gooey cheese to raise my spirits (or fix a hangover!).

I have tried to make gluten-free mozza sticks half a dozen times. The results have ranged from inedible to slightly scary. This week, I adjusted a recipe from Company’s Coming and had the biggest success so far.

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Gluten-Free Microbrewery Opening in Montreal

A gluten-free brewery is opening in Montreal, Quebec! Called Brasseurs Sans Gluten (literally, Brewers Without Gluten), they plan on being ready to ship early this summer. Beer will originally be available only in Quebec but hopefully they will expand shipping!

Although their Facebook page is in French, there is an English page on their site (http://brasseurssansgluten.com/) where you can sign up for news. We’ll keep you up to date as we hear more!

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Exciting News! ImmusanT Working on Offering Celiac Therapy!

Cambridge, Massachusetts startup company ImmusanT has officially started working on therapy for Celiac disease! It looks like they still have a few years to go, and various phases of drug trials are still required, but it’s very promising.

The premise is simple: treat the disease like an allergy, with regular injections for gluten. Read more at:  Mass High Tech Business News.

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