Now serving: The gluten-free menu
IT IS ESTIMATED that one in seven Americans has a genetic sensitivity to gluten (the elastic protein found in wheat, barley, and other grains), and restaurants and professional chefs are taking notice.
Aside from being found in foods like breads and pastas, gluten is used as a thickener for soups, sauces, and salad dressings, a stabilizer for ice cream and puddings, and fermented in condiments like Worcestershire sauce, soy cause, and certain vinegars, which can be brewed from wheat.
Richard Vellante, executive chef and executive vice president of restaurants for the Legal Seafoods chain, was persuaded to create a gluten-free menu when he tallied the number of guests who mentioned gluten in their comment cards or e-mailed him via the company's Webs site. Vellante and his team spent four months devising a gluten-free menu that replaces traditional wheat flour with chickpea four in items such as salad croutons, batter for friend clams, and crumb topping for Boston scrod. Outback Steakhouse introduced its first gluten-free menu after being approached by a gluten-sensitivity support group. Today the menu is offered at all Outback restaurants, and the recipe for its top-selling chocolate dessert is now gluten-free.
Many ethnic restaurants have gluten-free offerings, as well. At all 182 P.F. Chang China Bistros, 15 entrees and starters and one dessert are available wheat-free, and many Italian restaurants can substitute gluten-free pastas.
For a list of restaurants in the United States and abroad with gluten-free menus, visit http://www.glutenfreeonthego.com/ . - Louise Kasdon
Sad to say, the Legal Seafood chain is located on the east and southcoasts of America, so that means none for us here in Indiana. You can visit their website at: http://www.legalseafoods.com/index.cfm/page/Home