Chef’s Comments Spark Outcry from Gluten-Free Community

March 30, 2011

Chef’s Comments Spark Outcry from Gluten-Free Community

In a Facebook post, a man who described himself as a chef stated that he’s intentionally served gluten when diners request gluten-free.

A man who described himself as a chef has come under fire for making light of gluten-free needs.

In a Facebook post, Chef Damian Cardone stated that he had intentionally served gluten-containing pasta to diners who requested a gluten-free meal. The chef clarified his note by stating that while some people do suffer from celiac disease, “the majority of of [sic] these people are jumping on the band wagon because its [sic] now the popular fad diet.”

The comment surfaced in a forum post on, sparking an uproar in the celiac and gluten-free community. The Facebook post has since been circulated on gluten-free blogs and in tweets calling for action to be taken against the chef. The blog Injera and Chocolate Gravy posted an open letter to Cardone, while John Libonati of Gluten Free Works wrote a letter to Colorado state’s Attorney General. More than 150 individuals have commented in response to a post about the issue on Celiac Handbook’s Facebook page.

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness encourages those in the foodservice industry to learn about celiac disease and the medical need for safely prepared gluten-free food by completing Gluten-Free Resource Education and Awareness Training (GREAT). To learn more about gluten-free training through GREAT, visit

Update (3/31):According to reports, Cardone left his position at Florindo’s, a restaurant based in Glenwood Springs, CO, on March 15. Florindo’s owner Florent Gallicchio said Cardone was not a chef, but a server at the restaurant. He assured customers that gluten-free and other food allergy concerns are taken seriously at the establishment.

The story has been reported in several mainstream news outlets, including: