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Reader: Why is it all chefs believe they are experts in gluten allergies?

Jason Lebeau at Coohills.
Jason Lebeau at Coohills.
Lori Midson

For the most recent Chef and Tell, Lori Midson interviewed pastry chef Jason Lebeau of Coohills, who revealed that "only the people who went somewhere else first...and had dinner there" only eat dessert first. But it was his response to another question that raised the ire of one reader. See also: - Chef and Tell with Jason Lebeau of Coohills - Denver's Gluten Free Gladiator is Mr. May - Reader: Gluten-free diets are not a fad

Asked what trend he'd like to see disappear in 2013, Lebeau responded:

The gluten-free fad. I've read that only about 1 percent of Americans are truly celiac, yet everyone seems to think they need to eat gluten-free these days. Eat some fresh fruit or a chocolate bar if you can't have gluten.

Says this commenter:

I just read your interview with Jason Lebeau.

I must say it might be an off-the-cuff comment for him but it shows a greater problem in some Denver chefs and definitely in the culinary world. Why is it that all chefs believe they are experts in gluten allergies? His comment of "I just read this article blah blah" that immediately makes him a better expert on gluten allergies than people with the allergy, allergist, scientists, doctors, nutritionists and the science community combined. That kind of blasé statement leads to no respect for a gluten-free menu in kitchens even when present.

Celiac is one thing, then there is "gluten sensitive" which is more of an allergic reaction (vomit, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms). We had one chef who admitted to placing flour in gluten-free items. WTF? I'm not gluten-free; my fiance has sensitivity to it and the effects are brutal.

In addition, claiming those that are gluten-free should limit their options not only was contrary to everything he said prior about being places being dated and narrow. Denver is like in the top five for cities that have gluten-free options. I know theirs will always be cross-contaminated. Going to culinary school does not in an way equate a science degree.

What do you think of how Denver restaurants handle the gluten-intolerance issue? If your diet is gluten-free, where do you eat? And if you go for gluten, what do you think of the gluten-free trend?

Post your comments below. And watch for a new Chef and Tell interview to be posted here later this morning.



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