Dos and Don'ts for Preparing andServing

Gluten Free Meals in Hawaii'sRestaurants.



Make sure menuitems that are marked as Gluten Free (GF) are Gluten Free.

(If not, yourguest will be sick and in pain an average of 3 days)


Have dedicatedGF utensils, tongs and cookware that are ONLY used for GF preparation.


Clean grill orpans thoroughly before cooking a GF protein.

(A dedicatedgrill, cook top or gluten free area is recommended.)


Make sure anysauce used in a GF meal does not include shoyu (Soy Sauce), flour or thickenermade from vegetable protein. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein can come from wheat.If cornstarch, potato starch or tapioca starch is used, make sure it is 100%pure and not mixed.


If polenta isserved make sure it is 100% polenta. Often polenta and food service corn breadmixes contain wheat or barley.


Soba in Hawaiicontains wheat unless it is marked clearly as juwari soba or made from 100%soba or buckwheat. Buckwheat or kasha is not wheat but must be 100% pure.


Consider usingquinoa grain.


Do washthoroughly and/or change gloves before prepping a GF meal.


Make sure thereis no cross contamination with utensils, plates or foodstuffs that contain foodwith gluten.


GF meals shouldnot be plated near baking areas or near breads.

(One tiny crumbcan cause a celiac to have major problems)


Keep glasses andbeverages away from any bread.


Servers shouldask at the table if there are other food allergies the chef needs to be awareof.


Read labels. Ifin doubt about an ingredient, research or ask the executive chef. Do notinclude it in GF meal until you are absolutely sure there is no gluten proteinderivative.




Don't make a GFsalad then put croutons on it.


Servers shouldcarry plates with GF meals separately. Do not carry a GF meal on a tray withother meals. Beverages for celiac patrons should be carried separately, nottogether with beer or other drinks.


Bread should bekept away from patrons who ordered GF meals.


Do not serveanything with barley malt extract, malt or beer.


Don't useanything in a sauce or reduction that you are not sure of. That includes mixedspices, alcohol with caramel coloring or pre-made mixes, especially foodservice chicken and beef stock.






Celiacs cannoteat anything with wheat, Rye, barley or oats.

They can havecorn, rice quinoa and potatoes provided there is no cross contamination andthat they are 100% pure.


Chemicals inprepared foods can often contain wheat. Make sure what you use is safe.


Shoyu or SoySauce is wheat. (Keep wheat free shoyu (like San-J brand) on hand

Soba in Hawaiiis either 40% or 60% wheat but a wide selection of gluten free pastas areavailable from distributors or at local health food stores. Keep some on handand you'll make unexpected guests very happy.


Panko isbreadcrumbs therefore wheat.


Noodles likepasta and saimin are made from wheat and potentially deadly.


Furikake andnori is not consistently gluten free. Some types are processed with soy sauceand therefore dangerous.


Ponzu, teriyakiand other sauces contain wheat. You can easily create your own with wheat freesoy sauce and Fresh Island citrus.



Notes Members


Watch outfor syrups and sweet sauces, as well as unexpected ingredients (usually malts)in ice creams. And watch the beverages (hot and cold) for hidden additives(artificial creamers, for example-- and then there is root beer and somelemonade!) and salad dressings.


Cheese isanother problem-- you really have to watch the blues. Most of them are startedwith bread mold! You have to call the manufacturer and ask. Don't put bluecheese on the same plate as other cheeses that people with allergens can enjoy.


Alsowatch out for dextrin's, "spices," "flavoring," (malto)dextrin and starches in foreign products from countries that do not have thesame label laws as in the US. Some foreign "gourmet" items may seemsafe but are not.  Oyster sauces,fish sauces, etc. are all tricky and often dangerous for celiacs and others.


Somecommercial charcoal contains gluten, which can affect what's being cooked orprocessed. Dry roasted nuts can often be affected this way.


NEVERremove croutons from a salad and call it "gluten-free"--it ISN'T,because tiny crumbs from those croutons will remain and cause a serious reactionin a person with celiac. You will have to make a fresh salad with no croutons.


"Makesure any sauce used in a gluten-free meal does not include shoyu..."

"Shoyuor Soy Sauce is mostly wheat. "

"Keepwheat free shoyu (like San-J brand) on hand "



As adiner, I would add:


Whenbringing any complimentary item to the table, clarify for each restricted dinerwhether it is 'safe' or not for them (for example, amuse bouche items,chocolates with the bill, etc.)


Tell anyrestricted diners whether other diners' dishes are 'safe' for them to sample -the whole table doesn't need to be gluten-free, but it's great if you are thegluten-free diner to know what else you can taste!


Confirmas you set down the restricted diner's plate that the restriction has beenhonored - for example, "here is the grilled salmon with quinoa substitutedfor the pasta".

If morethan one server is bringing items to the table, have each server acknowledgethe food restriction the first time they visit the table


If therestaurant takes reservations, ideally the food restriction can be noted on thereservation & the server will confirm when arriving at the table (reallymakes restricted diners feel the restaurant pays attention and 'gets' thesituation)


DO NOTask a gluten-free diner if they would like bread with their meal (unless it'sgluten-free bread). This is so disconcerting to me and my husband when eatingat a supposedly "gluten-free" restaurant. It really makes us wonderif they're going to fix the rest of the meal safely, and it makes theestablishment look bad.



Ken Love

with commentsfrom members of