Chef Mark Barrett

I’ve found an interesting correlation between restaurants that do a great job highlighting their gluten free options and the chef’s behind the scene; the chef’s of these restaurants have family or friends who are gluten intolerant, and recognize how difficult a dining experience can be. These chef’s also realize how important it is to ensure that everyone who visits their restaurant can enjoy their menu. When I went to Pagani, I was incredibly impressed with the gluten free options on the menu; the menu was naturally very gluten free and gluten free pasta was offered to accommodate all the GF pasta lovers. I had the opportunity to connect with Chef Mark Barrett, and learned why and how he caters to those with gluten sensitivities.
“Gluten free dining has gone through the roof and I recognize how important it is in todays’ restaurant offerings. My father developed his gluten intolerance eight years ago and has been preaching to me about it ever since. Because of these things the Pagani menu is largely gluten free. All entrees, salads, sliced meats, cheeses, and sides are 100% gluten free. Half or our starters are gluten free and the other half can easily be made gluten free by leaving out the toasts. Beyond that, every pasta, except for the stuffed pastas (ravioli and tortelloni), can be made gluten free. We have corn spaghetti and quinoa penne available daily to substitute. These substitutes, especially the corn spaghetti, have been receiving heavily increased attention. The GF people love it!”
Chef Mark also noted that he will be making his own gluten-free pasta this year; and I will absolutely be back to try! Thank you, Chef Mark.

Chef Bryce Shuman

Ever since his mom became gluten free 10 years ago, Bryce Shuman, executive Chef at Betony NYC has catered his cooking to accommodate the gluten free lifestyle. In creating Betony, Bryce exclaims “I wanted my mom to be able to eat here.” Well, after my experience, I have to imagine his mom has had MANY wonderful meals at Betony NYC…

Regarding his menu… Not only does Bryce have the servers ask if there are any allergies at the table, but he prides himself on the fact that just about everything on his menu is already OR can be made gluten free…. and this starts with the dinner roll! When I caught up with Bryce this week, he explained how he would see his mom unable to indulge in what the rest of the table was eating, and he didn’t want anyone to have this experience and feel left out at his restaurant. The result? Gluten free bread, cheddar crackers, and breadsticks; all identical to their gluten counterparts! Bryce’s bread consists of rice flour, tapioca flour, and potato starch, and xanthan gum is used for elasticity.

On educating his staff… Allergies are talked about every day. Shellfish and fin-fish are kept separate and mushrooms are kept away from all other vegetables. Bryce tries to control allergens and cross contamination any way he can. He even educates his dining room staff on the difference between each kind of nut, and what vegetables and roots fall under “nightshades.”

Is Anything not 100% GF?… Right now, there is no gluten free pasta at Betony, but this will likely change down the line. One dish that pasta is used in is the poached egg entree. As Bryce emphasizes, all dishes ARE or can be made gluten free, and this dish is still nobread approved when you ask for nopasta (Bryce uses extra truffle to make up for the lack of noodle). Another favorite on the dinner menu is the lasagna. This lasagna is actually made with an acorn noodle; however, it still contains a SMALL amount of gluten.

A gluten free dish you wouldn’t expect… the fried pickles! The tempura on the fried pickles IS gluten free and there is no cross contamination in the fryers.

Thank you, Bryce, for making it SO easy to be gluten free at Betony, and job well done on perfecting delicious gluten free alternatives.