Carlyn Berghoff and her gluten-free cookbook

Bob and Marianne talk with Carlyn Berghoff about Oktoberfest in Chicago and her new cookbook that has everything gluten free!

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Carlyn Berghoff and daughter Sarah McClure sample a pot of spinach/leek soup at home on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, in Wilmette, Ill. The Berghoffs eat gluten-free as a family since Sarah, 13, was diagnosed with celiac disease. (Shauna Bittle / for the Chicago Tribune)

1 Comment

  • Al

    While Carlyn's one and ten percent statics are widely accepted, she didn't mention that most restauranteurs fail to realize they may lose a much greater percentage of business than that when they chose to ignore the influence that celiacs/gluten-free diners have.

    Whether dining or drinking with friends, family or coworkers, the celiacs/gluten-frees are generally consulted (or at least considered) first on choice of establishment(s) preferred.

    For department outings from work, as a knowledgeable long-time celiac, I am always consulted by the department head's personal assistant, before the final decision is made. And I want a place where all flavorful sauces and complementary side dishes don't have to be removed. [Discerning celiacs can't stand places that remove the ingredients that make a dish good, substitute something lame like boiled/canned vegetables or a few pieces of fruit (or not), and still charge full price.] That's not what most people go out to eat for. Who can't do better than that at home for less?

    As for me, if I'm going for GF pizza, I want a good GF beer with it, or I'll steer my group somewhere else.

    Finally, when I am researching a new restaurant, I will generally trust it more to not cross-contaminate when they have taken the consideration and care to plan a GF menu. However, one thing too many restauranteurs overlook, is to have trained all waitstaff and food preparers in serving celiacs. It is welcomely gratifying when they are and painfully obvious when they are not.

    The GF tail may be wagging the restaurants' dog, but if proprietors that have done little about it yet can realize it soon enough — it will be beneficial to their bottom line with loyal return business.

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