The Risotto Experience


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Eating out as a celiac can have the potential for frustration. It is really useful if you have a general idea of what dishes contain before choosing as it is really frustrating to get your mouth in the right shape for a particular dish and then find out it isn’t suitable.

Asking the waiter or waitress to find out from the kitchen as you are passed the menus what is gluten free is often very productive.

If you are booking in advance try sending them letter template in “Live Well – Eat Well With Celiac Disease" which outlines the things you can eat and clearly states what you need to avoid, before you go. Another strategy is to keep a copy in your purse or wallet so you can offer it when you arrive. Be mindful that in a pressurised restaurant I can’t guarantee they will read it and take it in.

If it is a place you use regularly it is worth making a time to talk to the chef during their quiet times. Give them the What You Can And Can’t Eat sections of the ebook or suggest they purchase a copy of their own for future reference.

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, you can come unstuck.

Twice in the last month I have had the same experience when eating out.

I looked at the menu and saw a risotto as a starter- I really fancied it. A risotto should be perfectly safe if made by traditional methods. When the waitress in the first restaurant returned from checking what I wanted it was not included in the list. I asked her to check it out, she came back with the reply – “It has rice in it so you can’t have it. "

Now as you know if you have read the book, all types of pure rice are gluten free. As the customer you now have to decide whether to chose something else or to challenge their understanding of gluten free. On the first occasion there was something else on the menu I liked the look of so I let it go.

A week later in a different restaurant the same thing happened but I decided to take it further and asked her to get a list of ingredients. It turned out that rather than using homemade stock they were using a bought in mixture which contained wheat flour.

Always check things out because you never know.

For those of you who like risotto and would like to make it at home Ann has created fantastic risotto recipe for this month’s newsletter. Visit our website and Enjoy!

Gina Gardiner author of “Live Well Eat Well With Celiac Disease" writes from first hand experience of being a celiac. For more information go to

Works as a professional life coach working with people developing their leadership skills, preparing people for promotion and supporting their ongoing development once in post. For more information contact gina.


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