OK In Health - Gluten Free Goodness

Traveling and Dining Out Gluten Free - August 2018

Expert help navigating the gluten free restaurant scene

By Cathy Lauer

finding a good gulten-free restaurant in canada

Whether you’re newly diagnosed or an old hand at eating gluten free the thought of traveling or even going out for dinner can be a real challenge. For those with a diagnosis of Celiac disease it can be downright scary. Well fear no more. With the help of The Celiac Scene™ you can find restaurants that are well versed in serving those with gluten intolerance.

        I contacted Ellen Bayens the creator of The Celiac Scene to give a history of the Scene and what you can expect to find when you go to the site.

        Ellen Bayens was diagnosed with Celiac disease 6 years ago at the age of 48 but like so many celiacs, symptoms of the disorder were present since childhood. Her mother had CD and so did her mother before her. She joined the Victoria Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association almost immediately and so began her career as a celiactivist!

As a way to welcome delegates to the National Conference that her Chapter hosted in 2008, Ellen created a simple map to local celiac-friendly restaurants to encourage them to head out on the town with confidence in their hearts, and maps in hand!

“Make a map for our city,” was the delighted cry and www.theceliacscene.com was born! Now the considered restaurant recommendations of local celiac communities across Canada have are available to all in a single comprehensive resource.

TheCeliacScene™ is proud to be the only restaurant resource in North America whose entries are pre-screened by celiacs, for celiacs. Restaurants cannot post their own testimonials nor can they purchase a listing on the site.  The Celiac Scene™ solicits and, more importantly, acts upon the feedback it receives from its users. Those restaurants that fail to maintain the standards that celiac diners require are promptly removed from the site. Safety is our top priority.

That said, it should be noted that TheCeliacScene™ exists as a guide and not a guarantee.  Dining out carries risks that every gluten-free diner must calculate for themselves. Any given meal is only as safe as the server and chef on shift. The decision to partake always rests solely upon the individual diner. See http://bit.ly/CFConversation  for tips on How to Start the Conversation on Celiac-Friendly Dining or how to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Proactive restaurateurs who contact TheCeliacScene™ on their own behalves or are recommended by website users are invited to outline the practices they have in place to minimize or prevent cross contamination, share how they source gluten-free ingredients and explain their staff awareness program. Where possible, the local support group is notified and a follow-up phone call or in-person visit takes place before the restaurant is finally posted on the site.

While the Canadian Celiac Association works toward developing an official restaurant certification program, some restaurants in Canada have already embraced the highly regarded Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program. See [glutenfreerestaurants.org] . Look for the GIG symbol on Scene Maps.

TheCeliacSceneTM provides links to over 65 chains in North America that make a corporate commitment to meeting the needs of gluten-free diners. Identifying logos, links to locations, nutritional information, allergen guides and even gluten-free menus are offered so that the gluten free can navigate their lives with confidence no matter where they are. Please see http://bit.ly/GFNAChains.

Every year, TheCeliacScene™ proudly donates it’s map-making expertise to the organizing committees of celiac conferences across North America. Interactive online maps serve to promote registrations and hard-copy welcome maps embolden out-of-towners to dine out and support the local restaurant scene.  In 2011, TheCeliacScene™ was very proud to map out the locations of over 800 restaurants across Canada and the U.S. participating in Chef to Plate, a grass roots campaign to promote celiac awareness spearheaded by the Gluten Intolerance Group of NA®.

Revenue required to cover the not insignificant cost to establish and maintain this free resource is generated from the modest advertising fee paid by restaurants who wish to upgrade their basic listing and qualifying retailers and gluten-free manufacturers. In this way, we hope to connect and support each and every member of TheCeliacScene™.

        As you can see this is an amazing resource for all those celiacs wishing to continue eating out and traveling to other place in Canada and feeling confident that they can find a restaurant meal along the way. If you have questions about The Scene or want to add a restaurant you feel safe eating at contact Ellen directly through The Celiac Scene website.

        Enjoy Eating Out Again!

 




Cathy LauerCathy's Bio: Cathy Lauer has been cooking/baking gluten/dairy free for 17 years. She has written 3 all baking cookbooks and has a gluten free baking blog/store. In her spare time she loves to garden in a big way with fruit, vegetable and flower gardens. She is a classically trained singer and loves to read and collect recipe books. She homeschools her youngest son (11) and has 3 grown children and is grandmother of 2. Cathy's Gluten Free Creations Ltd. Gourmet Gluten Free Baking. Cookbooks and Baking Mixes. 250-758-5232 - Cathy Lauer Website - Email


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