This week the James Beard Foundation nominations came out and I wanted to find out more about whether the restaurants that were nominated were gluten-free friendly.  Now keep in mind, there are approximately 60 awards they give out…so I narrowed it down a bit.

I looked at the “Outstanding Restaurant” category.  Here are the nominations:

August — New Orleans

Blue Hill — NYC

Highlands Bar and Grill — Birmingham, AL

The Slanted door — San Francisco

Spiaggia — Chicago

I wish I could say I had a great response from all of these restaurants when inquired about whether they do gluten-free foods for customers, but I actually only heard from two:

August and Spiaggia

Chef John Besh of August told us via Twitter, “You bet! Even dessert! Just let the staff know and we’ll take great care of you.”

Chad Bertelsman of Spiaggia replied back to my email and said they also can accommodate gluten-free requests.  “Of course pasta is a big part of what we do.  We always have at least one variety of gluten-free pasta available, though not generally on the menu. We ask all of our guests when they book a reservation if they have any special requests or dietary needs. When the server first approaches a guest who does not eat gluten they already know to let the guest know we have gluten-free pasta to offer.”

Whether it is these restaurants or some of the other dozens of restaurants on the JBF list, I am sure the chefs will be forthcoming in helping you determine if you can eat gluten-free there safely.

I also need to highlight the folks who are doing great things in Minnesota too.

The Butcher and the Boar‘s chef Jack Riebel is nominated for Best Chef in the Midwest.  The restaurant just celebrated its one-year anniversary in Minneapolis.  When I asked over Twitter about whether they could serve a gluten-free meal I was given this answer, “Yes indeed we do! Just have your server guide you through our current gluten-free items.”

The Salty Tart‘s Michelle Gayer is nominated in the same category.  I reached out to them regarding any options at their Minneapolis bakery and I have not yet heard back.  However the Midtown Global Market’s website says, “Salty Tart offers several flourless options; however, the bakery is NOT a dedicated gluten free bakery*, so cross contamination occurs.”

A few additional shout-outs to Minnesotans Andrew Zimmern for his nominations for Bizarre Foods America and Dara Moskowitz-Grumdahl of Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine who was nominated for the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.

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2 Responses to “James Beard Foundation Nominees Gluten-Free Friendly?”

  1. I think the JBF did a great job with nominations this year. I’m excited to see who wins!

  2. The Butcher & The Boar is very gluten-free friendly – the servers even ask you right away “are you Celiac, can’t even have a speck of gluten sensitive?”

    And, FWIW, I’ve ate safely at The Slanted Door.

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