How to Order a Gluten-Free Meal

By Ellen Bayens, The Celiac Scene

the celiac sceneGoing out for a dinner? Communication is the key ingredient to every successful gluten-free restaurant meal. When diners, chefs and servers are able to collaborate on what is required and what can be reasonably delivered, there is cause for celebration.

The following is a list of suggested questions to help get you started when you dine out. Start anywhere and in very short order, the responses you receive will allow you to gauge any given restaurant’s degree of gluten awareness – and willingness. For the very best outcome, call ahead or take your host or server aside before ordering.


  1. What ingredients will be used to make my order?
  2. How do staff know whether ingredients are really gluten-free? Says so on labels? Checked product website? Called the manufacturer?
  3. Will pure spices, prepared seasonings or soy sauce made from wheat be used to make my meal?
  4. What other food items are cooked in the oil that gluten-free items are cooked in?
  5. How are sauces and dressings thickened?


  1. How will my server communicate with the kitchen that a gluten-free order has been placed?
  2. How are gluten-free orders prepared in relation to the regular flow of the kitchen?
  3. Will staff wash their hands / change gloves / change aprons clean surfaces before preparing my order?
  4. Will fresh toppings be used to dress my order? How do staff ensure that all utensils used in preparing my food are free from any trace of gluten?
  5. Separate or scrubbed frying pan? Griddle scrubbed? Aluminum foil barrier? Dedicated pots? Dedicated
  6. What other precautions do staff take to minimize / prevent cross-contamination?
  7. How will my server confirm with the kitchen that the order they are collecting has been prepared gluten-free?
  8. How will my server confirm that the order they are delivering to me is gluten-free?

Questions Specific to Pizza Restaurants

  1. Are gluten-free crusts prepared on-site? During regular operations? Before regular production?
    During downtimes / days?
  2. See questions in ingredient section above.
  3. Are pre-made gluten-free crusts purchased from a dedicated gluten-free manufacturer? Who is the manufacturer
  4. How are gluten-free sauces and toppings prepared?
  5. During regular operations? Before regular production?
  6. During downtimes / days?
  7. How do staff ensure that all utensils used in preparing gluten-free orders are free of any trace of gluten?
  8. How are utensils, crusts, sauces and toppings protected from cross-contamination with gluten while waiting to be used?
  9. How will my order be protected from cross-contamination with gluten once it has been prepared and/or while waiting to be served?

Ellen Bayens operates The Celiac Scene™ in Victoria, Vancouver Island & the Gulf Islands and is a source for gluten-free diners in the region.

Video: French Restaurant Keeps Waiting Guests Entertained

A 90-second video from a small country restaurant in France, which keeps its customers entertained while they are waiting for the main course.

The French restaurant “Le Petit Chef (Little Chef)” came up with an original way to entertain guests while waiting for their order by using an overhead projector on the ceiling. The animation is on the table and your plate.

There is a small chef who appears on your plate. Watch what he does!

Kelowna's Gratitude Cafe Goes Gluten-Free

The Gratitude Cafe on Osprey Road is going gluten-free.  The cafe already serves vegetarian, vegan & raw food.  The menus are being updated to show all items are gluten-free.

gratitude cafe logoTop 10 reasons to eat at Gratitude Cafe:

  • everything is vegan & gluten-free
  • they do not use eggs, peanuts, sesame, rennet, meat or processed soy in our kitchen
  • their vegan cheeses are house made from nuts!!
  • the top section of their menu is our raw selection
  • they offer cooking classes
  • they make enough food to sell out & prevent waste so if they are sold out, that’s why
  • they do not take “LA” attitudes
  • they get 100% on health inspections
  • famous people have eaten there
  • they donate stuff to different charities



585 Osprey Avenue (map)
Kelowna, British Columbia


Open at 11:30am-ish to 7:00pm-ish
closed Sundays & Mondays
closed Tuesdays after a  holiday Monday


Phone: 778-478-9090

Email: [email protected]



  • gratitude foodHave an allergy? Let them know. They specialize in cooking for people with allergies!
  • They do takeout! call 778-478-9090 to place an order.
  • Call them to reserve for a party of 4 or more.
  • The restaurant is 100% Bullfrog Powered.
  • Gratitude Café is not affiliated with Café Gratitude in San Francisco.

Marmalade Cat Café now offers gluten-free options

by Tamie Sanderson

You will find us in Kelowna along the eclectic shopping strip of Pandosy Street in the Heart of The Mission. You can’t miss our brightly coloured Victorian inspired building. Our café welcomes you with a large, warm space where community meets for warm drinks and good eats.

We are a café that has an equal focus on quality when it comes to our drinks and food. We offer soy options for those avoiding dairy, as well as being conscious of the needs of those with food allergies, or making healthier choices. By request of our customers, we are proud to announce that we now offer gluten-free options.

We have partnered with ‘Prairie Creek Edibles’ from Summerland and they are providing us with gluten-free products from their certified kitchen. ( This has been a fantastic partnership as Rachel and Jean are willing to make whatever our customers are requesting. From gluten-free bread for sandwiches, to Breakfast Bars, cookies, pies, squares, and muffins. We also have a retail freezer filled with gluten-free products to take home.

Our staff is aware of the importance of preventing cross contamination when working with Gluten free products. All the baked items are placed on separate trays in our display case and we use a designated set of tongs to serve onto plates. Although these precautions are taken, we must disclose that we are a café that does work with, and serve products with gluten. We encourage our customers with severe sensitivities to communicate this to our staff so we can take extra precautionary steps.

#103-2903 Pandosy Street
Kelowna, BC

New U.S. Gluten-Free Restaurant Site

If you or a loved one is prone to food allergies, you know the challenges of finding a restaurant where everyone will feel comfortable.

That search has just gotten easier for Americans.

A new website,, combines the Internet technology with peer-to-peer information to help people know in advance how well (or poorly) a restaurant responds to people with food allergies and other food intolerances, such as Celiac Disease.

The website lists over 600,000 restaurants in the United States and is searchable by geographic location, provides maps and driving directions, lists phone numbers and includes menus, industry certifications and other information of interest to food allergy sufferers when available.

Users are encouraged to help the rest of the food allergy community by answering three simple questions (takes less than a minute) about their dining experience. The answers are compiled into an objective “allergy-friendliness rating” that gives users instantaneous at-a-glance information about the “allergy friendliness” of specific restaurants.

There is also a place on the site for written comments, which will be monitored to ensure they contain only food-allergy related opinions.

“This site is an outgrowth of the difficulty I have in finding a place where my two food-allergic children can eat,” said Paul Antico, who spent 20 months researching and designing the site.

There are about 12 million people with food allergies in the United States. Over 2 million people have Celiac Disease.

AllergyEats is endorsed by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) of Washington, the AAFA New England Chapter of Boston and the Gluten Intolerance Group of Auburn, WA, among others.

“In addition to helping people with food allergies, AllergyEats is a good tool for the restaurant industry,” Antico said. “Restaurateurs can see how their individual locations are faring, and can learn from comments about other restaurants what works and doesn’t work for people with food allergies.”

While there are other online sites for people with food allergies, none combines the comprehensiveness of the AllergyEats listings with objective ratings and comments area.

“AllergyEats is really a living, breathing organism that will grow and become increasingly useful as people share information on the site. I am happy to offer this to the food allergy community, and I can’t wait to see how it develops,” Antico said.