Gluten-free pasta challenges contestants on 'Top Chef'

Lana Bandoim's picture
Gluten-free pasta

Gluten-free cooking proved to be a true challenge for the contestants on “Top Chef” who were not prepared for the need to adjust menus. Chef Michael Schlow asked them to create a traditional Italian menu for the double elimination challenge, so the contestants included pasta. However, their careful menu planning was tested by Emmy Rossum’s request for gluten-free food.

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Emmy Rossum was a guest judge on “Top Chef” and shared she has been on a gluten-free diet for 15 years. As the contestants prepared to serve other diners, her request for a gluten-free meal forced them to adjust their menus. Katsuji admitted he did not know how to cook gluten-free, and the dish he prepared for Rossum was considered a disaster by the judges. Instead of attempting to accommodate her needs, he simply removed the pasta filled with gluten from her plate and served her the remaining ingredients of mint, goat cheese, spring peas, pecorino and green chili.

The purple team won the double elimination challenge, and the judges sent Rebecca and James home, but it was clear that most of the chefs struggled with the need to cook a gluten-free meal. People with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities will recognize this problem from their own experiences at restaurants. Nevertheless, Emmy Rossum seemed to find at least one dish on the menu that she enjoyed from Katie. Katie made pasta with zucchini which consisted of basil-walnut pesto and cherry tomatoes. The other chefs selected quinoa and risotto as their gluten-free substitutes for the actress.

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The contestants on “Top Chef” gave viewers a glimpse of reality in the kitchen as they attempted to make a second course without gluten while keeping the theme of Italian cooking. The inability of some chefs to adjust to dietary restrictions is a documented problem and makes eating out difficult for many people.

Read more about celiac disease:
Celiac disease tips for handling gluten on Thanksgiving
Gluten-free gravy shopping and cooking tips for celiac disease

Image: Public Domain/Pixabay

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Comments

Could I reprint this article in our Gluten Intolerance Group newsletter in North Texas? I am the editor and would love to share this with our support group. It would be reprinted exactly and I would give credit to the author and your enews organization. Thanks- Joni Seifrick GIG NTX