Gluten-free tips from a chef with celiac disease

Lana Bandoim's picture

Chef Thomas Costello’s changed the entire menu at his restaurant after learning he has celiac disease. He has discovered several tips during his own journey with the disorder, and the chef recently shared cooking and baking advice to help others who are on the gluten-free diet. From the power of xanthum gum to his favorite gluten-free flour, Costello is letting others in on his secrets.

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Thomas Costello switched to a gluten-free diet after being diagnosed with celiac disease, but his transformation did not stop at his own kitchen. He also redesigned the entire menu at his Thyme restaurant located in Yorktown Heights. Costello switched to only using gluten-free all purpose flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs for his dishes. He admits changing the crab cakes and eggplant parmigiano was difficult, but he found the right breadcrumbs without gluten.

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Chef Thomas Costello warns gluten-free bakers not to forget xanthum gum. It is a powerful ingredient that greatly affects the taste of the final baked product. Costello believes xanthum gum helps the dough become stickier, and this is essential for gluten-free items. The chef uses Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose baking flour for his dishes, and he has another warning about baking powder. Costello has found that some brands of baking powder are not gluten-free, so you must check the labels carefully.

Costello has an easy recipe for cooks who want to make their own sour cream. Again, he warns people with celiac disease to check labels and ask questions because some versions of sour cream can have gluten. For example, the sour cream served at On The Border has gluten in it. However, Costello has a way for you to make your own version by taking one cup of heavy cream and 5 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice. After mixing the simple ingredients, he lets the dish sit until it becomes thick and resembles sour cream. If you are not able to travel to Thyme in New York, you can still enjoy some of the menu options by recreating the dishes from Costello’s recipes. You can make your own gluten-free butternut squash soup and cranberry apple crisp.

Read more about celiac disease:
Doctors ignore proper celiac disease diagnosis and care
Celiac disease tripled in children in last 20 years

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