new to the gluten free journey?


Chef Purposefully Serves Gluten to Patrons with Gluten Intolerance!

Chef Damian Cardone in Glenwood Springs, Colorado has been serving his patrons extra gluten despite their order requests. Self admittedly he thinks that gluten sensitivity is BS and has decided that he is going to feed his paying patrons gluten. The following quote was taken from his facebook page earlier this month…
“Gluten free is B***S***!! Flour and bread have been a staple of life for thousands, THOUSANDS of years. People who claim to be gluten intolorent dont realize that its all in there disturbed liitle heads. People ask me for gluten free pasta in my restaurant all the time, I tell em sure, Then I serve serve em our pasta, Which I make from scratch with high gluten flour. And you know what? nothing, NOTHING! ever happens! People leave talking about how good they feel gluten free and guess what, They just had a full dose! Idiots!”
Channel 8 news recently did a story on the topic. This guy is a real piece of work. He should be brought up on criminal charges, his restaurant should be closed down, and he should be stripped of his chef status. If the guy doesn’t want to acknowledge gluten sensitivity fine, but to serve it to people against their will is an outrage. This is a perfect example of why I don’t recommend eating out at random. Damian was dumb enough to post his criminal activity on facebook, but how many others are out there with the same malicious mindset toward the gluten free community? Let’s work to get this guy out of the food industry all together. You can file a complaint with the Colorado Dept of Law Attorney Generals Office Here. Contact your local celiac support organizations and get them on board. Share this article on facebook and twitter using the links below and with anyone else you know. If we can make an example of Damian’s criminal acts, we can discourage others from doing the same. Be wary where you eat. The more control you have over your food supply the better off you will be. Special Thanks to John Libonati for spear heading this effort!

41 Responses

  1. What would happen if a chef intentionally served hidden peanuts in a dish to a person who had a peanut allergy? This man is obviously an idiot and has no business in the food industry. Please keep us posted and let your GF readers know what happens to this idiot!

  2. I am pretty sure if the chef were really serving real pasta instead of gluten free, patrons would realize immediately, I have eaten gluten free and it does not taste or feel like regular pasta, plus people with health issues would know and become quite ill, the fact that they don’t means the chef is blowing smoke….

  3. As a former chef (specializing in gluten free foods) and a gluten intolerant naturopath, I can say from experience that there are some pastas, creatively coated in sauce that defy even the most discerning palate. In addition, unlike a peanut allergy, often the symptoms/illnesses that arise from ingesting gluten do not rear their ugly head (in whatever manner each individual experiences them) for hours or days. Whether or not this person is just “kidding” around or is serious – it is obvious his actions or thoughts are malicious.

  4. Al dente and buried in sauce I wouldn’t be able to tell. My reactions are varied. Although I haven’t eaten a whole serving of gluten in over a year, it takes at least 4-8 hours for me to react. He is either lying about no complaints or victims just didn’t return and didn’t file a complaint. I eat at Carino’s occasionally but NEVER a pasta dish, even though they’ve offered to cook my gluten-free pasta if provided it.

  5. I agree. Why would he feel it necessary to do that when you don’t know what kind of reaction people will have. It is sad that some people can feel they can play God with other peoples bodies. I would hope that community take it upon themselves to put that place out of business.

  6. Hey, Peter. I can’t believe it. It’s like poisoning someone. Thank you for the informative and interesting article (and the whole site!) I’m going to pass this on to my clients!

  7. In this sue-happy society, this is one who I say should be sued, over and over again! I would never make up such a thing in my “disturbed little head” and would love to go out to eat wherever I want and have whatever I want. And how does he know nothing ever happens? My reactions usually come 24-48 hours later, so is he following these people home to be sure his evil little plan proves his theory? Sicko. Shut him down and make him find a new career.

  8. He knows nothing! My son eats gluten and reacts several hours later without fail. He would feel fine leaving the restaurant and awful all night long.
    Also, obviously this man knows nothing about how gluten can cause effects long term. I don’t live in the States but hope he gets in some serious trouble! Next thing you know he will serve nuts to people with nut allergies.

  9. There is a restaurant that is ran by a family with Celiac Disease and they serve the so called gluten free noodles and other and a long time ago I had the gluten free ones and they were so good I couldn’t tell the difference. The sauce helped mask the difference. PLUS if your trusting the person that is serving you would you really question it. Maybe not?

    Thanks for letting people know about this and I will do my part to put awareness out there about this restaurant-owner(s).

    I agree “He should be brought up on criminal charges, his restaurant should be closed down, and he should be stripped of his chef status.” And a education on the subject too he can visit those that are fighting for their lives due to eating something they weren’t told of.

    There is no shortness of idiots out there that is for sure!

  10. @Mary – not necessarily. It takes some people a few hours to feel the effects of being glutened (like me). There are gluten free pastas out there that are really good, plus like another poster mentioned, sauce will help disguise the taste some too. If I didn’t feel well later I would think it was a cross-contamination issue, not a purposefully being glutened issue, so I don’t think he’s blowing smoke, he’s bragging, and he’s a jackass.

  11. The chef is misinformed and therefore dangerous. It is important to note that in my community we have many, many doctors telling their patients that eating gluten-free is “just a fad”, that Gluten Syndrome does not exist and that one’s diet has little to no impact on their health issues. I hope and pray that this unfortunate FB posting will bring much needed awareness about the positive medical implications of following a strict gluten-free diet.

  12. I had a very expensive anniversary dinner at “2941” in Falls Church VA last week. Waiter said it was no problem to go gluten free as everything is prepared fresh and gluten can be eliminated if at all present. Still I was careful and ordered the Sea Bass. Dinner was delicious. But that evening I was sicker than I’ve been in the year that I’ve been gluten free. I tried to imagine, was it the broth, the rice cake maybe that the fish rested on, or the gelatin balls swimming in the broth. I’ve never had a reaction like that to rice anything. That reaction felt like straight gluten. It was horrible. Kept me up most of the night. Now this makes me wonder. And it’s frightening.

  13. What this genius chef doesn’t realize is that there are varying levels of gluten sensitivity, ranging from mild tummy aches to full-blown Celiac Disease. He is highly uneducated in thinking there are no ill-effects. He is likely looking for an immediate reaction, like anaphalactic (sp?) shock, when many times the damage is internal. I have Celiac Disease, and if I ingest gluten, it hits me in a bad way…the next morning. There is long-term damage, and therefore long-term healing.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if this chef, or someone he’s close to, gets diagnosed with Celiac Disease? Let’s see how funny it will be then.

  14. What is the name and address of the restaurant? Cannot file a complaint without more pertinent information

  15. The story is bad, but not unusual. Some of the comments make the real sad story. Why should a gluten intolerant person have to justify or explain how they feel to anyone. If you ask for something you should be told yes they can do it or no they cannot accommodate you.

    I think it is sad that we have now attacked those who request gluten free food by judging the time and type of symptoms or the taste of the blasted product. Do you hear yourself when you type the words. Maybe you should say them first.

    This Chef has maliciously altered the food that he is serving to attack people that he believes are faking a sensitivity.

    Wow! Willful malicious acts are now the fault of the gluten free people. Even if the Gluten sensitivity issue were fake, it does not in ANY way justify this malicious act toward the public.

    What is next, extra jalapenos for people with ulcers?

    This is tampering with food and in my state that is a felony.

  16. Thank you for posting this! When I read this on his FB page Tuesday, I was furious. I have screen prints of everything this guy said including this part about using customers to experiment…(not a direct quote but I do have the direct quote at home in case he removes this from his FB page). He’s a jerk. Not enough restaurants know how to prepare food properly now even some that are trying to learn. That’s all we need is someone purposely sabotaging people in order to make them sick.

  17. This really makes me upset! I agree with what most people have posted! This guy really is a jerk! Who does he think he is!? Unbelievable that he thinks HE should decide what people can/can’t eat over them! Its disgusting that he says people are getting GF and then not giving it to them! I wouldnt be surprised if some of his customers who have gluten intolerance or Coeliac Disease actually do get ill but dont go back and say anything. I bet that as soon as someone does complain or even sue him he will change his tune. And if he doesn’t then he really is a complete jerk (wanted to say something else but thought better of it!).

  18. This is infuriating! I have fibromyalgia and I definitely know the day after I eat something that has wheat/gluten in it. My pain is intensified twenty-fold. I don’t feel it immediately so if I didn’t know that I ate it, I would think that I had a great gluten-free meal. It has happened before. Someone told me that the cookies they made me were gluten-free. I ate two and the next day was in agony. I called them and said, “Are you sure there was no gluten in them?” They responded, “No, we made sure to use white flour.” Now, I am sure to ask for exact ingredients before I eat it and if I am in doubt, I just skip it.

  19. Wow, I think that guy is a bit lacking in knowledge. I think maybe this has come about because of the many food abstinence fads. I’ve had people tell me “yeah, I’m thinking about cutting down on my gluten intake” or “I may try a gluten free diet, I hear it can be healthy” and that just blows my mind. Every time I see someone open a beer or eat a slice of cake or try a new restaurant without planning I want that too. Badly. So I can understand where he got the idea, but making a decision to “experiment” without having even a base knowledge is inexcusable.

    This is not a lifestyle, or diet, or community to me. It’s a disease that has had serious effects on my life.

  20. I react very quickly to gluten exposure so I might be a customer who would know right away. In addition to bloating within minutes, exposure makes me quite ill for two or three days. Gluten sensitivity is not a joke and it is not something in people’s heads.

    It is so disappointing to learn that someone who calls himself a “professional” would lie and mislead his customers in this manner. I wonder if he ever tampers with the food he serves his regular customers. This issue makes me mistrust the restaurant industry as a whole.

  21. I’ve heard so many versions of this story, I don’t know what true anymore. Some say he was a chef at the restaurant and others say he was just a server. Whatever the truth is , it certainly has made the world more aware of what gluten free means!

  22. This man is a threat to our health, he should be arrested and part of his time should be to be forced to get educated on Celiac Disease and tha damages it causes and should make him go see patients that are in an advanced stage and see for him self the damage it can cause. This is to me a form of attempted murder becasue of his awareness that some of his clients require a gluten free menu. What he did was no different that putting a gun to someone’s head and pulling the trigger. It is considered to me a slow death. He should be put away for attempted murder period.

  23. This is the reason I stop trusting restaurants so I don’t go anymore. Sorry I forgot to mention this on my last reply.

    It came to mind one day that the food industry could be losing money because of this disease which isn’t our fault and started to realize that the industry might lie on a product and label something gluten free when it’s not or do anything to keep the money coming in. It’s already happening in many areas of the U.S.

    We need to open our eyes and come to this realization that the food industry can and will retaliate and already look at what this guy did to those people. When I acccidently ingest wheat unknowingly, I do feel it the next day.

    That’s something he also needs to be educated on, Just like what we’re taught, that just becasue we don’t feel it right away in our stomache doesn’t mean we don’t feel in our physical ailments in other parts of our body.

    I myself suffer from neuropathic nerve damage in my lower extremeties due to Celiac Disease and it took me 20 years to find that out. I also have brain fog and really shows when I ingest wheat and I’ve had the low blood count experience, fatigue, TMJ, arthiritis in the teeth or mouth, my eyes leaked fluid alot till I found out about having Celiac Disease and cleared up with a gluten free diet and I now suffer from newly diagnosed arthiristis on my knees and right arm joint and elbows because it also acts like a vitamine deficiency and you need to double your vitamine intake. I also get the migrane headaches that come with the territory of having Celiac Disease. And when I once along time ago made a carrot cake and tasted the ingredients to make sure the flavor was right, the next day I woke up with my legs and stomache shaking together on the verge of having a seizure which I get on my lower legs but control it Ativan.

    But that’s why I stopped going to public restaurants, I didn’t want to take that chance and also because I’m wheelchair bound because of this disease, it’s more cozier to eat at home in bed watching movies and no I’m not obessed. I just watch what I eat and my intake.

    Anyways my point is you really have to be careful who you trust especially in the restaurant industry. I predict this is going to happen more often becasue of greed for money especially with people barely making it through this made up recession. Sorry but I don’t believe there’s even a recession.

    Anyways people like this guy are probably feeling it in their pockets and are having the same attitude about this gluten free society and I say there will be more of this happening and we need to be extra cautious in the restaurant industry.

    I just stay home and we cook stove stop and stay away from the baking for personal reasons. But please be careful out there, we are living in a cruel and selfish world who will still hurt anybody just for that extra buck.

  24. One more thing I forgot to mention, if you’re not careful taking care of your food intake,you can and will come down with type 1 diabetes, which ran in my family. Some people don’t realize that this is a genetic disease not an inherited one. There’s a difference and we all know by now that diabetes can lead to the loss of a limb and heart conditions and not mention, the loss of vision. Bone degeneration becomes quicket than the norm, it’s already happening to me, that’s why the mention of doubling your vitamins accept for the 1 day. Here in San Diego, my Doctor’s dietician holds classes for the Celiac Patients and starts everyone out with a beginners package which includes a pocket diary with ingredients that inform you if the ingredient is allowed or not allowed. But those of you who have a G.I. Doctor should acquire about what they’re doing here in Diego. But keep in mind if some of you don’t know it yet, this disease does fun in the family. Have the members of your family checked. And thanks for putting up with my third reply.
    Here’s to wishng you peace and a healthy life.
    Patti :)’

  25. It would likely be hard to prosecute him for the actual offenses without some food as proof. I guess, we could save a little of our meal, ask for a doggie bag, test later if need be.

    At a restaurant that offered gf sandwiches in addition to a regular menu my gf roll was fabulous…it looked and tasted 100% like ‘real’ bread. It was so wonderful, the chef/cook gave me the name of the woman baker in neighboring town to contact. I wanted to learn to cook like her! Or at least buy more.

    That night and half the next day I was ill. ..gluten or food poisoning? Who knows.

    This guy is making confessions…there should be a law. But, I still think we will have to make sure we preserve some evidence. Or, we have to ask for laws to require restaurants to test and document their gf food.

  26. What we are really dealing with is a Republican government who doesn’t care if Pres. Obama’s daughter lives or die from her own allergies (? to natural food coloring or flavorings?). This teaches the world that all food allergies are all in our heads and that all pain is in our heads and that nothing we do or say is valid. All this because some people who claim to believe in Jesus doesn’t validate your life. (I question anyone’s faith in Jesus who believes that those with food allergies have no rights to know what they are eating as Jesus would never pass laws that can kill another person.)

    Personally, if someone who is anaphylactic to gluten were to go to his restaurant, have a reaction requiring an epi-pen (because they ate glutonous food that was supposed to be gluten free), were to go through the procedure AND video tape all of it (from start to finish), and video tape going to the hospital, and get the paper work trail going, then we might have a very good case against Mr. Beep – are – Us. They would have to reserve as much of the food as possible, and then the lawyer would get a copy of the facebook posting (FB doesn’t delete anything) in discovery proving willful misconduct, and hopefully, attempted murder.

    What I wouldn’t give to see a premeditate murder case that got international attention because some teacher, restaurant, bully, or other authority figure did not take the food allergy seriously. Of course, I delusionally believe that such a case would change laws across the world in our favor.

  27. Pingback: Anonymous
  28. Yes, it was wrong to lie to customers, but the bottom line is that he’s right about most people imagining a problem with gluten. They all ate it and no problems. But you’ll never convince people that it’s all in their heads.

  29. LOL! Closing your eyes and ears to the truth. Don’t want to even entertain the notion that this so-called gluten intolerance might be in your mind. Sure, keep on deleting posts that dare to offer an alternative point of view. Did you ever notice that there are no double-blind tests of gluten intolerance? How many people who claim to have gluten intolerance have actually been diagnosed by a doctor? Doctors claim that less than one percent of people have an actual gluten intolerance, but over 40% of restaurant patrons claim gluten intolerance–surely this proves that in most cases they are imagining it! Enjoy living in your cave with your head in the sand.

    1. MJ,
      Why are you trolling this site? Your comments speak of your ignorance on the topic – double blind trials have been done. We welcome a logical opposing point of view as the goal of science is to get to the truth, and there is certainly more to the gluten intolerance issue than just gluten. What we do not welcome are ignorant instigators.

    2. How is it in their heads if they have similar symptoms to Irritable bowl syndrome and or Crones disease, but when they stop eating gluten their symptoms go away? It’s already been proven that most people diagnosed with Irritable bowl syndrome are misdiagnosed and actually have a gluten sensitivity. If you search online most article’s out there says that most people are misdiagnosed. I was diagnosed with Irritable bowl syndrome told to eat more fiber. I was told to buy fiber “powder” and I was given a strong prescription laxative. I had extreme stomach pain and constipation for 2-3 weeks and still continue to have problems two years later off and on. The laxatives and the fiber “powder” did nothing to help me with my bowel issues and am now trying to go gluten free to see if that helps. It’s process of elimination if you try multiple prescribed medications like extra strength laxatives and it doesn’t work but going gluten free does then the “placebo affect” is really just nonsense and there are real issues. I’m pretty sure my stomach pain and constant bloating and constipation isn’t in my head that would make no sense.

  30. That is really scary! Lately, my gluten attacks (after ~30 minutes of eating) have caused me to temporarily lose the function of walking (ataxia/neurological symptom), get dizzy, headache/achy, and repeatedly vomit. Last time I accidently ingested gluten, I went to go use the bathroom and fell to the floor crawling and vomiting all at once. Maybe I should go to that restaurant and do the same thing to teach this chief a lesson to not mess with a Celiac and then sue them. (I wont do it due to how horrendously awful my attacks are and due to embarrassment, but the thought makes me feel better.) Thanks for the information.

  31. I stumbled on this story while researching celiac disease and was curious to know more. Wondering what this chef was up to and how his actions may have affected him in the long term, I decided to look him up and what an eerie sequence of events for this man. Per Damian J. Cardone’s obituary he left the culinary field, moving back to new jersey, and began a career in truck driving before dying of unlisted causes in 2018.

  32. I don’t have Celiac Disease, but I DO understand how it feels when ignorant people treat those with real medical issues like they’re fakers. I understand it very personally, in fact. See, instead of Celiac Disease, I have UC, and type 1 youth onset diabetes, and various other ‘super-fun!’ genetic auto-immune symptoms. My immune system, in essence, wants to melt me into a quivering pile of goo. These days, I’m on anti-rejection meds to keep the goo thing from happening, you know, the kind they give to organ recipients to keep them from rejecting a transplanted organ. I am sensitive to an ever-growing list of foods, too. (My list of food no-no’s is too long for an online comment, but you guys with Celiac Disease probably know about a lot of them anyways, so, yeah.) Gluten/wheat is one of those things that mess me up, though, and bad, but it always takes about 24 hours before I feel a thing. People with severe food sensitivities or allergies don’t all start instantly swelling up like those with peanut allergies can. I also had a friend who died of Celiac Disease complications when she was only in her 30’s, too, and so I have also had a front row seat to the kind of horrific stuff Celiac sufferers go through with myriad hidden food sensitivities, maddening and even painful symptoms that change and multiply over time, and ignorant idiots who think they know better because early stages of the disorder can be invisible to strangers. What happens to me if I eat any of those things my monster of an immune system has arbitrarily decided are ‘enemies’, things like gluten? Severe, debilitating joint pain, complete with locked joints that render me partly paralyzed. Fevers. Ulcers and then internal bleeding so extreme I have needed emergency blood transfusions. Skin lesions resembling a fast-spreading rash of deflated wart-like things. (I wear gloves in public to avoid people treating me like I’m going to infect them when they see my badly scarred hands.) Hair loss. Pain, pain, everywhere. Severe, long-lasting gastro-intestinal distress that does not resolve without medical intervention. All kinds of no fun. But you know what? My friend with Celiac Disease, she had it WORSE. After just seeing her, you’d know it was real, and something medical, not some extreme form of hypochondria. To even imply that she was a faker would be like trying to drag a wheelchair-bound guy out of his chair and into the street to prove he was just too lazy to walk or something. Sure, there are fakers and hypochondriacs, and gluten-free dieters and etc who may ignorantly claim Celiac Disease without diagnosis as a way to control their environment, but whats wrong with just taking people’s word for it when they say they need certain things? When my friend says they are male, I dont make them show me their ‘junk’ as proof before I believe them. (Ew?) When someone says that certain foods make them sick, or even that they dont want to or like to eat a certain food, I take their word for it. I don’t see why I need a note from their doctor and some endoscopy photos before I go along with what they need to be okay. I either agree to accomodate them if I possibly can, or I warn them that I can’t so they don’t get sick or grossed out or ruin their diet. Even if this request is something I see as a ‘fad diet’, I go with it anyways. I ask questions instead of assuming, and I do research if I have to when it’s my responsibility to feed them. It’s basic respect for my fellow humans that drives me to do this, something that chef obviously lacked. Makes me sad. And, makes me wonder if he ever unknowingly killed someone with his ignorant behavior. There is a distinct chance that someone like my friend could have died (or I could die) after developing complications after eating that guy’s fake GF food. Even if the comments that said he died in 2018 up there are true, there are still others out there who are just as bad. A few years ago, for instance, I heard a Pizza Hut manager angerly ranting about how her restaurant in Kokomo, IN would NEVER have GF options, ever, ever, EVER because GF is just ‘a stupid f-ing diet fad’. (I wasn’t eating there, fyi. -I pretty much CAN’T eat restaurant food.- I was there to pick up a pizza for a family member’s party. But… Ugh. Gross. WTF is wrong with that lady? Where was all that white-hot HATE coming from? Did someone with a gluten sensitivity steal her boyfriend or something?)

  33. I know many of those non-believers. I have had celiac disease since 2019 and I run into people like him.
    My symptoms do not start showing for 30 minutes to an hour then I am sick for almost a week so for him to say that nothing happens is straight BS.
    I know because where I work has put croutons on a salad and then pick them off and that is because they do not believe it.
    I hope someone that has gotten sick from eating at the man’s establishment was serious enough to sue him.
    Would he purposely feed shellfish disguised as a meatball and they consume it and effects like 30 minutes, btw I have that allergy to certain shellfish with nasty reactions. Would he say nothing happens when they consume it too?
    I wished I lived in Colorado I would definitely make a stink about it and I would organize a protest and get the Celiac Community together.
    Then he would feel stupid for doing what he did to the unexpected consumer that was under the impression of a certain product. This makes me upset and wants him to know that it is real, that what he has been doing is so wrong!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sing up to our newsletter for 10% off your first order!

Receive the latest strain releases, exclusive offers and 10% OFF welcome discount.