Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gluten Free Bat Mitzvah; Chef David

I was lucky enough to have Chef David of Akasaka Japanese Restaurant working with me for the Bat Mitzvah. There was an Asian Style Hut set up in the foyer of LeParc where people could help themselves to sushi that was being prepared fresh by Chef David. The sushi was prepared gluten free and served with gluten free soy sauce (tamari). When it was time for the guests to move into the dining room, Chef David moved inside to prepare the Asian Station, one of the four stations for dinner. The Asian Station included pad thai, fried rice, and chicken yakatori. Not only was the food prepared gluten free, but it had to be prepared without nuts and shrimp as well. Chef David did an outstanding job of omitting the things that we couldn’t have in the food, while maintaining the fantastic taste of all the dishes. I love working with Chef David because he always figures out a way to do things necessary for making the food safe and delicious. He runs his restaurant like that as well, which is why it is one of my favourite restaurants in the Greater Toronto Area. They are so accommodating at Akasaka and willing to make changes that are necessary for people to feel safe while dining out. I helped Chef David make his restaurant gluten free friendly over five years ago and they are so good with it. The staff are all well trained on how to manage a gluten free order, they have a gluten free menu that is plentiful and includes many great items to choose from, and while dining at the Teppanyaki tables, you are served a miso soup that is gluten free, a salad with gluten free dressing, and the chefs prepare the meal with gluten free soy sauce (tamari) and teriyaki sauce. We always get a delicious meal when we go to Akasaka and I leave feeling like the gluten free request was taken seriously and that they truly know what they are doing with respect to keeping the food safe. As well, I can’t do an entire blog on Chef David and Akasaka Japanese Restaurant, without mentioning the wonderful gluten free cooking classes we have done together and continue to do together. We have 2 different classes; a sushi class and a pad thai and dumpling class. We do the classes around a Teppanyaki table at the restaurant, the class size is always small so everyone gets to have ample time with both Chef David and myself, and the food we make is delicious. You get to keep the recipes and work with Chef David and it is a great way to spend an afternoon. I am so excited to be offering the classes again this year. We will be announcing the details at the Gluten Free Garage and giving people at the pop up market first dibs at a chance to come to one of the classes. We will have a special price for those who sign up at the GFG. Chef David is an amazing chef who really cares about the gluten free community. I can’t say enough great things about a person willing to take on all the challenges that come with not just a gluten free diet but food allergies in general!

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