Starting on November 8th, Toronto is kicking off their Gluten Freedom Week. The aim of this week is to create an enjoyable dining experience for individuals living gluten-free in Toronto and the surrounding areas. Think NYC Restaurant Week, with prix fixe menus and special promotions, with a gluten-free flair. I was excited and even a bit envious when I first heard about this week, wishing we had something like this in New York City.
Gluten-Free Globetrotter: What is Gluten Freedom Week?
Rachael: GlutenFreedom Week is an event based in Toronto involving restaurants throughout the city. The second edition is taking place November 8-15, 2014! Each participating establishment offers guests a 3-course gluten-free prix fixe meal for the duration of the week. The goal of the event is to create a special dining experience where individuals living gluten-free (for whatever reason it may be) are able to enjoy incredible food for a great price. We want to applaud the restaurants who are able to accommodate us, while demonstrating that gluten-free dining can be diverse, gourmet, and sexy.
GFG: When did you start GlutenFreedom Week and why?
Rachael: I created the event out of a personal desire to dine out at the city’s hotspots without feeling excluded or worried. Upon developing a serious gluten intolerance 2 years ago, my social life was impacted by my inability to dine out with ease. I felt it wasn’t fair or necessary, so I took matters into my own hand and created an event that encourages inclusivity and brings the joy of dining to individuals like myself.
GFG: Are there any specific criteria for a restaurant to participate in this week? Does the restaurant go through training?
Rachael: As part of the application process each restaurant needs to outline their cross-contact presentation methods so that they can easily be communicated during the week (and beyond). They also need to provide full ingredient lists to my partner and I prior to the event, so we can ensure that each dish is in fact gluten-free. We offer additional training workshops with interested restaurants so that they can have a better understanding of what it’s like from the guests standpoint and learn how to serve them better.
GFG: How frequently does GlutenFreedom Week occur?
Rachael: This is the second edition this year . We organized one in May. We may just stick to doing one a year and focussing on making that one really amazing!
GFG: How many restaurants are participating in November?
Rachael: We’ve got 20 restaurants participating in November.
GFG: What restaurants are you excited to eat at during GFW?
Rachael: That’s a really tough one because I am so excited about all of them and it wouldn’t be fair for me to choose just one!!
GlutenFreedom Week Disclaimer (from their website)
GlutenFreedom Toronto and participating restaurants cannot guarantee that every meal is free from cross contamination of gluten, and as such we recommend that you use caution and due diligence before consumption for your health and safety. Each participating restaurant is fully aware of the risk of cross-contamination, and as such are taking extra precaution to avoid/eliminate this during GlutenFreedom Week and beyond.
About Toronto’s GlutenFreedom Week
This is a week-long event that will take place at Toronto’s finest dining establishments from November 8-15, 2014. The participating restaurants will offer patrons a delicious selection of 3-course gluten-free fare for a fixed price.
About Rachael Hunt, founder of GlutenFreedom Week and GlutenFree Toronto
“I am a self-proclaimed foodie who is living with a serious gluten allergy. I’ve been living in Toronto for four years now and enjoy checking out the city’s hottest restaurants, cruising through the city on my bike, picnicking in Trinity Bellwoods, and cooking with friends!”
I’m about ready to book a flight to Toronto to take part in this awesome gluten-free week! For those of you who are local, do you plan on attending Gluten Freedom Week? If so, which restaurant are you looking forward to the most?