Bluff View Restaurants Gear Up For Celiac Awareness Month

Friday, April 26, 2013
Gluten free pizzas, pastas and desserts along with house-made dressings and sauces make dietary restrictions seem like a luxury at Bluff View restaurants.
Gluten free pizzas, pastas and desserts along with house-made dressings and sauces make dietary restrictions seem like a luxury at Bluff View restaurants.
Bluff View Art District managers and chefs are taking the next few weeks to train new staff members and strengthen the knowledge of current staff on their gluten free menus, specialty items and preparations at Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria, Rembrandt’s Coffee House and Back Inn Café in anticipation of Celiac Awareness Month which begins May 1. Bluff View’s restaurants have joined a national campaign known as “Chef to Plate,” a program from the Gluten Intolerance Group that helps spread information about gluten sensitivities by partnering with restaurants that offer gluten free menus.
 
According to the most recent clinical research, Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease caused by even the smallest amounts of gluten, affects one in 133 Americans and one in 250 worldwide.
Common symptoms include IBS-like symptoms, fatigue, infertility, bone disease, anemia and other symptoms affecting all body systems. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is estimated to affect as much as six to seven percent of the population. Those with gluten sensitivity can also experience a myriad of symptoms that may be caused by gluten, such as migraines, digestive issues, fatigue, dizziness and Fibromyalgia, among others.
 
Bluff View’s Director of Operations, Michael Vasta, was diagnosed with Celiac disease over two years ago. While gluten safe options had always been available with menu modifications at the District’s restaurants and catering services, his diagnosis inspired Bluff View chefs to rethink the measures that should be taken to provide a truly safe food environment for each and every one of their guests.
 
“We started with purchasing separate equipment so we essentially had ‘gluten free’ work stations, and then reworked menu items so they were as close to our signature dishes as possible,” Mr. Vasta explains. “Making our own sauces and dressings gluten free required only minor tweaking, and since all our hand made pastas and breads are done next door at Bluff View Bakery, the possibility of cross contamination is virtually zero since those items come to us as finished products before they even enter the restaurant kitchens.”
 
Bluff View’s multiple kitchens are housed in separate buildings and provide for a unique opportunity to isolate gluten free baking. Smaller kitchens on site can be more easily “gluten sanitized” for gluten free creations that are used in all the restaurants. Pizza crusts, flat breads and several specialty desserts are made several times a week. Gluten free pastas are provided by an outside source, but prep stations in the restaurant kitchens have color coded and separated bowls, pans, utensils and prep surfaces to ensure gluten is not introduced into gluten free menu items.
 
“We like to emphasize to our staff the vital importance of their diligence when placing orders for a customer, prepping for service and finishing gluten free dishes,” Mr. Vasta points out. “Those who don’t suffer from gluten sensitivities find it difficult to understand sometimes, but I try to put it in the most simple terms: what if every time you went out to eat you got physically sick? That’s what introducing gluten to a gluten sensitive person’s meal does. And for those who suffer from Celiac the long term consequences can literally be deadly.”
 
Offering gluten free menus at the restaurants has had several unintended but entirely positive effects at Bluff View Art District. Staff members feel more confident understanding and discussing all kinds of dietary restrictions with guests, and that helps them meet their own visitors’ needs more efficiently. Chefs have found new ways to work with ingredients and actually use the project to expand their menus. “It’s great to see our chefs doing what they do best: creating amazing new products for all our guests to enjoy,” says Director of Food and Beverage Chris Anderson. “That’s always been the signature at Bluff View, and these new menu options create even more opportunities for the talent here to shine.”

Where We Eat Exhibit Features Works By Jane Newman Displayed At Local Restaurants

"Where We Eat," a series of paintings by local artist Jane Newman capturing familiar moments at some favorite local eateries, will be on exhibit June 19-July 28. It will be at Reflections Gallery, 6922 Lee Highway. Gallery hours are  10 a.m.-6 p.m . There will be an artist’s reception celebrating this exhibition on  Thursday, July 13,  from  ... (click for more)

Heaven & Ale Opening 3rd Location On The Southside; Hutton & Smith Plans 2nd Site On Riverside Drive

Heaven & Ale, which has locations on the Northshore as well as in Ooltewah, will be opening a third location on the Southside at 615 E. Main St. in the fall. The old Atlas Bolt and Supply store is currently being renovated for the business. The bar received a special events permit for June 3, 10 and 17, for an introduction opening for the new location. The event, Heaven & ... (click for more)

3 People Shot At Citgo On Glenwood Drive; 1 Dies; D'Kobe Jordan, 19, Arrested On Multiple Charges

Three people were shot at a convenience store in Glenwood on Monday afternoon. One later died after being rushed to the hospital.  The incident happened around 2:40 p.m. at the Citgo at 101 Glenwood Dr. Police said the teen who shot the man who died was wounded himself and went to the hospital. D'Kobe Jordan, 19,  is now facing murder charges. Chattanooga Police ... (click for more)

Erlanger Pharmacies Sold To CVS For $10 Million; Units At East, North To Close

Retail pharmacies at Erlanger Health System are being sold to CVS for $10 million, officials said. The retail drug stores at Erlanger North in Red Bank and Erlanger East on Gunbarrel Road will close. Erlanger President Kevin Spiegel noted that CVS has its own pharmacies nearby those facilities. CVS will operate a pharmacy at the Medical Mall on the main Erlanger campus on ... (click for more)

Dennis Norwood: Through The Lens, My Early 4th Of July

Our wonderful nation’s birthday, the 4th of July, came early for me this year. Always one of my favorite holidays, perhaps it’s tied to that fact that my birthday is on Flag Day, this year’s early observance was extra special. The day was this past Sunday, June 25, and it came about as my wife and I attended a concert by our very favorite Christian artist, Sandi Patty, at Abba’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: California’s Foolishness

Over the weekend Hillary Clinton, the first runner-up in the latest presidential election, tweeted, “Forget death panels. If Republicans pass this (health) bill, they're the death party.” It was also being seriously debated if the psychotic action of the gunman who shot Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise was due to the repugnant rhetoric being increasingly spewed by other liberals. Great ... (click for more)