Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Triumph Dining

I just got an email from the people at Triumph Dining. The link wasn't working when I checked it today, although it did work yesterday. This new website is "focused on safe and easy Gluten Free Restaurant Dining." I didn't get much of a chance to look around.

The site is supposed to offer:

1. A rapidly growing, online restaurant review database (free)
2. A website full of helpful tips for safely eating in ethnic restaurants (free)
3. The best restaurant cards on the market (modest fee)
4. Newsletter articles on aspects of dining out safely (free)

If it looks good, I will add it to the Gluten-Free Toronto site. Have a look and let me know what you think.


zebby said...

personally, i think your restaurant pages are more valuable, particularily the way you have organized them. maybe if they were doing a searchable database, but it's just a pile of reviews that one would have to weed through, not even organized by city. (unless i missed something, and if i did,please enlighten me...) also, i would rather talk to the people face to face about it than hand them a card. i'd only use it if i was travelling and hadn't eaten anthing other than nuts in awhile, even then, i would feel too dorky to hand someone a card. but maybe other people would find it useful.
ok maybe i'm just being too negative. i'm so jaded. ;o)

Brian said...

I agree about organization by city and actually talking ot the staff, although cards in other languages would be good for travelling, but there are free ones available on the web.

My site needs an update and I was thinking of making it a wiki, if I have the time to get it going.

Anonymous said...

Did you guys look at the dining cards? They're supposed to more comprehensive and thorough than typical cards.

Brian said...

No, I haven't seen one. The website doesn't seem to show the text.

Kay said...

Hi all--First, you should know I'm affiliated with the company: I'm dating the President! ;)

Second, I wanted to address some points brought up here.

>>"there are free ones available on the web"

It's true, but they just say "no wheat, rye, barley and oats." However, it's not fair to expect a non-Celiac (and probably very busy) chef to somehow magically know what it take most Celiacs to learn: that gluten is in unexpected places (not just in obvious places like bread). That's why Triumph Dining Cards list the forbidden grains AND their common (including hidden) sources!

>>“i would rather talk to the people face to face”

Yes, I like talking to people in person, too. But not everyone is well equipped to do so – they just don’t have enough knowledge about ethnic cuisines. For example, did you know that the spice hing in Indian cooking is made with wheat? Well, it is! And it's something even Indian chefs are often unaware of. The Triumph Cards point out hing and other cuisine-specific hidden sources of gluten -- things a Celiac might not know to bring to the chef's attention.

Now, if you're really well versed on foreign cuisines (e.g., know about hing, etc.), then maybe you don't need a card. Otherwise, I would highly suggest a well-researched card that not only points out hidden sources of gluten -- but the ones that are specific to a cuisine.

Feel free to email me with any questions.

Bon appetit!


zebby said...

i think it's important to note that hing is not made from wheat but can sometimes contain wheat just like ketchup can and is not like soya sauce where it is part of the distillation process.
it is not the norm for hing to contain wheat, just that it's used as a cheap filler. it's misleading to state otherwise. if you type define: hing into google, you'll see the true definition of hing.
regardless, it's good to know things that might contain wheat.
ultimately dispelling the fear (and reality) of safely eating in restaurants can only come from lobbying for proper labelling, the end of consumer apathy annd enabling the FREE sharing of information with chefs and people with celiac disease.

ps. i wrote a much snappier albeit caustic response but blogger was down for maintanence. phew.

Kay said...

Hi all-

In the interest of safe gluten-free dining, I would like to make a clarification about hing. Zebby made a good point about pure hing being gluten free -- but it is not that case that most hing used in Indian kitchens are gluten free.

Pure Hing is a hard resin that requires a *hammer* to crush. Therefore, most kitchens use hing in a powdered form (in fact, if you type in “define: hing” in google as Zebby suggests, 3 out of the 5 definitions mention that it is always or most commonly used in powder form). To make it into a powder, manufacturers process hing with with rice or (more commonly) wheat flour. In fact, no Indian chef or grocer we’ve interviewed uses hing in its unadulterated pure form. All used hing in a powder form, which was cut with wheat, because it is easier to use. Of course, there's always an exception to every rule, and I'm sure there are a few chefs who do use gluten-free hing, but as a rule, be careful of hing.

Also--I want to note that I respect your opinion about free information, Zebby. But for now, there are translators and researchers with fancy Ivy-League degrees, graphic designers, webhosters and printers with fat fees who need to be paid :)



Brian said...

I've received two sample restaurant cards from Triumph Dining. I'll write a post when I have time.

Harper said...

Zebby said, " . . . i think it's important to note that hing is not made from wheat but can sometimes contain wheat just like ketchup can and is not like soya sauce where it is part of the distillation process."
You do know that there's lots of good GF soy sauce available?