Are restaurants and chefs a little too flippant about catering to customers with allergies or dietary requirements? Perhaps, according to a new interview with Joe Beef (and Liverpool House, and Vin Papillon) co-owner Fred Morin.
Morin spoke with cool and hip food mag Lucky Peach about his celiac disease, which was diagnosed a few years ago, forcing him to cut gluten from his diet.
In the interview, Morin more or less takes aim at the restaurant industry for being snobby and elitist about making accommodations for customers with allergies. Obviously, Morin isn’t saying that all restaurants are uniformly unwilling or unable to cater to food allergies, but rather, that the prevailing attitude in kitchens is that allergies are at best, an annoyance to be tolerated, and at worst, not taken seriously.
Morin on the failures of culinary schools:
When I was in cooking school, and to this day, there’s not one mention of allergies. We think that people with garlic allergies are people who are about to make out after their dinner and don’t want to smell like garlic, right?
Morin on restaurants becoming effectively off-limits to allergy sufferers:
It’s fucking like you’re born without feet, and then there are people who don’t let you in the restaurant because you need feet to walk in there.
Morin on just being nicer to customers who have unobtrusive preferences:
I used to work in a restaurant where whenever we had a customer that didn’t drink, the waiters would come in the back and talk shit. But the fact is the customer could be my dad, it could be you. Who fucking cares? It could be anyone, and it’s not up to me or the waiter or the cook in the back to determine a legitimate reason for not drinking.
Read the full interview over at Lucky Peach.
- The Art of (Gluten-Free) Living, According to Joe Beef [Lucky Peach]