3-Hour Chef Class: Understanding Your Allergen-Free Customer

sold out

3-Hour Chef Class: Understanding Your Allergen-Free Customer



Gluten-free has quickly become a common buzzword among restaurant customers.

Is it a fad?  Or is this a "trend" that is here to stay?

Statistics show that there are currently over 25 million people in the US alone who are on a gluten-free diet; and that most people who are gluten-free have been diagnosed with at least one other allergy or sensitivity. People with celiac disease, an autoimmune reaction to gluten proteins, have quadrupled within the last few decades. Chefs are jumping to accommodate these customers, even adding gluten-free items to their menus, without any understanding of "gluten-free" or how mistakes could hurt your customers -- and your business.

How do you know if you are "doing it right" and not making this growing customer group sick?

This class will take you through some interesting facts and figures about the gluten-free / allergen-free customer, and why it is essential to put good practices in place BEFORE you market your gluten-free or allergen-free menu.

You will also learn:

1. Core kitchen practices that you would never suspect you needed

2. An understanding of the market trends, what your customer is going through, how a mistake could effect them, and why they often don't let you know about an incident, but simply choose to not return.

3. How to choose the right products for your kitchen that are truly allergen-free.

4. An essential understanding of food processing and allergen cross contamination.

5. Clarification of terms like "food allergy", "sensitivity", "celiac disease", and "intolerance" -- and a way to keep your eyes from crossing whenever a customer throws these terms around.

6. The laws that effect restaurants.

7. How to market your menu, build a trusting relationship, and inspire positive word-of-mouth with a growing customer group.

This training will help you understand WHY you need to have standards in place as well as what type of standards that are most important. An understanding of your customer is the best motivating force for "doing it right" every time.


Chefs, soux chefs, all kitchen personnel, wait staff, restaurant owners and investors. This is a great class to help all stakeholders in the organization understand the subject deeply enough, so that your allergen practices are supported throughout the organization.

Add To Cart


A writer, marketing consultant, and lover of all culinary delights, Elisabeth is also a Tender Foodie.  While living in New York City she learned of her own food allergies in 2001.  Her first thought was, "will I ever enjoy food again?"   With this question and her health in mind, she embarked on a strange trip that led her to interview and work with some of the top experts in the medical, wellness, and culinary worlds. At that time, food allergies and celiac disease were not household words, so in order to find answers, Elisabeth knew she would have to become an expert herself.

Elisabeth has worked in several areas of the restaurant world. She has been a hostess, a waitress, and the head short order cook. She has a unique understanding of both the back and the front of the house. She loves to cook, has evolved her cooking skills, and has embraced the limiting aspects of her diet as a creative challenge. She regularly writes her own recipes for www.tenderfoodie.com, her blog for people with multiple food allergies, and also edits cookbooks for chefs.

Elisabeth owns and runs her own marketing firm, Blue Pearl Strategies, and works with a variety of clients on their marketing strategies and creative needs. Her greatest skill is breaking down complex subject matter into a simple, magnificent message that is easily understood, seen, and embraced.

Elisabeth believes that everyone should have a healthy seat at the table, and the opportunity to live deliciously.