A Chef’s Pilgrimage for a Better Gluten-Free World

Chef Scott Riesenberger creates exciting, delicious — and gluten-free — dishes at Hudson at Haymount House

Hudson at Haymount
Hudson at Haymount House provides a beautiful interior and an entirely gluten-friendly menu.

Gluten-free options seem to be everywhere these days, and that’s no surprise, with a recent study showing that one in 100 people are diagnosed with celiac disease. With so many people falling victim to gluten intolerance, many chefs are beginning to create gluten-free dishes so that food lovers with celiac disease can still enjoy a delicious meal.

Such is the case with acclaimed chef Scott Riesenberger of the beautiful Hudson at Haymount House in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. The chef, who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009, sat down with us to give us some tips for living (and eating) gluten-free — or at least gluten-free-friendly. His first suggestion? Realize that, really, gluten-free just means flour-free.

"You can create gluten-free food easily; you just eliminate flour," says Riesenberger. "I think there are enough products out there that you can get a similar result, or at least sustain that wanting of gluten products in your life."

And for chef Riesenberger, creating a menu at his restaurant that is celiac-friendly is all about making as many delicious options as possible accessible to everyone. Because he has first-hand knowledge of the disease and all it entails, Riesenberger has an advantage in creating delicious, gluten-free dishes within a menu that still includes good old-fashioned wheat.

"I don’t cook gluten-free; I cook gluten-free-friendly. I still allow gluten in the restaurant. For me, it’s about creating barriers," he explains. "A chef who has the disease is the best-case scenario for a diner who has it — because I’ve only had the disease for three years now, I’m able to create these dishes and not have to taste them but to know what they taste like from my experience over the years."

The major difference in using a wheat-flour alternative such as almond flour, he continues, is texture; flavors can actually been enhanced when using these natural gluten-free products. "I think the products end up being richer without gluten, and they have more natural flavors happening. Gluten becomes filler — flour itself doesn’t really taste good, unless you bake it or add stuff. But almonds or rice, they taste good on their own," he says.

While we encourage you to take a trip from the city to visit this spectacular manor for its delicious food and grand views, we insist you try Riesenberger’s food as soon as possible. So here are a few of his gluten-free recipes for you to try at home to get a taste of the food he’s creating — for all of you wheat lovers and gluten-avoiders alike, we promise they won’t disappoint.

Berkshire Pork Belly BLT

"The pork belly in this recipe is braised in a gluten-free beer brine so that even the most wheat-intolerant can enjoy this sophisticated twist on a sandwich classic."

—The Daily Meal Cook Editors

Smoked Ricotta Gnudi 

"The secret to this gnudi recipe is a yeast ingredient that helps to thicken the dairy, and, of course, the smoking of the cheese."

— The Daily Meal Cook Editors

 

Gluten-Free S'Mores 

"This recipe provides a gluten allergy-friendly graham cracker that makes it easy for everyone to enjoy the sticky snack."

 

— The Daily Meal Cook Editors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daisy Melamed is a freelance writer based out of New York City, and also writes for the New York Daily News and New York Magazine, among others.
 


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5 Comments

tdm-35-icon.png

WOW! Did he really say that you can be gluten free by eliminating FLOUR? I WISH it were that easy!!!!! I am CERTAIN that if this "chef" had Celiac Disease he would know better than THAT! Shame on you for printing such CRAP! Wheat, rye, barley are the main culprits. BUT..I am so ticked that I am not writing anymore!!!

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I was disappointed the chef did not address cross contamination. Also, add to the list of products that may contain unsuspected gluten: Hamburger Relish. I recently noted that it may contain soy sauce, and wheat is listed as a "sub-ingredient" in the soy sauce. Other relish varieties of the same brand are labeled as gf.

freeda23's picture

This article frustrates me beyond belief. How can a chef say that gluten free is simply flour free?! It is this type of ignorance that leads to many people becoming ill. How can you write such an article without further research into what gluten free truly entails? Did you know gluten is in soy sauce, salad dressing, sausage, soup broth, couscous, blue cheese, vinegar....? Most people wouldn't associate this small sample with FLOUR.

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Anyone living a truly gluten free life is hip to the dangers of hidden gluten. I believe Chef Riesenberger is just dumbing-it-down for the rest of the general gluten-eating population who tend to squinch up their nose and say, "Ooohhh..." when told something is gluten free, as if they are being asked to eat poison. I stopped telling people/clients that my baked goods are gluten free just for that reason; the nay-sayers were bringing me down, man! Now I let them devour my goods and THEN I tell them it's ALL gluten free. Victory truly is sweet! And to Chef Riesenberger, I look forward to having dinner at Hudson at Haymount House soon. I'll bring dessert :)

diehardfoodie's picture

I think this is inaccurate and a little scary. Gluten free does not mean simply "flour free". I applaud the effort to make the transition seem less intimidating, but it's kind of good to be scared initially! :) It makes you pay attention so that you do not get sick by making assumptions. Gluten is present in any food that contains barley, malt, wheat, rye, and some oats. That includes items like beer (flour free) and soy sauce (also flour free). Great article though :) Thanks for the recipes!

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