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Montreal’s Zero8 Caters to Customers With Potentially Deadly Food Allergies

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The restaurant has built a loyal fan base with its mission to serve a menu without the eight most common allergens

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The restaurant is also a mustard-free zone, which is a rare but severe allergen. 

Zero8, a restaurant in Montreal, has built a loyal fan base with its mission to serve a menu without the eight most common allergens: gluten; milk products; eggs; fish or shellfish; soy; sesame; nuts; and peanuts.

The regulars are so committed to Zero8 that when high rent caused the restaurant to close its first location in 2013, patrons encouraged owner Dominique Dion to start a crowd-funding project. The funds allowed Dion to reopen the restaurant two years later, according to Montreal Gazette.

Dion himself developed a dairy and gluten allergy, which prompted his interest in food intolerance and allergies. At his restaurant, a two-person chef staff experiments with gluten-free recipes, including the restaurant’s chocolate mousse and house-smoked duck poutine.

For one patron Kim Dufour and her daughter, the experimental dishes at Zero8 have provided an opportunity for them to dine in a stress- and allergen-free environment.

“To us it was pretty much a miracle,” Dufour told Montreal Gazette. “[My daughter] had never been to a restaurant before because it was too dangerous because of the cross contamination. 

“At Zero8, they get it. They do their homework. They verify their suppliers, which is different from other places. Other places say, ‘Yeah, she’s fine, but you never know. We can’t tell you 100 percent.’”

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The crowd-funding project is ongoing, as Dion plans to expand the eatery’s concept to other cities.