Chef Admits Lying to Gluten Free Diners

March 30, 2011

Chef Damian Cardone, claiming to be the former executive banquet chef at the now-closed New York City restaurant, Tavern on the Green, admitted on his Facebook profile on March 10, 2011, that he has on multiple occasions misled his gluten-free customers. Cardone wrote that he has often served guests requesting gluten-free pasta a dish containing fresh pasta made with high-gluten flour. His findings? That no gluten-eschewing guest has ever complained of distressing symptoms following a meal at his table. View Cardone's rant below:

chef damian cardone facebook message

Though we have not been able to verify this information, Cardone claims to have cooked for a number of Hollywood A-Listers, including Billy Crystal, Sigourney Weaver, Martin Short, Tom Hanks, and George Clooney. The Colorado chef similarly states that he has appeared on Live! with Regis and Kelly and Project Runway.

We have contacted the former owner of Tavern on the Green to confirm Cardone's employment, but have not yet heard back. We continue to investigate this story for accuracy and will update you as we uncover further details.

**Update: 1:39 PM PT- Damian Cardone has taken down his Facebook profile. Below is the original text of his admission:

"Gluten free is bullshit!! Flour and bread have been a staple of life for thousands, THOUSANDS of years. People who claim to be gluten intolerent [sic] dont [sic] realize that its [sic] all in there [sic] disturbed little heads. People ask me for gluten free pasta in my restaurant all the time, I tell em sure, Then I serve serve em our pasta, Which I make from scratch with high gluten flour. And you know what? nothing, NOTHING! ever happens! People leave talking about how good they feel gluten free and guess what, They just had a full dose! Idiots!"

***Update: 5:00 PM PT- Screen captures of Damian Cardone's Facebook profile as of 10:00 AM March 30, 2011 and the original page of his admission.

chef damian cardone facebook profile

chef damian cardone facebook profile



Sarah's picture

Well then, if I could share my after effects of gluten consumption with him, I gladly would. Perhaps he'd love to be doubled over in pain.


e's picture

What an asshole. Seriously.

Emily's picture

What a jerk! I can't believe that someone would do that to the public. I was diagnosed over a year ago and I cant imagine finding this out after eating there. The agony that I (and other celiacs) go through when eating gluten is terrible (pain, get the picture). For a chef...he should be ashamed and brought to court.

Kevin Baker's picture

Wait a minute. Think about this. Is it really possible that Cardone could be THIS stupid? To be working in the food industry - especially in Colorado - and yet still be so out of touch with the news, with people around you, and with everyday reality that you don't even know that celiac disease is a true medical condition, and that it's not even up for debate? And that gluten free is synonymous with celiac disease? You can't work in the food industry today and not know these things.
The whole thing is a hoax. Cardone has a sick sense of humour, to be sure, but it's still a hoax. If it's God, what a true moron the man must really be. He must live under a rock and never talk to anyone, never read the papers, watch TV, etc. etc.

Alex's picture

I can understand annoyance at the people who choose to not eat gluten and tend to preach about it. (Hint: You probably feel better because you're eating less processed junk) HOWEVER, celiacs and those with true medical issues don't have it written across their foreheads so it's not the restaurant's place to pick and choose. Suck it up or say it's not available gluten-free.

Tim's picture

Go to his father's website:

Here are some gems:

As a Father's Day message: Read Damian Cardone's letter to me on my client testimonials. It is the greatest gift of joy anyone can receive.
"Humor and Laugher Are Powerful Equalizers In Balancing Positive and Negative Thoughts."
"You Can't Be Angry and Laugh at the Same Time."
"Humor Makes Us Kinder and Gentler to One Another."
"For Your Own Wellness, If You Want to Feel Good Inside, Make Someone Else Feel Good Inside."

He appears to have returned home from Colorado to Piscataway, NJ/

kb's picture

Wow----so your front page today is all about people testifying in front of an FDA panel about the link between food dyes and ADHD----yet THIS article says "Gluten Free diet having it's day...". Really?! The GF diet is MORE important for many more people than the food dye issue----not that food dyes don't deserve the same scrutiny---but the GF diet keeps people like my family alive and functioning. It PREVENTS our disease process from ravaging our bodies. It's not a fad having 'it's day', it's not for weight loss, and it's not for just liberals or hippies. It's for people whose bodies see the proteins from wheat, rye, barley and oats as a toxic poison and so launches an all out attack that makes us very, very sick. Joking or not---I'm glad Damian Cardone has done this because it is raising awareness that Celiac and Gluten Intolerance is FAR from a fad and is a very real condition affecting millions of Americans.

Rachel's picture

I will admit that some people claim they cannot eat gluten when all they are on is a fad diet. But for those of us with coeliac disease, gluten is very harmful. As others have mentioned, coeliac disease is an intestinal disorder and symptoms do not usually flare up until the contaminated food has reached the intestines (in my case, about eight hours later).

I agree with Kristen: if he doesn't want to cater for gluten-free diners, tell us and we won't eat there.

Arturo Sayago's picture

What can you exoect from a COOK.
The only BULLSHIT is that we hold these assholes as celebrities.
You know that they go to school for 18 months????So where do they get their knowledge??? NOWHERE. 75 % of them are FULL BLOWNED ALCOHOLICS, and they relay on an ORGANOLIPTIC world.



Lesley's picture

Well even the gluten tolerant cant stand him cause his restaurant is closed