Dual Review: Chef vs. Customer

By | Aug 17, 2010

Domata Living Flour at Terra Restaurant

Gluten-Free Customer

Kristin N. Voorhees, Program Associate for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA)

The gluten-free phenomenon is not coming to a halt anytime soon and Eric Paraskevas, Executive Chef of Terra Restaurant in Philadelphia, is entirely aware of this dining need becoming a standard in today’s restaurants.

Another business well acquainted with the rising gluten-free marketplace is Domata Living Flour, a leader in the manufacturing and production of gluten-free all-purpose flour. Domata’s signature product, gluten-free all-purpose flour, is truly unique in that it can be used as a cup-to-cup exchange for regular, gluten-containing flour. This is undoubtedly the product’s most important characteristic since the majority of gluten-free flours on today’s market require different measurements when incorporated into recipes that call for “regular” flour.

Earlier this summer members of NFCA staff and their family had the privilege of dining at Terra Restaurant to taste Executive Chef Eric Paraskevas’ recreations of several popular menu items he prepared using Domata Living Flour. Thanks to GREAT Kitchens, an NFCA program that trains members of the restaurant industry to effectively offer patrons gluten-free options, Chef Eric knew how to safely prepare his menu items to be gluten-free using Domata’s products. We had on hand three celiacs and two gluten-eating folks to taste test the dishes. The results? Delicious!

Lamb Pizza
LambWhile gluten-free pizza has become a popular addition to several menus, many restaurants fail to offer versions beyond the traditional cheese and tomato or cheese and veggie combos. However, Chef Eric was able to offer not just one, but two original takes on the Italian classic! We enjoyed a Lamb Pizza, complete with feta, hummus, olive oil, and red onion, and a Prosciutto Pizza, topped with pear, mozzarella, red pepper pesto, and balsamic.

The best part about both the Lamb and Prosciutto Pizzas was the similarity to its gluten-containing counterpart – there was actual flour on the bottom of the crust! This characteristic is almost unheard of in the gluten-free world, and the celiac folks really enjoyed this ability of Domata’s flour. While both pizza crusts were very thin and airy, the Lamb Pizza was much crunchier.

Prosciutto Pizza
pizzapIt was a challenge to choose a “winner” among the pizzas. Everyone was in agreement that the Prosciutto Pizza was super cheesy and sweet (thanks to the balsamic and red pepper pesto), but the crunchiness of the pears was missing. On the other hand, the lamb offered a unique, sweet flavor, the hummus was incredibly creamy, and the lightness of the dish provoked everyone to reach for a second slice.

We also had the good fortune of homemade, gluten-free pasta on the dinner menu. (That’s a sentence you aren’t often able to write!) Using Domata Living Flour to create the pasta, Chef Eric prepared Roast Chicken & Manchego Tagliatelle Pasta in a Harissa Cream Sauce.

Gluten-free Tagliatelle with chicken, mushrooms, peas, and cheese, in a spicy cream sauce
pastaAlthough the cream sauce was on the lighter side and not very heavy, it managed to hold very well to the Tagliatelle pasta. So well in fact that the two non-celiacs at the table were the first to recognize this aspect! Both remarked that they wouldn’t have known it was gluten-free unless they had been informed. Compliments to both Chef Eric and Domata! This is indeed an attribute that all gluten-free chefs and manufacturers strive to hear.

The noodles had a thick width, but were rather thin in depth, which made them less ideal for soups and better fit for pasta dishes. With this dish, Chef Eric provided our table with a true comfort food that we were able to share family style. It was also a pretty meal to just look at, as the green peas added a nice pop of color among the chicken and Tagliatelle. The hint of spice and the creaminess of this pasta dish made the Tagliatelle a hit!

A big thanks to Domata Living Flour! Your product is proof that gluten-free pizza and pasta can be delicious too!

Interested in checking out Terra? Be sure to try their other menu items too. Whitney Ehret, Kristin Voorhees, and Chris Auman and her twin daughters, Madeline and Samantha, enjoyed these tasty dishes and dessert too!

Other menu items enjoyed included:

  • Terra Salad with mixed greens, grilled red onions, cucumber, roasted beets,creamy dressing, hazelnuts
  • Baby Spinach Salad with blue cheese, spiced almonds, mangos, apples, red onion, three-herb vinaigrette
  • Salmon with asparagus, cauliflower, truffle vinaigrette
  • Chicken Breast with honey mustard spatzle, lemongrass bisque, radish tomato salad
  • Scallops with broken red pepper vinaigrette, polenta, mushroom sauté
  • Pork Chop with sweet potatoes, pear salsa, fresh horseradish jus
  • Crab Cakes, a menu special that evening
  • Caramel and Ginger Ice Cream Sundae

Chef Eric Paraskevas

ChefEricRecently I was asked to cook with Domata Living Flour, a gluten-free flour substitute designed for people living with celiac disease. The gluten-free flour is known for its cup-to-cup exchange, an attribute expected to recreate the taste and texture of “regular” foods in the gluten-free versions of dough, pasta, breads, and other similar items.  Determined to find out whether Domata Living All-Purpose Flour is as easy to use as the product reviews claim, I used the gluten-free flour to recreate two menu items I make on the regular: pizza and pasta.

The outcome? Domata works exactly as it claims. I changed nothing in my recipes and got nearly identical results to my regular, gluten-containing menu items.

I tasted the finished products and fed my staff and a table of both non-celiacs and celiacs. The celiac folks loved the dishes, and my staff didn’t notice a difference until I told them. The resounding response was: “the flavor was that of real flour.”

The people at Domata have created a superb product by taking out the guesswork and giving all cooks simplicity. If you can read a recipe then you can use Domata Living All-Purpose Flour!

It is a product that everyone should have on hand because you never know when you’re going to have the chance to make someone’s day, week or even month.

Individuals diagnosed with celiac disease that still have a memory of what “real” pizza and pasta taste like now no longer have a reason to miss out on old favorites. With this product chefs can provide dishes to those who thought certain foods were forever gone.

It has been, and continues to be, very satisfying to watch a gluten-free customer eat a dish as familiar as pizza  – it is almost impossible to overlook the nostalgia and memories that emerge.

Now, because of Domata Living Flour, we can bring back all of those memories and good feelings more often.

4 Comments so far
  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CeliacAwareness, Rachel Begun. Rachel Begun said: RT @CeliacAwareness: Thanks to @DomataFlour and Chef Eric at @terraPA for giving us #gf pizza and pasta that taste delish! Read our review: http://bit.ly/dnJJYd [...]

  2. Lyle Shaulis August 26, 2010 10:41 pm

    I have personally prepared several of our families favorite meals using Domata Living flour and I agree with Chef Eric. Domata is easy to use with wonderful results.

  3. melanie November 29, 2010 10:03 am

    i need to know the ingredients in your flour. My grandaughter is not only allergic to wheat, but also corn, rice (most of which are substitutes for wheat. the list goes on but these are the ones found in breads, pastas, etc. please help

  4. Cheryl November 29, 2010 10:55 am

    Hi Melanie,

    Domata Living Flour includes rice flour and corn starch. You can view the complete list of ingredients and nutritional information on their website: http://www.domatalivingflour.com/nutritionvalues.html. Unfortunately, it would not be an appropriate substitute for your granddaughter.

    Cheryl, Online Content Manager, NFCA

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