John Libonati

Chef Damian Cardone Brags About Feeding Gluten-free Patrons High Gluten Pasta

by John Libonati on March 30th, 2011


 

[Editor's Note: This story is from 2011. It still illustrates why we must be vigilant about where we go to eat.]

Gluten-free Nation, you should be rightly shocked, dismayed and FURIOUS!  A chef in Glenwood Springs, Colorado is poisoning you...and bragging about it.

Chef Damian Cardone is wantonly feeding gluten pasta to patrons who request gluten-free food according to a post on his Facebook page. 

Chef Poisons People Gluten Free Works

Cardone was deliberately feeding high gluten food to people as of March 10 according the dates on comments to his post.  

It gets worse.  Cardone seems to relish his campaign to feed gluten-free individuals gluten...even on the one holiday many people enjoy in restaurants. 

In a February 10 post, Cardone states,"May god help the Liberal hippie idiot whos going to ask for gluten free pasta this weekend."

Damian Cardone Gluten Free Works

He was talking about the weekend of February 12 & 13 - Valentine's Day Weekend.  Can you imagine going to his restaurant with your wife, husband or significant other for your Valentine's Day dinner, requesting a gluten-free meal, being assured by Cardone that you will receive what you pay for, and being intentionally given gluten?

In the performance of our mission to help people get well and stay healthy living gluten free, Gluten Free Works fired off a letter to John W. Suthers, Attorney General of the Colorado  State Department of Law.

Dear Mr. Attorney General,

It has come to our attention that a chef named Damian Cardone intentionally feeds his gluten-free patrons gluten-containing dishes.  According to his Facebook page, Mr. Cardone lives in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

You will find his Facebook page, where he describes his actions, at this link http://on.fb.me/en2Vel  The date on comments is March 10 of this year.

Celiac disease is a medical condition resulting in pain, serious complications and possibly death.  It results from intestinal damage due to ingestion of gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oats).  The only treatment is removing gluten from the diet.  In addition, people with a wheat allergy can suffer anaphylaxis if exposed.

Please investigate this matter immediately.  Mr. Cardone is self-admittedly poisoning people who trust him and actively jeopardizing his community.

I look forward to your prompt reply.  This message, and your reply, will be posted on Glutenfreeworks.com.

Sincerely

John Libonati

GlutenFreeWorks.com http://glutenfreeworks.com Tel. 215-591-4565

"Recognizing Celiac Disease" The Complete Guide to Recognizing, Diagnosing and Managing Celiac Disease http://www.recognizingceliacdisease.com ____________________________

The Attorney General's office responded that they are forwarding the information to the Consumer Protection section.   You can be sure Gluten Free Works will follow up.  Cardone's diabolical, premeditated and persistent disregard for gluten-free consumers' health must be stopped.  Living gluten-free is difficult enough without having to worry about your chef lying to your face as he poisons your food and laughs behind your back.

You can help. Forward this article to everyone you know.  Contact your local and national celiac support groups and lodge a complaint with the Colorado State Attorney General's office.  Encourage them to pursue Damian Cardone with the urgency his unconscionable behavior demands, to quickly put a stop to his ongoing crimes.  Help us stop him from injuring people in his community.

Chef Damian Cardone. Said he feeds gluten to gluten-free patrons.

 

-------------------------- Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA Publisher, Glutenfreeworks.com. Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease. John can be reached by e-mail here.


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73 Responses to “Chef Damian Cardone Brags About Feeding Gluten-free Patrons High Gluten Pasta”

  1. Scotty says:

    Obviously, the man has anger issues with everyone and the gf issue is just part of it. He’s lumping all gf people with the belief that its strictly a celebrity-driven fad. He’s too arrogant to know facts, because that would require learning and he obviously knows it all already. I, too, am a conservative, college-educated individual that has suddenly hit with gluten issues at the age of 47. I read he has been fired from his job. I hope he’s never able to chef anywhere else ever again!

  2. Bonnie says:

    P.S.
    From Damian’s FB post: ,”May god help the Liberal hippie idiot whos going to ask for gluten free pasta this weekend.”

    What on earth?! Where did he get that Liberal hippie idiots are GF? I’m a Conservative educated (not an idiot!) business owner who was never a hippie!

  3. Bonnie says:

    I tried going to the link in John’s letter to the AG of Colorado, but it’s no longer available; so apprently Chef Cardone got diluged with FB posts from celiacs and removed the page. I would like to set Damian straight on what’s happened to flour and bread being “the staple of life” (according to his FB post) for thousands of years. When wheat has been “hybridized” (I personally like to use the more appropropriate word “bastardized”) and genetically altered so much and no longer has the same nutirional components it had even 100 years ago, it is NOT the staple of life it once was. A former Mayo Clinic pathologist I’ve gotten to know had to go to Ethiopia to find the “mother wheat,” as there isn’t any left in most other places. At the turn of the 19th century, there were over 100 varieties of wheat; there are only 8 today, and all of them have been genetically altered. How can our systems process what is completely changed from what nature and God created?! The same thing is happening to soy, which is why there are so many soy allergies; and it will happen to corn and maybe even rice. We have some companies (I won’t name the worst culprit here) who are so greedy that they want to have a monopoly on seeds, so they genetically alter them so that they won’t reproduce after they’ve made one crop. Chef Damian is simply ignorant like many other Americans, and I would venture to say that he will be forced to understand that a GF person ingesting gluten is, in many people (myself included), food poisoning! He can be sued for his patrons getting that sick. I will be interested to see if his restaurant suffers from his thoughtless, inconsiderate and SELFISH rantings and deception!

  4. […] Thanks to John Libonati for spear heading this effort! Help a Gluten Free Warrior out by sharing to facebook […]

  5. gfveg says:

    i guess he didnt realize who he’d be messing with. power to the gluten-free-people!!

  6. Jeanne says:

    According to KJCTChannel 8 he’s moved to New Jersey. We need to find him there and prevent him from working….

    http://www.kjct8.com/news/27377743/detail.html

  7. pam parsons says:

    Those of us with Celiac Sprue don’t find this funny. If any was made ill, sue his arse for assault and make your medical bills evidence. What a jackadope.

  8. Aunt Jayne says:

    I am so happy to see that the law is getting involved in this matter.
    They might also consider getting this guy some psychiatric help as well.

  9. Emma says:

    John and Sharon,

    Just FYI – there is a very good chance that facebook still has all of Damian’s comments stored on their servers. If he simply deactivated his account all information is saved until the user (or any facebook admin) reactivates it. If he deleted his account, he first had to put in a request to do so and facebook still keeps the information for a set amount of time before deleting it (I’m not sure what that time frame is sorry!). If the attorney general’s office requests this information facebook will likely have to provide it if it’s still available.

    Good luck and let’s hope the punishment fits the crime…hey maybe he’ll even develop CD or an allergy to gluten later in his life! ;)

    • John Libonati John Libonati says:

      Thanks, Emma!

      You touched on something I was considering earlier. Undiagnosed celiac disease with concurrent multiple nutritional deficiencies would explain the poor judgment and behavioral abnormalities. Wouldn’t that be something?

      -John

  10. Rose says:

    I have Celiac Disease and I’m sick for days after ingesting gluten, it’s like being poisoned, it’s horrible! I can’t believe how cruel and arrogant that man is!

  11. Richard Adams says:

    You have to be kidding. This is no “FAD” for some people. I have a couple of defenseless grand children that bend in half most of the night if they eat gluten. One of them brakes out in a rash on he face if she even touches it, God only knows what her insides look like. She is 3 and anybody that deliberately harms her will have some heavy duty things happen to them.

    What a jerk. I hope he goes broke! He does not deserve to serve people in any capacity.

  12. Chef Ali says:

    I am a personal chef, and I also happen to be gluten intolerant. Even if I wasn’t gluten intolerant, I still need to respect all my clients tastes and dietary issues. What he did was a disgrace to the cheffing industry, and especially to anyone who suffers so greatly from a glutenization. It’s disgusting, to say the very least.

  13. jennifer says:

    he has left colorado, now supposedly in new jersey.

  14. Charlotte Emery says:

    …has been gluten-free for five months since we learned that he was most likely autistic. We’ve since gotten a bonafide PDD-NOS diagnosis. On the prevalent “mythology” we removed wheat and dairy from his diet. Within a week he was making eye contact and giggling. Today, with the addition of eliminating soy, he is expressing likes/dislikes and independently seeking out affection. It could be voodoo, science, or voodoo science. Whatever way you factor it the responses are real. At two there is no way for him to jump on the band wagon, hippie parents or no. The true bottom line is, food service is a customer service industry, be it McDonalds or Chez Panice. Regardless of my reasons if I request dietary accommodations I should either be told I cannot be served or the treatment I am promised. Ultimately, as far as this guy is concerned, if you don’t like people you can’t feed them.

  15. Larry Waters says:

    I know nothing about the gluten free issue, but I worked in the restaurant business for 15 years and I am appalled by Mr. Cardone’s attitude and reprehensible behavior.

    Mr. Cardone is not a chef, nor does he understand what it means to be one, or what running a restaurant is all about.

  16. Krysten says:

    He’s admitting to poisoning people. It’s poison to a celiac!

  17. Charlotte Emery says:

    There’s been a lot of discussion about IgE gluten-free consumers, but what about the IgG gluten-free community. My 2-year-old son has been gluten-free for five m

  18. Pam says:

    This moron doesn’t realize that he’s opening himself up to lawsuits.

  19. Debbie Forestello says:

    Being a diagnosed Celiac, what’s even scarier than this guy is who else is out there with this attitude? Just when I’ve gotten brave enough to go out to restaurants feeling I can safely order a meal, I hear this. I was just at one the other evening and was assured by the GM I could safely order my meal GF. I was ill for the next 2 days and was hoping it was coincidental and perhaps I had a small stomach virus. Hopefully that truly is what it was and not another insensitive, uneducated moron.

  20. Sharon Ho says:

    This person has taken down his entire Facebook profile, so all that remains of evidence of his vile actions are articles like this. I have seen many well-written open letters to him, but realistically someone who spews such hatred for a condition he knows nothing about then promptly scurries away when he is faced with the consequences will probably never read them or take them seriously. Best for all to remember that there are jerks like him out there and to always be prepared when you eat out, as much as you can be. What a miserable excuse for a human being….

    • John Libonati John Libonati says:

      Sharon, he may have taken down his Facebook page, but we have his words….and screenshots. Picture’s worth a thousand words, right? ;)

      Any potential employer who checks his background with a Google search of “Damian Cardone” will see exactly what he did.

      -John

  21. I first saw this come across my Facebook feed, and now have followed it on all the gluten-free websites.

    This man is a criminal and should be treated like one. Locked up, all licenses for everything taken away, the whole nine yards. What he was doing was malicious and could have resulted in illness, permanent health damage and death. As someone who lives with Celiac, I would have been beside myself with rage if he had lied to me about what I was eating. Heck, I’m beside myself with rage and I didn’t even eat at his restaurant!

    I hope justice is served.
    Also, I can’t help but think that this would make a great storyline for “Law & Order”.

  22. shiv says:

    It took from when i was 6 weeks old until i was 21 to discover i had coeliacs my teens and most of my childhood are a memory of pain and days out being ruined. i feel now that i can enjoy life at 24 and if needs be eat out where a restaurant has gluten free items on a menu. to think that this man has done this for a laugh and doesnt even seem (from his posts under his photos) to have liked his job or boss is just unforgiveable. I hope that this man is brought to justice. no one may have died from this but would it be looked at so weakly by law enforcement if he gave nuts to a person with an allergy for a giggle?

  23. Marcia says:

    My only hope is that he, too, gets diagnosed with Celiac. How sweet the revenge will be. I’m smiling just imagining that day.

  24. Nadya says:

    Thanks for your letter – this is so sad!
    Our family has several ‘gluten sensitive’ members, & several with celiac. My daughter had the genetic testing done a couple of years ago, & since I passed on a gene, I went GF with her & her families, as I wanted to support the grandkids (now 6 & 10) in being GF – what a difference for ALL of us!
    My daughter has DH (mostly cleared up, tho she gets flares if she gets gluten) & anxiety – which cleared up that first WEEK of being gluten free (heart palpitations every morning for 12 years – GONE!) the anxiety returned for a week when she got a ‘leaded’ cupcake at a party (her younger daughter had been given a GF one, but the hostess didn’t know to serve her one as well!) … a week of heart palpitations & anxiety – which she ‘Knew’ were caused by the brain chemistry being thrown off …
    Did that show up at the party ? no – & I don’t think she mentioned it, as it was an honest mistake on both parts … her 10 year old daughter, who’d also eaten one, threw a HUGE fit, kicking & hollering that she’d rather go to a park in town than to the beach (!!!)
    The girls have done wonderfully on the GF regime, & are very careful – our family has issues with Dyslexia (GF RN ties most learning disabilities to gluten!) & the 10 year old’s reading level rose from 12 – 22 last fall! She’s also off her anti-seizure meds, as her brain waves seem to have stabalized.
    Would the chef see her tantrum, or my daughter’s heart palpitations??
    Awareness is so crucial!

  25. Sam says:

    Thanks for taking action!

  26. Elizabeth says:

    It is actually Glenwood Springs Colorado.

    And I think if he did it intentionally and if someone died, it would just be manslaughter.

  27. Sally JPA says:

    Way to go, John! This chef is an absolute idiot, but more importantly, there should be legal repercussions for what he’s doing. Keep us updated on what the AG says and does.

  28. Kelly says:

    He WORKED (not anymore) at Florindo’s in Glenwood Springs, CO. The lady on the phone was irritated as all get out by the call so I could tell she was inundated with phone calls and it sounded like he was recently fired. Maybe over this. Now we need to call the other local restaurants so they don’t hire him including the surrounding communities in Aspen, Vail, etc.

  29. Laura says:

    I wonder if he can be prosecuted for this? I hope he has single-handedly ruined his own joke of a career.

  30. glen says:

    The phone number to his place of employ is [REMOVED]. Floridino’s Italian Cuisine Glenwood Springs Co.

  31. Thank you John for taking such prompt action against this jerk! Keep up the great work helping inform the gluten free community.
    All the best,
    Peter

  32. Kelly says:

    PS–I live in Glenwood Springs, CO.

  33. Kelly says:

    Am trying to find out where he works!! I think I might know because I ate there one night just a short time after my diagnosis and was sick as all get out for two days.

  34. Lori says:

    I saw this on my FB this morning. I immediately twittered it, shared his posting on my FB page, and informed others. He should be charged with intent to harm. He’s such an idiot. And the other posts he made makes him sound like he is arrogant and unempathetic to anyone but himself. I curse him to have the affliction he so vehemently denied existed, even if that sounds mean. People like him should have to learn to walk in other people’s shoes; he might learn empathy.

    I hope he is charged, his license revoked, and that he will never work as a Chef anywhere else again. I also hope this also makes national attention. Not only would it put others who may yet to have heard what he’s done on guard, but it would further inform the nation about celiac disease and gluten-intolerance. The more the word gets out, the more likely that people will start opening more restaurants that are entirely gluten-free and have more empathy to the GF nation!

  35. Betty says:

    I am outraged that this man would do this. I also believe he should be prosecuted. if you have celiac, gluten is TOXIC and ruins the villi in your intestines! this is why they do the biopsy to see the damage. This man should be ashamed. feeding people food that can cause so much pain and damage is beyond insane and should be held to the highest accountability under the law when it is done willingly and with INTENTION! This man bragging that he is lying to consumers who have celiac, & he should be prosecuted… SHAME on him!

  36. Heather says:

    I have absolutely no words. This is a criminal act – if he was doing this to people that had peanut allergies who go into anaphylactic shock and they died, he would go to jail for involuntary manslaughter.

    I cannot believe that he has gotten away with this. I really hope that he reaps the consequences of his actions. What an ahole!

  37. Liz says:

    This guy needs to be shut down and punished. If he did move to NJ then I hope like hell that he isn’t attempting to do the same thing simply in another state. Unfortunately he must of either changed his privacy settings on Facebook or taken down his page because otherwise I would have given him a piece of my mind.

    GF is not a lifestyle choice, believe me if I had a choice about still feeling good and eating gluten I would certainly eat the regular pasta and pizza and cookies, but I don’t. After nearly 10 years of making 10-15 runs to the bathroom to loose my lunch my gastric pain came to a peak last August and it was a struggle to even move. After hearing a news story on gluten intolerance and going through yet another test (colonoscopy) finding nothing, my parents took me off of all wheat and I have felt probably 100 times better just in the last 6 months. Now anytime that I am given something that contains wheat, while I might not know it right away usually 4 hours later or so I am in severe pain. The fact that this chef never saw the reaction is simply a matter of timing not the proof that he claims it is that Gluten Intolerance isn’t real.

    This chef is a criminal and he is a good example of why it is scary as a GF individual to eat out at a restaurant without doing a lot of research beforehand. I am going to New Orleans this summer and I hope that none of the chefs I deal with are like this criminal.

  38. Denise Hopper says:

    This man is, in my opinion, guilty of battery in the very least. Maybe he should do a little research before poisoning people. I am a person that sometimes doesn’t get sick until the next day. Does he think people will swell up and fall over at the table? He obviously has no idea what Celiac Disease or Sprue is. It takes weeks for myself to regulate after being glutened. I am like a child in the fact that I vomit violently, have diarrhea and am in so much pain it feels like labor. Everything I eat for weeks just goes right through me. I hope he is charged, if he isn’t something is seriously wrong in this country.

  39. Karen says:

    I am sadden that the Attorney General’s Office does not understand this issue. The man knew what he was doing and that it would harm people. If he had put arsenic in the food, would they have sent it to the Consumer division?

  40. He should be put in jail. Meanwhile, the content is no longer available on Facebook. Good. They shut him down! He should be jailed for this!

  41. Lauren Elyse says:

    I just recently decided to experiment with cutting out gluten from my diet. Celiac runs in my family and I have severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Guess what, without gluten, I’m actually seeing a HUGE improvement in my skin and joints. Would I notice while in his restaurant that I’d eaten gluten? Unlikely. Would I maybe end up in the ER because of pain hours later? Possible.

    This man does not deserve anything better than swallowing broken glass to understand the pain he has intentionally caused people. I have posted this article everywhere I can and have written a letter of complaint, citing your article.

  42. Jen says:

    Thank you so much for this information. I think this man is a criminal, frankly. It appears he is getting a lot of negative feedback on Facebook, so much so that his page has been removed. I hope the attorney general pursues this, and I will be checking back for an update on your site. Thank you for bringing this to the public’s attention.

  43. Lisa says:

    Thanks. Keep his name coming up on Google–looks like he’s moved to NJ.

    My three celiac kids will vomit everything in their stomachs if they eat an ounce of gluten-containing food…a few hours later. My five-year-old twins nearly starved to death while we were waiting for a diagnosis three and a half years ago. They weighed fifteen pounds at 18 months and had stopped walking and talking…I’m not one to jump in a pile-up, but I don’t want this guy making food.

  44. Jen says:

    Thank you for sharing about this. I wrote a post calling people to additional action. If you are interested, here is it: http://jenmitch.posterous.com/chef-damian-cardone

  45. Rhys says:

    Thanks for posting this, and especially for your letter to the Attorney General. Intentionally giving people food with known allergens is not only a complete d-bag thing to do, but it is also nothing less than criminal. My partner has Celiac disease, and I have watched her suffer tremendously because of it. She also works at one of the most prestigious culinary institutes in America, and as she is the person who has shared this story with me, it is very likely that she has already written a note to many of the prestigious chefs that are instructors there.

    From my perspective, what “Chef” Cardone has done is admitted to a crime. There is empirical evidence showing that he has at least made these claims. While it cannot be proven that he actually did those things, even his claims are a huge liability to the health of many innocent people, and I agree with you that this should absolutely be investigated by the Attorney General.

  46. Concerned Restaurant Patron says:

    The amount of pain I spent most of my life in due to the foods I was eating and enjoying is something that was very real and VERY inhibiting to my personal & professional life. Becoming Gluten Free meant that I didn’t need to visit the bathroom 10-15 times a day when it was at it’s worst. Being Gluten Free meant that I didn’t have to worry anymore about scheduled activities being uncompleted because I couldn’t leave the nearest restroom. Being Gluten Free meant that my body was absorbing more of the good stuff I needed in order to be a healthy, active person.

    Cardone may find it so funny but he doesn’t hear about what the pain is or that a birthday party is missed, or a date or a business meeting is cancelled because all of a sudden his patrons are sick and they won’t know why.

  47. Melonie says:

    This guy is jerk. Whether or not he agrees with someone’s food choices whether it is valid or (especially) due to a medical condition he has absolutely no right to do this. This is on the level of purposefully poisoning a person in many cases. What I want to know is what restaurant was this occurring in?

    BTW I love it when idiot hippie-hating jerks do not know how to edit their Facebook privacy settings and put themselves on blast.

  48. Keri says:

    Wow! I can’t imagine that there are people in this world that would be so ignorant! My 6 yr. old daughter has Celiac Disease and Becomes VERY ill if she even eats one bite of gluten. Sadly, pasta may be one thing that she and other kids like her would order. Then again, he is not the one who is with her as she cries and vomits 10 times in just two hours from one bite of gluten that she didn’t even fully swallow before spitting it out. Yes, this is what happened the last time she had pasta in a restaurant…makes me wonder if another chef had the same thoughts!

  49. Jennifer says:

    I am allergic to wheat, and for someone to do something like this INTENTIONALLY is unbelievable. My allergy sometimes takes up to 60 minutes to inflict pain, but after it does so, it takes up to 3 days for my body to regulate. Before my diagnosis, I couldn’t keep nutrients in my body because my body didn’t tolerate the wheat and was therefore very underweight. This is not a “lifestyle choice” for many of us.

    I hope this guy gets shut down.

  50. Stacie says:

    This man is a jerk. I live a gluten-free lifestyle. I hope someone shuts him down for deliberate and malicious behavior.

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