Treatment Guid

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


[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  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


John Libonati
Tel. 215-591-4565

“Recognizing Celiac Disease”
The Complete Guide to Recognizing, Diagnosing and Managing Celiac Disease

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
Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease.
John can be reached by e-mail here.

About John Libonati

Author Information: John Libonati, SW Florida Publisher, & The Gluten Free Works Treatment Guide.
  • Cheryl says:

    My daughter is both a Type 1 diabetic and has celiac disease (both autoimmune diseases). I am also a lawyer. These actions of callousness and disregard of the safety for customers of a public restaurant is unconscionable. We live in Denver and have not had the “pleasure” of eating at this restaurant. If you did and are also celiac or have gluten allergies and were intentionally served a meal with gluten, email me at

  • Jessica says:

    I’m so angry after reading this post. Just because someone left feeling fine after eating the wheat gluten he fed them, doesn’t mean they didn’t start feeling it after they left and weren’t sick for the rest of the WEEK! If I lived in CO, you better believe I would eat there, get purposely poisoned by this man and then sue him. (I’d regret it during the week, but anything to get idiots like him in trouble) He’s an idiot for putting all this info on his facebook because that’s all the evidence you need for a case against him right there!

  • Jessica says:

    One of my fans on FB just posted this update:

    “The GF community has been doing a lot of tracking of this guy the past two days and it looks like he was fired from his job a few days after the comment was posted and is now in New Jersey, fyi. People have been calling the places he has (claimed to have) worked in the past but there is no need, considering he is on the east coast now.”

  • Tadeu says:

    John Libonati deserves a great bit of thanks from all of us for breaking this. I would also like to thank the sweet baby Jesus for the STUPID, reminding me that there really is a pupose for everybody, even the wanabe pseudo chef agrio-terrorists like Damian Cardone. Now I hope this goes viral on youtube and facebook. I have already sent word to two of the biggest blabbermouths on both East and West coasts. One in New York and the other in San Diego who will no doubt help educate the public and maybe even perhaps call the attention of the restaurant and food industry. I really hate paying 200 dollars for a gourmet anniversary meal only to loose it 30 minutes after I actually tipped the waiter who assured me it would be gluten free. We must rally behind this opportunity and burn the chef in effigy. I for one would like to hang the man upside down, naked, from his testicals and burn him alive (in effigy that is). It is a metaphore. My story is much the same is most and combined but the most significant to me is that I can see the world clearly now and not through the think film of depression. Compared to this time last year, I’m somebody else and there’s so much life yet to live, not not if somebody’s going to poison me and banish me to the toilet for days at a time, depriving me of nutrients I need to be the person I was always supposed to be, and to succeed and thrive. Geez I’m even a half inch taller than I was last year. I don’t get back pain, arthritis or the gout in my 30s. I can breathe, I can sleep. I don’t need to buy bottles and bottles of Tums anymore or keep a trash can by the bed for emergencies. I can actually walk away from a McDonalds cheeseburger without regret today because the difference in my life is indescribable. I stumbled onto the truth practically by accident and then informed my several doctors of the beautiful truth. I haven’t looked back and I’m not on any medication. We need to take advantage of this. Who’s with me?

  • marion says:

    If a child is on the receiving end of this is it not considered “Attempted Murder”???

  • Carolyn says:

    ”May god help the Liberal hippie idiot whos going to ask for gluten free pasta this weekend.”

    Wow. I guess he’d better tell my husband’s wheat allergy to go away since he’s a conservative and therefore his body should understand that he can’t have a legitimate allergy to wheat and gluten. Hopefully this chef doesn’t kill someone in the process. My hubby actually has some life-threatening food allergies. Fortunately wheat isn’t life threatening, but his FA’s get worse and worse every year. It could end up that way eventually.

  • @ Dr. “X” Pharm.D

    Considering I have screen shots and PDFed the pages where he said this stuff. So no its not a rumor. I know I’m not the only one who has proof it’s not a rumor.

    So tell me, if he ranted about giving nuts to people with nut allergies, which can in fact lead to death, how is this any less criminal?

    As people have been sued for blog posts and people fired and taken to court for Facebook posts as well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lawsuit or two.

    If I were the real chef/owner at Florentino’s, I would be on my way to take the fellow to court for defaming my business. There are already numerous posts on the review sites about this and its probably going to hurt the restaurant, whether they were partially at fault or not, for employing this twit in any position he might have had there.

  • BTW, calling this bathead a chef is an insult to the entire industry, as a former “real” chef, trained at CIA, this totally fries me.

  • AngJ says:

    I almost died from eating gluten, went into shock and suffered with hives and welts all over my body for over a week. I hope this idiot gets fired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Outsider says:

    This Damian Cardone has fled to Sea Girt, NJ and moved in with his fiance, Elizabeth McCaffrey, and her two young children. I personally know Lizzy and when I met her new fiance, Damian Cardonne, right away I considered him to be a very immature idiot. And I consider Lizzy to be a very irresponsible mother for letting this wreckless fool live under the same roof with her and her two young children. I can only hope he is NOT doing the cooking in that house.
    I’m sure someone will be knocking on her door very soon.

  • Lisa says:

    His ignorance is shocking. The issues are trust and service. Patrons need to trust that when they specify an order, it is carried out. Chef’s need to trust the motives of patrons, to stay healthy. The so-called-chef is not trust worthy and is not service oriented. He sounds downright mean and nasty. How could anyone trust him to even wash his hands after he uses the restroom? I bet he spits of food if is returned to the kitchen too. Who is he to decide which patron has a real issue and which one has “less than a real issue” with gluten or anything else? Why should this chef feel he can question a patron’s dietary needs not matter what they? Let’s hope that the gluten-free community shuts this guy down! Unfortunately, the folks who need a gluten free diet and don’t get it will suffer from his cooking for hours and days after they leave his restaurant.

  • MCR says:

    I have known Damian since we were kids and I read his rant on Facebook on March 10. I was appalled and even commented about my friend’s celiacs and how he needs to be careful.
    This is no rumor.

  • MCR says:

    Well if anything, it brings this issue out in the open more. It has been pleasant to see how many Gluten-Free products have become more readily available with out digging them up ( and I do not have or use a GF diet).
    However, I can imagine the disdain someone would have when reading the rants and confessions of a chef and wonder what else people in the service industries do when you put your trust and sometimes your life in their hands.

  • YouKnowWho says:

    I have been spitting nails since I read this earlier today. Spitting nails. But guess what, eating nails won’t kill me. However I have a child who has life threatening allergies to wheat, rye and barley. Yes, gluten. He is also extremely allergic to egg. My husband has a gluten intolerance. Will it kill him, no. Will it make his life a living hell a few hours down the road, yup. I don’t make this stuff up to garner attention. My child is not a picky eater.
    And yes, I know anytime that my child or I eat out (I have my own allergies, as does my other son) that we are taking a gamble that a mistake might be made in the kitchen. But when you say you intentionally serve someone gluten when they ask for gluten free or sprinkle nuts in a nut free dessert, that makes me want to pee in your Cheerios. I will own you sir, own you.

  • YouKnowWho says:

    I wanted to add that I don’t walk into restaurants and demand things such as gluten free pasta. In the six years we have been dealing with this journey, my son has had gluten free pasta in a restaurant twice (Olive Garden). Why was this possible? Because they offered it and we took it at face value that they were willing to offer it. Generally we order off an allergy menu or discuss with the staff what will be safe for my son – hamburgers that are not a shared grill with gluten or eggs, grilled chicken, steamed veggies, fruit cups, etc. We have walked out of restaurants that were unable to serve us and have been okay with it.

    We recently walked out of a Chinese food restaurant that told us “Oh the sweet and sour chicken will be safe” – the breaded chicken? But that wasn’t deliberate, that was ignorance and a language issue. Thankfully we understood that. It’s an entirely different story when you intentionally serve someone glutened pasta because you feel like they are making this up, trying to garner attention, etc. You don’t want to work on those busy days, fine. You think people are too picky, fine. Go work in a different profession!

  • tina says:

    This is disgusting. People who have celiac sometimes do not even show symptoms when eating gluten and some symptoms do not show up for days or even weeks… meanwhile even a small amount of gluten damages their small intestine.

  • Mark says:

    He said people who at his gluten-pasta didn’t have a reaction after the meal.
    In my case, I get the body soreness reaction usually 1 to 2 days later.

    Thank you John for bringing this to the attention of Attorney General.
    I hope Damian never ever works in the food industry !

  • AngryReader says:

    At the risk of sounding dramatic, Cardone should be arrested. If anyone with a severe case of celiac disease dies from eating his glutenous pasta, then Cardone could be called a murderer.

    I really hope that he pays for what he has done.

    Shame on you, Cardone!

  • Lee says:

    There’s now a legal precedent for sending him to jail:

    That guy was just sentenced to 11 years for falsely representing his products as gluten-free.

  • Outsider says:

    After he got fired from his job in Colorado he fled to New Jersey and moved in with his girlfriend in Sea Girt, NJ. I happen to know her and I met this guy (Mr. Cardone) and he is a very immature, fat, idiot who needs some serious counseling with his issues.

  • Dan says:

    Actually, gluten can kill a celiac. One of the results of uncontrolled CD is complete loss of the ability to absorb iron. This leaves the CD person with a life long need to have regular iron infusions just to stay alive. This arrogant, self righteous fool should be arrested and the restaurant, any restaurant, that hired or hires him should be sued.

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