Holiday meal planners: Avoid foods guests may be sensitive to

Nov 13, 2014, 7:00 AM | Updated: 7:00 am

PHOENIX — Thanksgiving dinner is just two weeks away, and if you’re the one cooking, you might want to double-check if there are any food allergies in the group.

At Southern Rail restaurant off Camelback and Third Avenue, chef Justin Beckett and and his crew make gluten-free meals every day.

“When it comes to Celiac disease, you really need to be careful in the kitchen,” he said.

Beckett’s kitchin is hopping, yet he still manages to avoid cross-contaminating wheat, barley and rye with other ingredients.

“It’s as simple as taking a knife that’s been in butter, then putting it on toast and then back into the butter,” he said. “That would be cross-contamination.”

To avoid contaminating foods, Beckett divides the ingredients and conquers.

“Start with things that cannot be contaminated,” he said. “Then move on to the next project.”

Stuffing, for instance, is a product that could easily cause accidental allergic reactions.

Becket advises to chop all the vegetables on a clean cutting board with a clean knife, then move those aside and start in with the bread — or whatever product you may be using for stuffing.

Of course, Beckett advises gluten-free bread.

“Use real, natural ingredients, lots of vegetables and things that you know are starting at point A and ending at point B,” he said.

Solid advice for the growing percentage of Americans who have seemed to develop gluten allergies.

Too bad Beckett doesn’t also have advice for those who develop Christmas-cookie addictions!

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Holiday meal planners: Avoid foods guests may be sensitive to