Tavern on the Green was always known more for its glitzy ambiance than for the quality of its food, so it's not particularly surprising to learn that a chef there may have been up to some shady shenanigans. Former executive banquet chef Damian Cardone is taking heat today for a Facebook confession regarding his habit of screwing customers who requested gluten-free pasta. Cardone, you see, is a gluten-allergy denier, and according to this Facebook post, he seemed to enjoy disregarding their requests:

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!

Eat gluten and die, people with allergies! The Facebook post was discovered by Foodista, which notes that the Facebook page has since been taken down. Earlier this month, Dr. Alessio Fasano at the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research published a paper proving that gluten sensitivity exists. "People with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity experience near-identical symptoms, including diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, joint pain, depression, brain fog and migraines," Dr. Fasano explains.

And a Foodista commenter writes, "As a recently diagnosed 'gluten free' eater, I can say that the reaction takes about 2 - 4 hours for me, and if someone told me I was getting gluten free I would assume it was another ingredient I inadvertently ate elsewhere than the 'gluten free' dish. People mistake the allergy for something like an anaphalactic shock sort of allergy, when instead it’s like lactose intolerance, digestive upset. If he’s that upset about the ‘gluten free’ dining, he should just make it clear he doesn’t cater to such diners and they can easily choose to eat elsewhere."

Some chefs are in fact electing to do just that; earlier this month the Times reported that a growing number of "purist" chefs are pushing back against what they see as excessive customer fussiness. Celebrity chef David Chang says he thinks "The special requests are ridiculous. My personal opinion is that a lot of people say they have a special allergy or they don’t like something so they can get better service." [Via Zagat Buzz]