Award-winning fish and chip shop Quayside of Whitby is proving there is such a thing as a free lunch – at least for coeliacs!
The top chippie is the only fish and chip shop in Whitby to offer customers with coeliac disease a completely gluten-free experience, with free-from batter, bread and even beer to swill it all down with, each and every day.
The Pier Road restaurant has made a name for itself on TripAdvisor for its gluten-free offering for people with coeliac disease – an autoimmune condition triggered by an intolerance to wheat, barley, oats and rye – because it is available all the time, with no need to book in advance.
Its gluten-free batter, made from a mix of corn starch, soya flour and rice flour, is cooked in a dedicated pan using separate utensils so there’s no chance of cross contamination, and Quayside staff also cook in gluten-free oil, and offer free-from bread and vinegars.
Quayside’s ‘Against the Grain’ bitter from the Wold Top Brewery – declared the “most beer like” of all gluten free beers in taste tests – is made from lager malt, maize, hops and yeast, with a gluten content certified to be well below the required standard of 20 parts per million.
“It’s really hard for people with coeliac disease or wheat intolerances to eat out and even harder for them to order a takeaway, but at Quayside we’ve made it our mission to offer a first-class free-from feast!” says Stuart Fusco, director and head chef at Quayside, voted the North East’s Best Fish and Chip Takeaway this year. “Unlike many other chippies, we don’t require people to phone us in advance to ‘book in’ their gluten-free meal: it’s on offer every day as part of our regular menu.”
As well as gluten free food, Quayside also caters for people with diabetes with no-sugar choices, and diets that require lactose-free, low potassium, low sodium and nut-free foods.
Coeliac UK research suggests that as many as 1 in 100 people have coeliac disease (pronounced see-liac) in the UK, with more than 7,000 people diagnosed each year. Gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye, triggers an immune reaction, which can damage the lining of the small intestine and other parts of the body.