Looking for somewhere to dine in the Fashion District? Look no more it’s Strand American Bistro and Executive Chef Kelvin Fernandez to the rescue.
I first saw Chef on the Foodnetwork show Chopped in August and was struck by this simple fact: he has a shellfish allergy and the competition involved cooking two dishes using shellfish. Chef Kelvin won those challenges - without tasting his creations, he’s that good.
He follows the same motto that I employ: Just because you have a restricted diet, does not mean you have a restricted life.
Watch as Chef Kelvin and I discuss the best ways to dine out with any dietary restriction and he makes me a lunch fit for this Allergic Girl!
NB: For the French fries in this segment, he poured fresh grape seed oil into a clean pot, and double fried hand cut French fries. Why go to all of that trouble? Very often (as in almost always) a restaurant fryer is used for multiple frying items and thus contaminated with allergens. Some restaurants do have dedicated fryers just for fries; always double check. However even then, it is rare that I will have anything fried. So this was a real treat. Chef even opened a new box of salt for the fries so the salt was also free of allergens from previous users' hands..
This wasn’t just special for me. If you contact Chef ahead of time and discuss your needs, he would do this for you too, happily. You can contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him I sent you. Use my dining out protocol from this blog or the strategies outlined in my book Allergic Girl and go!
Thank you Chef and The Strand NYC for a lovely and safe afternoon:
Strand American Bistro and The Strand NYC hotel
33 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018
CHEF's email: email@example.com
Additional information about Executive Chef Kelvin Fernandez from a press release: Chef Fernandez, a native of NYC, was born in Harlem and discovered his natural culinary talent while enrolled at Long Island City High School in Queens, New York. It was a culinary course that first enlightened Fernandez to his inherent culinary intuitions and, at the young age of 15, set him on the path to pursuing a career as a professional chef. Shortly after graduating Chef Fernandez was selected for a prestigious apprenticeship working under Michelin-star Chef Georges Masraff at the Water’s Edge Restaurant in Queens, New York. The mentorship of Chef Masraff cultivated Kelvin’s culinary passion and eventually lead him to the C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program), a not-for-profit organization that introduces food service career opportunities to disadvantaged youths.