Intolerance at the Fairmont Royal York, Toronto

Facing gluten intolerance dining out at restaurants can be problematic, but the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto made it look easy.

I recently met up with two business colleagues at the Library Bar in the Fairmont Royal York .  Conducting business over afternoon tea made it feel like a luxurious treat.  One colleague, visiting from Trinidad explored the finer details of afternoon tea for the first time and was totally puzzled by the crumpet.

I  contacted Chef Tom Phuong-Luu a few days ahead to see if a gluten free “Royal tea” was possible.  “I’ll make it happen” was the response which was very refreshing as often food intolerance and allergies  are treated as an enormous inconvenience.

What was missing at my afternoon tea at the Royal York ?  nothing obvious and the gluten free did not equate with taste free.  Because everything tasted so scrumptious, I asked for some of the recipes, so I can re-create them.  They use a very popular company in Edmonton, Alberta called Kinnickinnick for  gluten free bagels, breads, biscuits, and  muffins.  When Chef Tom lived out west he ran into their location by accident and has been promoting them to friends and guests since.  The products should be available in most health food stores.  They have scads of  requests on the lobster salad recipe so it is listed below for you to try.

The hotel menu is in the process of being changed and the  new one will have a lot more seasonal ingredients including Niagara apples and pears to name a few and the rest is still a work in progress.

PEI Lobster Salad

Atlantic Lobster Meat-claw and knuckle                                300g
Red, Green, Yellow Bell peppers                               small diced=50g
Red onion                                                                           Small diced=10g
Mango                                                                                  small diced=50g
Celery                                                                                   small diced=1 stalk
Mayo                                                                                    1 cup
Lemon Juice                                                                       To taste
Salt and Pepper                                                                                To taste


Small dice the peppers, onions, celery and mango together in large mixing bowl

  1. If using already cooked lobster meat, remove lobster meat from package and chop into small dice size pieces as you squeeze any access liquid from it and add to the mixing bow along with the mayo
  2. Continue to fold and mix the salad thoroughly and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
  3. Ensure mixture is not too runny and salad has a nice body and texture.

Royal York lobby

Chef Tom Phuong-Luu at the hotel's rooftop garden

Recipe courtesy of the Fairmont Royal York, 100 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario


About The blog of travel & lifestyle journalist Melody Wren

Melody is a freelance writer because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. She writes about travel, food, lifestyle and green living. Melody loves staying in a place long enough to get acquainted. Local customs, markets and traditional cultures are magnets for this writer. When not writing she’s either on the road, in the air, or savoring something tasty. Most of her travels feature outdoor adventures of some sort, although she typically avoids sleeping on the ground. She is an ordinary person that enjoys challenging and pushing herself, facing fears with an eye on experiential travel. She needs to do it, feel it and see it so she can write about it. Her hope is that her stories encourage readers to get out there and do the same.
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