Art Smith's Gluten-Free Goodbye

No meat, no fish, no eggs, no dairy, no bread, no soy... No way!

By Matt Bartosik
|  Friday, Aug 7, 2009  |  Updated 12:32 PM CDT
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Graham Elliot Bowles, Chippendales Bartender

Courtesy: Table Fifty-Two

Top Chef will miss you, Art.

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Midwest Grub: 0
Waify actresses with trendy dietary restrictions: 1.

Poor local chef Art Smith got hosed  when he was asked to cook for Zooey Deschanel in the latest episode of Top Chef Masters.

Smith—owner of Table Fifty-Two and former personal chef to Oprah Winfrey—and his five fellow competitors were asked to cook lunch for the blue-eyed actress and her friends, but with a giant caveat.

"I can't eat any meat, fish, eggs, or dairy," Deschanel said in a video taped message.  "Also, I have a few dietary restrictions. I'm gluten-intolerant, and I don't eat soy."

Smith, who is well known for his fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and other Southern-inspired foods pounded the kitchen counter in frustration.

Gluten is commonly found in wheat, rye and barley, so the chefs would not be able to use flour, breads, stuffing, pastas or crumble toppings. Even some mustards, gravies and salad dressings can have gluten in them. Basically everything tasty includes this stuff.

Each of the chefs were responsible for one dish of the meal. Smith voluntarily took on dessert because he didn't feel comfortable making a vegan and allergen-free entrée.

"Are you trying to go home?" competitor Michael Chiarello joked, knowing that dessert has been the downfall of so many past Top Chef contestants.

That's exactly what would happen.

Smith tanked his rice-ice-cream soup dessert, and the judges let him have it.

"I should've just made the strawberry sorbet and been done with it," he said.

With two Chicago chefs gone, we are now left to root for the other hometown culinary artist. Go Rick Bayless!

Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger and contributor to Reality Shack, eats plenty of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.

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