Gold Winner The Wooden Monkey, Halifax
Silver Winner enVie—A Vegan Kitchen
Bronze Winner Heartwood
Making her restaurant sensitive to gluten sensitivity is something The Wooden Monkey co-owner Lil MacPherson takes very seriously. “I could see this coming for years, that people are having a hard time digesting gluten,” MacPherson says. “People say it’s a fad, but it’s not. I’ve been working in restaurants since I was 16. I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go. But I’ve never seen so many young people coming in with stomach issues. People from 18 to 28—that’s the clump.” MacPherson started doing research to figure out why wheat is making people sick, which led her to retired Agriculture Canada scientist Thierry Vrain, who is sounding the alarm about chemicals giant farms use on grain. Glyphosate, an industrial pipe cleaner, is sprayed on grain to make it easier to harvest, but glyphosate tends to be harmful to “anything that has a stomach and a brain,” MacPherson says. Vrain has a lecture explaining the problem. “The first night I heard him do this presentation, I couldn’t sleep,” says MacPherson. So watch for even more gluten-free friendly dishes coming soon to the Monkey. And you can watch Vrain’s talk below.