Michael Ibbotson, owner of the Durham Ox, said: “We always place our customers at the centre of everything we do and with more and more people developing these intolerances we need to provide a menu that means everyone can come out for a treat.
“People who have recently been diagnosed with an allergy can be really anxious when eating out with their new condition and, in our experience, they want to be taken seriously but don’t necessarily want a light shined on them.”
The menu includes a selection of starters and mains created to be completely free from wheat, rye, barley and oats, featuring dishes such as cured beef fillet Carpaccio with celeriac remoulade and rocket, pan fried sea bass fillet with butter beans, chorizo and basil oil and “The Ox” gluten-free burger with Yorkshire beef, gluten-free bread, smoked Applewood cheese, bacon and potatoes.
Ibbotson added: “If everyone else is tucking into a burger, [gluten-intolerant customers] don’t want a salad and they don’t want the meal to start off with a lot of to-ing and fro-ing to ‘ask chef.’”
The pub will also run a gluten-free Sunday lunch menu.
Recent research suggests that the number of UK sufferers of coeliac disease (the technical name for gluten intolerance) could be as much as one in 100, with up to 7,000 diagnosed each year.
For those with coeliac disease, ingesting gluten can trigger an immune reaction that damages the lining of the small intestine and other parts of the body.