Van Isle Poutinerie Tells it Like It Is!

Van Isle Poutine A copyWe all know to ask whether the french fries are gluten free and if the deep fryer used is only used to cook gluten free food. ie never shared with food that contains gluten.

But what about shared dishwashing machines, the baskets that move in and out of the fryers, where the fries sit while the oil drains and where they are kept warm before being served? Do you know what a ‘filter machine’ is?  Should you?

Danielle & Ashley of Van Isle Poutinerie Food Truck took the time to share their professional insights into how gluten-free french fries can really be. Danielle has worked in the restaurant industry for more than 20 years and knows the business inside out.

Despite a restaurant’s best intentions, she advises us that we may still be at risk. Their list of questions gluten-free diners should ask are pure gold!Restaurant Deep Fryers

1 Danielle indicated that while some restaurants use dedicated GF pans and utensils, they can be washed in the same dishwasher as utensils used to cook  gluten food that contains gluten. [Editor’s Note: best experts advise us that dirty dishes, even when washed together, should come out safe for celiacs.]

French Fry Baskets2 Fry baskets can be hung on large racks while not in use, however, they may not be identified as gluten or gluten free.  The baskets can therefore be ‘mixed and matched’ between fryers, effectively cross contaminating the ‘gluten-free’ fryer.

3 The surface where cooked gluten-free fries ‘rest’ while oil drains from them can also be used to drain gluten fries.

4 The ‘warmer’ that fries go into after being cooked but waiting to be served may not be  dedicated to gluten free. In fact,  these warmers can be used in the mornings to keep toast warm.

5 French fry bowls in hot ‘holding windows’ may be the same bowls that hold gluten fries  waiting to be served.

6 Then there is the oil filter machine. It works as a vacuum to draw oil out of  fryers to run through a filter before pumping it back into the fryer. This is done to remove charred bits of leftover food that could taint the taste of the cooked items.

French Fry WarmerStaff typically filter the designated gluten-free fryer first, then filter the oil from the fryers that cooked gluten. In theory, the filtration machine should be dismantled and the components hand scrubbed in order to remove all residual oil and gluten. As a result, the next time  staff filtered the dedicated gluten free, it was effectively contaminated with gluten from previous cleanings.

It is important that celiacs and gluten-free diners, and even their friends and family,  ask questions about the food that restaurants are serving, even when ‘gluten-free’ assurances are made. Thanks to Danielle and Ashley, we have a greater insight to what to ask – and what the answers should be! Dine safely!

Danielle’s Back Story

While Danielle does not have celiac disease, she considers herself  an ‘allergy kid’. Her severe nut allergies have resulted in many an ambulance ride followed by many a hospital stay due to negligence on a restaurant’s part, whether intentional or not.
When Danielle and Ashley created their business plan for Van Isle Poutinerie, they committed to taking allergies seriously. They are ready, willing and able to accommodate requests and preferences that  customers make, from dairy free, peanut-free, nut-free, vegetarian to vegan.  Their food truck is uncompromisingly 100% gluten free!

Van Isle Poutinerie Canopy wpVan Isle Poutinerie (VIP) 100% Gluten-Free French Fry Food Truck 

Now at Nanaimo’s North Town Mall starting October 5th. 4750 Rutherford Road just outside the entrance in the playground loop between the movie theatre and the Fit4Less.

Hours: Thursdays 12-7 • Fridays 12-8 • Saturdays 12-8 •  Sundays 12-7. Order via Skip the Dishes! Doordash coming soon!

Danielle & Ashley have made our poutine dreams come true! They have committed to providing gluten-free, vegetarian & vegan customers with their right to delicious classic poutines + poutines with a twist! VIP will not compromise on their integrity and quality of what they serve! Full stop!

The VEGCHEESE Connection! Veg Cheese ig

Van Isle Poutinerie’s chosen line of gluten-free, vegan cheese melts, bubbles & broils like ‘real’ cheese!

In fact, their cheese has become so popular that VIP is now selling ‘VEGCHEESE’  – on its own – right from their food truck!

Now available at MB Mart, Nanaimo & Pomme Natural Market, Coquitlam

VEGCHEESE is made with organic ingredients and manufactured in a dedicated vegan, nut-free, seed-free & gluten-free facility.

VEGCHEESE Cheese Curds

Click on image to learn more

Cheese Curds 220gr $11.99

Looking for the perfect cheese for your vegan poutine? These dairy free cheese curds melt beautifully yet still hold their curd-like shape in your favourite dish. Please note…they don’t squeak.

Contact to preorder for pick up from the food truck.

VEGCHEESE Italian Truffle

Click on image to learn more

Italian Black Truffle 200 gr $14.99

A rich, bold and aromatic cheese made with 100% pure Italian black truffles and 0% mushrooms. Enjoy on a warm baguette or mixed into risotto for a deeply flavourful dish. Semi-soft.

Contact to preorder for pick up from the food truck.

VEGCHEESE Garlic Chive

Click on image to learn more

Garlic & Chive 200 gr $13.99

A creamy, herb and garlic cheese. Perfect on a cheese platter, sliced and spread on a bagel or added to your favourite pasta for a rich and savoury sauce.  Semi-firm

Contact to preorder for pick up from the food truck

VEGCHEESE Mozzarella

Click on image to learn more

Fresh Mozzarella 200 gr $12.99

A mild, smooth and incredibly versatile cheese. Slice and serve on crackers, in a caprese salad or melted on a pizza.  Semi-firm

Contact to preorder for pick up from the food truck

See Sample Food Truck Menu or scroll down to view. Dips, sauces, floats & drinks also on offer. Almost anything can be adapted to dairy-free, vegetarian or vegan. Their VIP food truck is tree-nut and peanut-free.

Van Isle Poutinerie loves special events so look for them at Summer  by the Sea Street Market in Parksville, Commercial Night Market in Nanaimo,  Cedar Farmer’s Market, Nanaimo’s Veg Fest or Ladysmith Days down at Transfer Beach Park. Wherever they are,  know that they are there to serve you – safely and deliciously!

Book Van Isle Poutinerie for YOUR private event!

Van Isle Poutinerie DanielleAbout Danielle!

“I’ve been working in restaurants for almost 20 years now. Food has been a big passion of mine most of my life. As a person who lives with food sensitivities and hearing from diners how hard it is for them to find safe – and tasty – gluten free food, I am became very aware of the challenges that many diners face.”

“My mom took me to a food truck festival in Edmonton when I was a kid and I was so hooked on the idea. I have friends from elementary school who say they remember me talking about having my own truck one day. My husband nurtured that dream and was instrumental in making it come true.”

Van Isle Poutinerie x 3 ig“My business partner Ashley jumped on board to get the ball rolling and by early September 2022, we decided to go for it!  We purchased a truck just two weeks later and had our launch just a month after that, in what may have been the snowiest December on record!”

“We are over the moon to see how warmly we have been received, not only by people with food sensitivities, vegans and vegetarians, but by the food truck community who often sends their customers our way for the food they need. A big thanks to everyone!”

Van Isle Poutinerie Menu

Click on image to enlarge

Van Isle Poutinerie 1Van Isle Poutinerie Market IG copyVan Isle Poutinerie Logo igCeliac Scene Membership Badge