A Gluten-Free Fall

When I decided to write our third cookbook; “Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen: Everyday Foods the Whole Family Will Love” I knew pretty much what to expect.  The process of creating and writing recipes, and then promoting the book would be similar to the other two.  The obvious difference of course being that the recipes were all gluten-free.  Little did I know just how different the journey would be.

In the last month I have heard two well known food industry professionals (they shall remain nameless) mention that the publishing world is struggling and there’s no money left in cookbooks.  Lucky for them, we didn’t write our cookbook for money (even though we have sold over 5,000 in the last six months).  Our reasons rest more in educating the public on what being gluten-free is and how to cook for those that are.  And we have not disappointed!

The cookbook was released last April, just in time for National Celiac Awareness Month, but I think the past few months are where we’ve seen the most action.  We have been lucky to be a part of some wonderful opportunities and witnessed firsthand just how receptive our audience is.  There is a huge need for proper gluten-free education and we are jumping at the opportunity.

The fall began with one of our busiest times of the year at The Berghoff; Oktoberfest.  For the first time in 28 years we featured a gluten-free menu option during the 3 day outdoor festival.  The Hessian Beef Stew was a huge hit – selling 540 cups.  The gluten-free festivities continued throughout the month with our gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies at Chicago Gourmet and being a part of Momma Cuisine’s weekly podcast during Social Media Week 2013.  You can watch the very talented Johanna M. Cook host the show here:  http://new.livestream.com/smwchicago/events/2397299http://new.livestream.com/smwchicago/events/2397299

gluten-free goulash

social media week

We continued to tell our story and spread the secrets of gluten-free cooking on some of our favorite media channels throughout October.  NPR’s morning show, Morning Shift was a personal highlight and sharing our stew on Windy City Live was a blast as always.

wcl

Traveling to different bookstores and public libraries around the Chicago land area is where I feel we make the largest difference.  We spent last night at St. Charles Public Library and the audience as usual did not disappoint.  What’s different about this cookbook’s market is how engaged the people are, how they travel from (what I think) are insane distances, and how appreciative they are of the message.

st

Each person we meet on this journey has their own story and always teaches us something new.  Who knows, maybe after this year we’ll have enough ammo to write a second gluten-free cookbook.  Nonetheless, this cookbook has brought so much more than expected to our lives.  We are excited to continue this gluten-free ride and see where it leads us.  And of course, we hope you’ll come along!

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