From the very beginning of Sarah’s Celiac diagnosis and the journey of transitioning a household to gluten-free, resources have been key. There’s an abundance of websites and blogs bursting with tips, recipes, and recommendations (including this one :)). It’s a bit of an overwhelming blessing actually. Who to follow and which websites are credible were just a few of my concerns then. The one source I turned to time and time again was the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center.
After using this Center as my #1 resource, I knew I needed to be involved with the group in some way. Because I didn’t have enough on my plate, almost a year ago I decided to join their board. Not only is the Celiac Disease Center a beyond wonderful resource, but I truly believe in the research that the founding pediatric gastroenterologist and celiac disease expert, Dr. Stefano Guandalini is doing to find a cure!
This last Friday was my first annual gala; Spring Flours 2013, with the Center. Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group also participated in the cause as one of twenty six restaurants with a gluten-free tasting station, and I personally donated a gluten-free cooking class for 8 as part of their silent auction. The night began with a cocktail hour and moving presentation from Dr. Guandalini. From there the eager guests rushed the tasting stations and enjoyed every gluten-free dish you could imagine. Berghoff featured a Gluten-Free Spring Harvest Salmon Salad, which is currently on our menu and I have to admit was a huge hit! Next, guests took their seats and participated in a silent auction, raising thousands of dollars towards research. The evening concluded with dancing and more gluten-free cocktails of course.
Being in the food industry, I have attended countless events. Many of which feature food stations from well known restaurants through out Chicago. This was the first time in my 30 years of work that I have ever been at a 100% gluten-free event. I found myself reaching for a piece of bread and asking the station “is this gluten-free?”. “Of course” was always their answer. It was such a relief to know that I could eat both safe and delicious food. And believe me, did I eat!
Spring Flours Annual Benefit 2013 was a huge success! Both on a personal and professional level. Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group earned an award for Excellence in Gluten-Free Cuisine, honoring our head chef Matt Reichel on stage. It was exciting and promising to witness and experience the number of restaurants that are becoming gluten-free options.
All I can say is the gluten-free world is changing people. Gone are the days of limited restaurants and cardboard tasting gluten-free options. Bring on the gluten-free beer, pasta, and cupcakes! And at the end of the day gluten-free fun was had by all and a great deal of money was raised to help find a cure for Celiac Disease! What more could we ask for?
Now tell me – what’s the best gluten-free event you’ve attended?
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