Spring Flours Gluten-Free Gala

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.

spring harvest salmon salad 1

spring flours 2013

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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  1. Hi Carlyn,
    How exciting that there’s such a GF movement in Chicago–spearheaded by such an inspirational chef like you! We’re very much behind the times here in Hawaii and I’ve never heard of a GF event here and our choices are so limited. We were traveling in the Pacific NW last summer and my GF/DF son was in heaven! Thank you for your work…Aloha, Lori

    • Carlyn Berghoff says:

      Maybe you can help get an event started Lori – I know you don’t have a 100 other things to do, but it definitely takes gluten-free activists and motivated woman like you to get the movement started. Crossing my fingers for your area of the country!

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