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Roadtrip: Gluten and Allergen Free Expo – Day One!

Posted by on September 8, 2012

Today was AH-MAZING!

I had so much fun helping out Jen of Gluten Free Life and her entire crew at the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo. I got to meet some amazing chefs and cook book writers and listen in to their thoughts on what makes food good, and what makes gluten free food good. They all came from a variety of background and each brought something of their own to the table.

Mary Capone of Bella's Gluten Free Mixes

Mary Capone of Bella’s Gluten Free Mixes

First was Mary Capone, who is the creator of Bella Gluten Free Mixes and let me tell you, the pie crust she had samples for us of…So flaky and tender. They held everything together and only fell apart once they were in your mouth and were supposed to. She was so sweet and friendly and  even with all the craziness she still was such a pleasure to work with, she remained chipper and friendly. Honestly, I’m starting to think it’s a requirement to have the patience of a saint when dealing with gluten free food, because she was completely unflappable.

Rita Sturzbecher of The Little Aussie Bakery

Rita Sturzbecher of The Little Aussie Bakery

For the second cooking class, I got to meet Rita Sturzbecher of The Little Aussie Bakery. Now this woman is IMPRESSIVE. She was rated as one of the top 10 bread bakers in the US and the bakery is 100% gluten free. If you’re ever in San Antonio, I would suggest you check it out. But what was seriously impressive, at least to me, was this woman’s knowledge of  guar gum. I was a bit sad she was doing the cake decorating session, but she was very clever in how she used guar gum as an emulsifier. I’m going to do my own research and as always, share what I’ve found with you here.

Then I got to wander around with A at the Vendor Fair and I got to meet so many knowledgeable people who were doing their best to make sure that the Gluten Free diet wasn’t as bland and boring as it had been previously and how many people think it HAS to be. They were trying to show the world that being GF doesn’t have to mean that you’re a freak of nature.  I’m going to save some of my thoughts about the Vendor fair for another post since there were so many things I could go into.

Karen Morgan of Blackbird Bakery

Karen Morgan of Blackbird Bakery

The last person I helped out with the demo was the incredible Karen Morgan of the Blackbird Bakery. This is a woman who has the same attitude towards Gluten Free that I do; we are not going to suffer quietly and accept a cardboard baked goods existence. She was so friendly and knowledgeable about the science that goes into gluten free ideas. Definitely pay attention when she speaks. An absolute delight. She’s also in a similar position as I am, she wants to open a physical location but is currently unable to. But just like myself, it’s just a matter of time. However, at the moment, she does have a cookbook!

The only thing that was a disappointment about the expo was how short it was; after all I’m more used to all night cons so I’m actually able to sit down and write a post for you today. So that’s the positive part, right? I just felt like I could sit down and listen to these wonderful people for hours, and while I don’t always agree with their principles (then again, no one is ever 100% in agreement always with another person), I still learned something from each of them.

So what has inspired YOUR gluten free cooking and baking the most? Is it a thing, or a person? I’d love to hear about it. Or just tell me if you’ve gone to one of the Gluten and Allergen Free expo. ESPECIALLY if you met me!

~Tabi

 

 

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