From quick and easy meal preparation to bread baking, the professional chefs, restaurant owners, cookbook authors, nutritionists and vendors participating in Chicagoland’s premier Gluten Free Cooking Expo plan to “show and tell” attendees that satisfying their taste buds is entirely possible without wheat, barley and rye. This year the event will also feature a children’s area and the vendor fair will be open to the public. Discount rates are available for registrations received before February 15, 2010.
Choosing gluten-free foods and learning to implement a gluten-free diet can be tricky for those on a gluten-free diet. To ease the process, the Gluten Free Cooking Expo, held April 17-18 at the Wyndham Hotel in Lisle, IL, will be jam-packed with experts, information, demos and samples.
A gluten-free diet, one that is free of wheat, barley and rye, is essential for those with celiac disease, and many families with autistic children also are reporting a reduction in their children’s symptoms with a gluten-free diet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 133 Americans have celiac disease and 1 in 150 children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, celiac disease is twice as common as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and cystic fibrosis combined, and it is often mistaken – for years – for other conditions, usually irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance.
“Many people who are gluten-free, especially those who are newly diagnosed, are looking for a place to learn how to create great-tasting food,” explains Jen Cafferty, founder of the Gluten Free Cooking Expo and the mother of two gluten-intolerant children.
“The Gluten Free Cooking Expo is the premier event in Chicago where you can spend the weekend learning the nuances of gluten-free cooking. This year we are excited to provide many healthy, nutrient-dense food options that are frequently missing in the gluten-free diet. So many people attend regular cooking classes and then have to go home and modify the recipes. The Expo allows you to learn from gluten-free pros how to make recipes using actual gluten-free ingredients.”
Those needing a gluten-free diet are often disappointed in the texture of typical gluten-free food, Cafferty said. “The food is generally more dry and crumbly than what we are used to eating. Many people are seeking gluten-free versions of recipes for the traditional wheat-based foods that we all really miss, such as breads, pastas and desserts. And they may not know that grains such as quinoa and amaranth are nutritious, easy to make and gluten-free. We will teach people that you can have delicious gluten-free food that is nutritious too.”
Professional chefs, cookbook authors, nutritionists and exhibitors will educate, share recipes and demos, and encourage taste-testing of a wide variety of foods.
Expo highlights include: Cooking demonstrations, a large vendor fair, sessions for gluten free children, budget buying techniques on a gluten free diet, nutrition sessions and meal planning.
Advance registration is required for the Gluten Free Cooking Expo cooking sessions.
The Vendor Fair is open to the public.
For additional event information and to register for the Gluten Free Cooking Expo, visit http://www.gfreelife.com or call 847-217-1317.
“Author Information: Jen Cafferty, Chicago, IL
Jen Cafferty, Founder, The Gluten Free Cooking Expo
National GF Reporter for Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/x-12164-GlutenFree-Food-Examiner
GIG Chicago: www.chicagoglutenfree.com