Archive for the ‘Events’ Category


Are you the Gluten-Free Chef of the Year?

September 7, 2010

As of today there are only 38 days left to get your entry in for Coeliac UK’s 2010 Gluten-free Chef of the Year competition.

Professional chefs and catering students are invited to compile recipes for a three course gluten-free menu for four people that can be prepared in 90 minutes. Shortlisted entrants will be invited to recreate their menu in a 90 minute live cook off to serve to four judges in November.

Judging the competition is resident celebrity chef on ITV’s This Morning and author of Seriously Good! Gluten-Free Cooking, Phil Vickery. Entries will be judged according to originality, taste, texture, seasonality and balance. In the taste test, judges will be looking for dishes that aren’t noticeably gluten-free.

Professional cooks could win a stage at Gleneagles with twice Michelin starred chef Andrew Fairlie. The winning up and coming chef or catering student will win a stage at Pennyhill Park working alongside Michelin starred chef Michael Wignal.

All written entries must be received by Friday 15 October 2010. For more information, visit the competition page on the Coeliac UK website.


More to come soon…

June 24, 2010

Life takes over, doesn’t it? I have been so busy since I arrived back from Australia that I’ve had no time to keep you up to date with my latest gluten-free news. Plenty has happened and I have loads to update you with including:

  • Tips for gluten-free travel in Spain
  • My first attempt at gluten-free pork pibil tacos, chipotle adobe and pickled red onions
  • Gluten-free dining at Cafe Rouge
  • The 2010 Allergy & Gluten-Free Show
  • Gluten-free Mexican groceries

I feel hungry just thinking about it. I hope to catch up this weekend so keep your eyes peeled or sign-up for updates straight into your inbox at the bottom right of the page.



Allergy & Gluten-Free Show This Weekend!

May 22, 2010

The Allergy & Gluten-Free Show is on this weekend at Kensington Olympia. It’s also a perfect BBQ day outside today! Decisions, decisions! Don’t forget that there are free information seminars and demonstrations, cooking classes, heaps of products to sample and a free-from cafe. Details are available from

Related posts: Allergy & Gluten-Free Show 2010 London


Coeliac Awareness Week

May 10, 2010

From the 10th to the 16th of May it is Coeliac UK’s Coeliac Awareness Week. This year’s event has a different focus to previous years as UK laws around gluten-free labelling have recently changed and may impact the ability of coeliac sufferers to identify gluten-free foods when eating out.

The new law states that foods must contain less than 20 parts gluten per million to be sold as gluten-free. This will be near impossible for restaurants and caterers to achieve meaning that few menu items will continue to be labelled as gluten-free. Coeliac UK are using this Awareness Week to voice the concerns of coeliac sufferers about how this new law will impact their dining habits.

If you have coeliac disease or follow a gluten-free diet please spread the word about gluten-free eating this week. This may be with the chef at a local restaurant or your staff cafe at work, or by hosting a gluten-free event with friends.

Coeliac UK are also gathering evidence of eating out gluten-free. If you have any examples of great restaurants in the UK that make the effort to provide GF dishes make sure you enter Coeliac UK’s competition. The prize is a weekend at a National Trust cottage.

You can also sign Coeliac UK’s petition to the FSA “to ask the FSA to recognise the need for easy and simple signposting on menus and open dialogue with caterers to identify which foods are suitable for people on a gluten-free diet”.

If you live in the UK, I implore you to take part in some of the activities of this Awareness Week. Please consider signing the petition too. Losing gluten-free labelling on menus would be very sad for everyone in the UK who follows a gluten-free diet and already finds it an uphill battle to find adequately labelled food when dining outside their homes.


Real Food Festival 2010

May 10, 2010

Saturday brought more drizzle and cold winds so I decided to while away the day with a friend at the Real Food Festival at Earl’s Court, hoping to find some producers of gluten-free food. Seriously, it is snowing in Scotland. What is going on?

The main draw was a cooking demonstration by Thomasina Miers from Wahaca (see yesterday’s post) in case she cooked up some tacos!

We were greeted by a huge water buffalo at the entrance then scurried around the stalls looking for the “Chef’s Theatre” (not quite Kitchen Stadium!) Thomasina did indeed cook tacos but the tortillas she made were unfortunately wheat tortillas so I didn’t pick up any tricks. In 40 minutes she rustled up a bacon and red chard taco, a tomato and courgette taco and a mozzarella quesadilla. The highlight of the demo was the chipotle sauce that topped the dishes. We snuck up the front to taste the tacos at the end of the demo.

I was delighted to find a few gluten-free suppliers dotted about the festival. One of my favourite GF brands is Doves Farm Organics. I rate their pasta because the taste and consistency is very close to real pasta. Doves Farm were showcasing their GF cookie range. I bought a packet of Double Chocolate Cookies for English Boy to try because they are delicious and taste like normal cookies. First score of the day!

Next I came across The Bath Pig‘s wheat, gluten and dairy free chorizo. At home we gobbled it up on an antipasto plate and for breakfast with poached eggs. The Bath Pig chorizos are made using 100% natural ingredients so no breadcrumbs, artificial colours or stabilisers. Plus it’s delicious. Score number two.

The third find of the day was Burtree Puddings‘ Gluten-Free Sticky Toffee Pudding with Sticky Toffee Sauce. I think this one doesn’t need much explanation. The toffee sauce is so rich with double cream and English Butter that any trace of chalky GF flours is smothered. They are utterly scrumptious. Now I remember seeing them on Rick Stein’s Food Heroes so they are famous puddings. The only problem was that the sauce was so rich it made English Boy feel a bit crook thus defeating the purpose of me buying him a treat. Still… I would eat it again!

After all of that pudding I’ll have to eat salad for the rest of the week but it was worth it.


Allergy & Gluten-free Show 2010 London

April 13, 2010

Don’t forget that tickets are now on sale for the 2010 Allergy & Gluten-free Show which will be held at Olympia in London from 21-23 May.

I attended last year and made some life-changing discoveries including Lactofree cheese and soft cheese (i.e. cream cheese). Hello GF cheesecake and smoked salmon and cream cheese.  When our group first found the lactose-free cheese table a few people did laps of the stand to sample more cheese Homer Simpson style.

Another life-changing… well, menu-changing discovery was the Dietary Specials stand where the demonstrators whipped out trays and trays of piping hot gluten-free sausage rolls.  The pastry-starved patrons were five deep. It was like an post-Christmas handbag sale at Selfridges. Elbows out! This was where I discovered their frozen pastry and it meant that home-made pies and tarts were back on the menu in our house. (We were getting the pastry from our local Sainsbury’s but they have stopped stocking it so more people need to start buying it!)

This year’s seminars seem to be about gluten-free cooking for kids. A Gluten-Free Birthday Party Menu – What Every Parent Wants to Know will be held on Saturday 22nd May 11:00 – 11:45. The presenter is Adriana Rabinovich, the same lady who is teaching the gluten-free course at Leith’s. Adriana is also presenting The Gluten-Free Lunch Box on Saturday at 16.00 – 16.45. Finally, Shaince Parris is presenting Gluten-Free Summer Entertaining Sunday 23rd May, 12.45 – 13.30.

On the day you can grab a few free samples, taste test yummy things like gluten-free tiramisu and pick up a few tips for your kitchen. I think even a single useful tip is worth the 6 pound entry fee. Tickets are available online here or by calling the box office on 0870 272 0011.

It’s also an excuse for a nice afternoon out at the V&A or Natural History Musuem which are a walk or bus ride away in South Kensington. AND there’s a Carluccio’s at South Kensington and Shepherds Bush so you can round the day off with a hot bowl of gluten-free pasta. See you there!

Related posts: Rick Stein’s oven-dried tomato and thyme tart Carluccio’s for Valentine’s Dinner and Leiths gluten-free cooking course

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