Friday, May 8, 2009

A Gourmet, Gluten-Free Galaxy

On May 6th, 27 Chicagoland restaurants gathered at the Chicago Hilton & Towers to showcase their gluten-free dishes and did they deliver!

Here’s what made Lisa’s Top Five:

  • Fresh pita bread and hummus from Rose’s Wheat Free Bakery that achieved the perfect texture.

  • A braised short rib with spring garlic and Fresno peppers on a polenta cake, prepared by Pinstripes. Such a harmonious combination of flavors!

  • Kickin’ it old school, Da Luciano’s cheese ravioli, garlic bread, and tiramisu produced the complete Italian experience. You’d never know the gluten was missing!

  • The sweetest delight, RL’s Chef Ryan Pitts executed a bananas foster with a dazzling flambé.

  • And of course, I couldn’t leave out my favorite cupcake artists, Swirlz. The red, velvet cupcake was moist and flavorful, and captured the perfect amount of sweetness.

All proceeds for the event went to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. My contribution was to make dinner for 6, which went to the top bidder for $400.

Celiac disease is often hard to diagnose because the symptoms can be so subtle. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), as many as three million Americans are affected by the disease.

The Center is leading the fight on celiac disease in two critical ways:

Research – Led by Dr. Jabri, the Disease Center Research Program’s efforts are dedicated to the “treatment, follow-up and diagnosis of celiac disease.” Dr. Jabri and his team are committed to learning more about the origination and development of the disease as well as ways to prevent it.

Professional Education - The Celiac Disease Center remains the only U.S, institute “to offer in-depth training for doctors and other medical professionals regarding celiac disease.” Its unique Preceptorship Program recruits candidates from around the country on an annual basis. In the future, the Center hopes to make its on-site opportunity available as an online CME course that will offer health care professionals training in the screening, diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease.

To learn more about the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center’s programs, please visit

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