Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Look Back …and What’s on Tap for the Summer

It was nine months ago that I stepped up to the challenge to help fellow food-allergen sufferers learn to cook, shop and dine their way around Chicagoland.

Have we come a long way in making the windy city Safe and Sound!

We launched the first Safe and Sound Dinner in March at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. Fifty allergenistas sampled dishes-- free of the 8 major allergens and gluten--from my recipe collection and heard cooking and nutrition tips from well-known chefs and health experts.

In April, the first Thrive Allergy Expo at McCormick Place took place. I served as a consultant and helped develop a concession stand free of the 8 major allergens and gluten; they even included my Chicken Vesuvio recipe! Since the Expo, Chicago Restaurant Partners have expanded their allergen-free offerings and now regularly order from Rose’s Wheatfree Bakery for their box lunches.

Meanwhile, I have partnered with Whole Foods Market and other venues to design cooking classes and demos that will teach you to make delicious, allergen-free meals at home for your friends and family!

Finally, I’ve published more than 50 product reviews, recipes, and recommendations on restaurants to try in the Chicagoland area.

Yet, the best is yet to come.

We’re going mainstream! On July 1st, for the very first time, the Taste of Chicago will offer a food- allergy cooking demonstration, led by yours truly. I am also compiling a list of foods safe for allergenistas so make sure you download it from my Web site before you head to the Taste.

Don’t miss our second Safe and Sound Dinner on July 29th at Carnivale, Chicago’s hottest Nuevo Latino restaurant. Swirlz is even bringing vegan, gluten-free cupcakes so wear your stretchy pants!

My complete list of engagements is below.

June 27, 2009 - Cooking Demo2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Bloomingdale's Home & Furniture Store
600 North Wabash Avenue
Chicago, Illinois

June 29, 2009 - Safe & Sound Dinner
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
702 West Fulton Market Street
Chicago, Illinois
$50, advance reservation required

July 1, 2009 - Cooking Demo
4 p.m.
Taste of Chicago
Grant Park
Chicago, Illinois

July 3, 2009 -- Cooking Demo
11:30 a.m.
Museum of Science and Industry
Smart Home: Green + Wired
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois

July 7, 2009 - In-Depth Allergen-Free Cooking Class
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Chopping Block
Merchandise Mart Plaza
Chicago, Illinois
$40, advance reservation required

Finally, I’d like to add that I got into this business because I wanted to share my story and help others. So I’d love to meet you at one of my engagements or send me an email at Perhaps you have a special recipe you’d like to see adapted to meet your food-allergy needs. Or maybe you have advice and guidance you can give me. Remember, we can all learn together!

Here’s to a wonderful first nine months and to many, many more!

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