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One Chef’s Gluten free Journey

A Chef’s Gluten Free Journey.

As a chef working in a tourist area on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, my gluten free journey began maybe 10-12 years ago. I am not gluten intolerant, nor am I vegetarian, but I do believe in eating for health, with the occasional little naughty treat thrown in for balance :))
gluten free lemon & lime tart
Working in a popular cafe 5 days a week, it gradually became apparent that the requests for gluten free food was on the rise. People come from all corners of the world bringing their discerning tastes to our shores, requiring healthy, gluten free sustenance.
As we could plainly see the writing on the wall, (the trajectory of this growing trend), & as we love a good challenge, it was game-on to turn everything we could reasonably do so, into wheat free products.

It quickly became obvious that those who it didn’t matter to, didn’t even notice, but for those who it did matter to, it meant the world :)) It was a gloriously unexpected gift to them, to have choices, & they were extremely grateful.

Consequently, they became some of our best customers, as well as our best promoters….
eggplant-rollatini gluten free, with ricotta & spinach
And so, in the kitchen, our experimentation grew. Mistakes were made as we became familiar with alternative ingredients & substitute products.
But with a pinch of intelligence, a splash of common sense, a focused awareness & a truck load of practice, we managed to produce some fantastically yummy food.
Some foods are a bit dicey to replicate, but with a little contemplation, there is a plethora of tastiness, a huge variety of gluten free yumminess to be consumed out there.

Personally, I find it pathetic & frustrating, even embarrassing, when I so often discover in my travels, that the pitiful gluten free offerings are the usual 2 basic dishes, salads & chocolate brownie. Those wheat free items that most cafes innocently had on hand in years gone by.
gluten free chicken roulade stuffed with roast red capsicum, macadamia pesto & camembert
But now? Are you serious? With all the things we can create these days?

I think, as a practising chef, there’s just no excuse….it’s not that hard!
There are so many good nuts, grains & seeds that you can buy already ground, ready for use.
And if we just stretch ourselves, step out of the square, think laterally, & leave the wheat products behind, plenty of taste sensations abound. We should always be able to present a range of goodies that allows a scrumptious tasting for everyone!

This week for dinner we’ve had Seafood Marinara, asparagus, snow pea, garden greens & truffle oil risotto, Persian fetta, pumpkin, spinach & pine nut pizza, Vietnamese rice paper rolls & Mongolian beef & vermicelli…just to name a few ideas :)) all gluten free :))
Gluten free Smoked Salmon, Brie, Fresh Asparagus, Pesto & Wild Rocket Salad
As caterers, here at Food That Sings (unless otherwise instructed, which never happens :)) we always, always make sure we have a balance of vegetarian & gluten free items on every menu.
When you have a mixed group you will inevitably have a portion of wheat intolerant people that you may not even know about. You know…Great Aunt Mary at the wedding, perhaps cousin Bob.
It’s better to be prepared….

Tonight we do a platter of canapés to have with drinks, on a yacht, at sunset…. living the dream for some lucky folk!
3 little things, 2 gluten free, 1 vegetarian. Some sour cream, capers, dill & smoked salmon tartlets, prosciutto, shaved Parmesan &fresh asparagus cigars, & baby spinach, roast pumpkin & fetta frittata. Easy!!!
wok veges gluten free & tasty

You can find more of what we do, & what we love to eat, right here….
all gluten free things good & yummy, prawns & paella, finger-licking tastiness

  1. I have two children and myself all discovered we were wheat intolerant last Christmas. The journey has been very interesting, as it’s not something we had considered doing before. I am very suprised at the behavioural changes in my youngest one since we switched to gluten free though!
    We all feel better, healthier and (in my case) lighter!
    I just love that the kids come by the kitchen when I’m chopping vegies for dinner and take pieces of fresh, raw vegies off the chopping board. I can always cut more.
    Thanks for a wonderful website and forum Roni, I look forward to reading more.

    • hey Kylie, that’s awesome sharing! Thankyou. Isn’t it amazing beyond imagination what happens when you toss gluten out of your diet?
      We would love to hear more of your stories about this journey as loads of people are in the same boat.
      And keep hanging out in the foodie chat room so we can share more gluten free ideas & recipes.
      cheers, Roni xx

  2. I love that you think of others when catering. It’s so sad when you have to go to an event and take along a lunch box. The one I have never goes well with what I’m wearing. 🙂

  3. lol…yep Diana, it’s a bitch not to have complimentary accessories :))

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