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A 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), and 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 and 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 and frustrating, even embarrassing, when I so often discover in my travels, that the pitiful gluten free offerings are the usual 2 basic dishes, and 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 and pine nut pizza, Vietnamese rice paper rolls and; Mongolian beef and 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 an 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, and baby spinach, roast pumpkin and fetta frittata. Easy!!!
wok veges gluten free & tasty

all gluten free things good & yummy, prawns & paella, finger-licking tastiness

Remember, it all starts with a whole lot of love......Roni xx

Roni!!!! This is so exciting. It's a thrill to find someone who cooks for others willing to cook/bake for gluten free people.

I had to laugh, yes, the go-to foods for gluten free people are salad and a browine.  The photos make me hungry. We're in for a treat, the next 3 days, Roni is sharing recipes with us.

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