Thursday, November 29, 2007


Here are two upcoming events in addition to the Holiday Cooking Class fundraiser scheduled for Monday, December 2, 2007 and the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group meeting scheduled for Sunday, December 9, 2007.

Both of the following events are fundraisers for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA).

Lest you think this is just another boring event post, check out the videos at the end. They feature exciting footage of two celebrities involved in the second event. Wowee!
Raising Our Celiac Kids (ROCK) Holiday Party
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Morris County Library (less than a 5-minute cab ride from the Morristown train station)
30 E. Hanover Avenue
Whippany, NJ
6:00 to 8:30 pm
This event features a magician and some great vendor sampling. Joan's GF Great Bakes will bring bagels and English muffins and pre-orders. You can also order items right away (by day's end November 29) at Joan's website, choosing the "no shipping" option and putting "Dec. 5 ROCK event" in the comments section. (Sorry if I'm late in posting this—I suppose you can always contact the bakery and beg....)

Preorders are also available from Everybody Eats, which will bring samples of pizza, baguettes, cinnamon buns, and chocolate chip cookies.

Other vendors: Conte's Pasta (ravioli, pierogies, and other Italian specialties), Gluten Free Joy (local GF catering company with dishes including manicotti and macaroni & cheese), The Grainless Baker (featuring graham crackers and muffins), Cinderella's Sweets/Shabtai (kosher treats that are gluten, casein, lactose, soy & dairy free), Celiac Specialties (featuring donut holes), Blackwell's Organic (gelato and fruit sorbetto), Food Allergy Gourmet (holiday sugar and gingerbread cookies), and some place called Whole Foods (GF Bakehouse pie crust and sandwich bread).

Through December 11, 2007, you can also help to raise money by purchasing kitchen stuff through vendor The Pampered Chef by following these directions: "If ordering any product, you will be asked whether you have been invited to a show. Put in 'ROCK' in the organization line and press the search will then see the Morristown ROCK group listed on the left hand side. Click on this link and this way any product you order will be counted toward the NFCA fundraising event."

Gannascoli Winter Wonderland

Saturday, December 15, 2007
48 Davison Ave
East Rockaway, NY
Suggested Donation: $25

Joe Gannascoli—Vito from The Sopranos—and his family host a Winter Wonderland block party also featuring Kevin Covais from American Idol.

There will be food sampling, a cooking demonstration, and appearances from magicians and Mickey Mouse. Dress warmly!
Here's a 2006 Sopranos tour with a cooking demonstration from Joe Gannascoli.

Source (3:57)

And here's Kevin Covais auditioning for Idol.

Source (2:02)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


On Monday, December 3, 2007, from 6:30 pm until 9:30 pm, the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University (CDCCU) will host a gluten-free holiday cooking class at Cooking by the Book (13 Worth Street, New York, NY).

The event includes a talk from Dr. Peter Green plus a Wine and Hors d'Oeuvres Reception, a Three-Course Gluten-Free Meal with Seasonal Wines, Professional Cooking Instruction, Personalized Aprons, and Gluten-Free Recipes. Cooking by the Book and its director, Suzen O'Rourke, were involved in the celiac disease episode of Keeping Kids Healthy that aired in the metropolitan area over the weekend.

Tickets costs $220 per person, with a percentage going to The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. To register, contact Cynthia Beckman at 212-342-4529 or

ADDENDUM (November 28, 2007) Thanks to Ben on the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group message board, I see that The New York Times says the dishes will include a chocolate roulade with mocha-whipped cream filling and that $55 of the cost goes to the CDCCU.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


The celiac disease episode of Keeping Kids Healthy turned out to be an outstanding opportunity for families to learn about celiac disease, so I'm very sorry I didn't post about WNET's Saturday morning broadcast sooner than Friday night.

You can, however, get an idea of the episode in this very post and the episode's web page, and even order the episode on DVD for private or public screening. The segment used two case studies—one revolving around a little girl (Emma Teitelbaum), the other involving a teenage boy (Colin Leslie)—to discuss symptoms of the condition, the length of time that can pass before doctors even suspect it, ways that families can adjust to a gluten-free diet, and the reasons for family testing and continued family vigilance even when tests come out negative. (Celiac disease, which has a strong genetic association, can manifest at any time.)

Among those appearing on the segment were the show's host, Dr. Winnie King, as well as Dr. Peter Green (pictured), Dr. Govind Bhagat, and Cynthia Beckman of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University (CDCCU), and George Chookazian of Foods by George.

Like Susan Cohen's video Generation Gluten-Free, this episode of Keeping Kids Healthy seems very comfortable with its subject matter. Just about my only quibble is that it refers people to the Celiac Sprue Association but doesn't mention more organizations, such as the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), that have a better track record in terms of accuracy.

Photo of television: David Marc Fischer

Friday, November 23, 2007


Some publicity came in recently from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University (CDCCU):
Keeping Kids Healthy, a children’s health television series produced in association with Thirteen/WNET New York, will air a segment on Celiac Disease (Show #807) featuring the Teitelbaum family, the Leslie family, and Dr. Peter Green. Many of the air dates are below. Please check your local station for additional programming.

11/24 Saturday 6:30am WNET (NY, NJ, CT)

11/24 Saturday 7:30am WLIW (NY, NJ, CT) [unconfirmed]

11/24 Saturday 8:00am/4:00pm WCNY2 (Syracuse, NY)

11/26 Monday 11:30am KRCB (San Francisco, CA)

12/01 Saturday 4:30am WTVS (Detroit, MI)

12/01 Saturday 9:00am WHUT (Washington, DC)

12/06 Thursday 9:00am WYBE (Philadelphia, PA)

12/06 Thursday 6:30am KRSC (Tulsa, OK)

12/09 Sunday 11:00am KRSC (Tulsa, OK)

12/16 Sunday 10:00am WFYI (Indianapolis, IN)

12/23 Thursday 10:30am KUEN (Salt Lake City, UT)

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


At this time of year I'd like to offer thanks to a special group of people who have made New York City a much better place for gluten-free dining. I deeply appreciate the Big Apple restaurateurs who agreed to join the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) and abide by its guidelines for serving gluten-free food, but the people I'm about to recognize are the GFRAP volunteers who have served as the liaisons and resource people who help the restaurateurs stay on the gluten-free path.

It might come as a surprise to some readers that these volunteers were originally organized by a group outside the city: the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group (WCSSG). According to the WCSSG August 2007 newsletter, the volunteers (and restaurants) were as follows:
Lynn Hyman
Candle 79

Pam Goodman-Rogers

Elyn Rosenthal
Gus' Place

Danielle Valenti-Smith
Asia de Cuba

Doug Meadows
Thanks to Lynn, Pam, Elyn, Danielle, and Doug for their great and important work. And thanks also to Pat MacGregor for founding the GFRAP program, and to current area coordinator Liz Lebo for her own crucial work, which is certainly appreciated in these parts.

BONUS Check out this entry in WNYC'S Cartoon Cornucopia Contest.

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Monday, November 19, 2007


Gluten played a supporting role in last week's episode of the ABC series Cavemen (with Austin native Julie White!).

Thanks to a note buried in this post at Gluten Free Blog, I watched the online capture of the episode, "Rock Vote" (Season 1, Episode 6, November 13, 2007), and (to my surprise) found it amusing, although I have mixed feelings about the gluten aspect.

Here be spoilers: The episode revolves around a state political contest involving perennial loser Caveman candidate Red Goldreyer and his possibly anti-Caveman opponent Jack Whitman. Goldreyer turns out to see gluten ("the stuff that's in bread") as his key issue: "[I]t's not just bread. It's everywhere! Gluten is attacking our immune system! It's poisoning our minds! But you'd never know it because Big Gluten doesn't want you to know it." (Amen to that!) Goldreyer hands out a drink, saying "This water is gluten-free," but really goes over the top when he asserts that only after "purging our bodies of gluten" will "peace between nations" be possible. Impressed, Andy the Cavemen jumps on the anti-gluten bandwagon, stocks up on Glutino pretzels and something from Bob's Red Mill, and starts ridding his home of gluten although there's no indication he even got himself tested for celiac disease. Holding up a jar of peanut butter, he asks, "Gluten? No gluten? What do you think?" (No one really answers that, but of course it's likely that it's contaminated by the process of spreading peanut butter on bread and crackers. Okay, back to the synopsis.) After another caveman brings Andy to his senses, calling Goldreyer "a lunatic," Andy complains about gluten-free cookies, crying "They taste like dirt. Okay? Dirt!"

I kind of like much of the phraseology, which resembles verbiage that comes up often in gluten-free circles. (I can take a little ribbing!) And I don't know how aware writer Chris Kelly might be regarding the historic/evolutionary undermining of a gluten-free Paleolithic diet, but I'm sort of impressed by the idea of a Caveman candidate taking a stand against it. Possibly clever! I just feel a little bummed that, while the storyline offered a reasonable basis for Whitman's too tough anti-crime stance, the very sound basis for being concerned about gluten got shorter shrift, making gluten concerns come across as kookier than crime concerns while also perpetuating the cliché that gluten-free cookies suck. So overall I thought the episode was okay, but not on a par with the movie Sydney White.

Coincidentally, the episode featured the song The Underdog by the Austin band Spoon. I first heard it at Risotteria, which recently received a small shipment of two beers from Green's: Quest Tripel and Discovery Amber. It looks like the restaurant also started tagging pizzas that are gluten-free, for better identification.

Source (3:51)

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Manhattan's pan-Asian GFRAP restaurant Lilli and Loo recently posted its gluten-free menu online.

Offerings include a Fresh Saigon Roll (rice paper wrapper with fresh mango, avocado, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, rice vermicelli, and spicy mint dipping sauce, served cool and not fried), Tom Yum Seafood soup (hot and spicy lemongrass kaffir lime broth with shrimp, scallop, squid, okra, tomato, and mushroom), Green Papaya Salad, Pad Thai, and teriyaki chicken and salmon. Also available is sushi with gluten-free soy sauce.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Looking for a gluten-free gift? Consider the offerings at the Gluten-Free NYC Boutique. Here is a sampling of what's available.




More Shirts!

All of the above...and more...await your consideration at the Gluten-Free NYC Boutique!

Designs by Debbie Glasserman Design

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


BurgerFuel is a New Zealand burger chain that is introducing a gluten-free bun option. Here's an online promotion...

Source (00:43)

...and here's the press release:
BurgerFuel Launches Gluten-Free Buns
Wednesday, 7 November 2007, 3:40 pm

Kiwi gourmet burger company BurgerFuel has launched Gluten-Free buns across New Zealand. This has already been a busy year for the company as they continue to expand their store network, with new stores opening in King’s Cross, Sydney and Napier, Hawke’s Bay in October.

“Yes, it has been a busy year for us, but that’s never an excuse to stop product innovation” says Managing Director, Chris Mason. “We’ve been approached by a lot of different people from the Coeliac and wheat-intolerant communities to introduce a gluten-free bun so we wanted to make sure we got it right” says Mason.

BurgerFuel have spent a lot of time testing and tasting their latest product innovation and think that the bun will appeal to a more mainstream market as well.

“I remember when we introduced true vegetarian and vegan options to the market, instead of just alternatives and substitutes. Over time, even self-confessed meat eaters were enjoying them too! We’ve taken the same approach to our gluten-free buns. They are what we call a true option, not just an alternative for people who can’t eat wheat. It wasn’t easy, but we’ve created a gluten-free bun that tastes light and fresh.” says Mason.

“During tests with Coeliac interest groups, many said it was the best gluten-free bread they’d ever tasted. Some even went as far to say they couldn’t believe that we’d made a gluten-free bun that didn’t taste like cardboard or concrete” says Mason.

Gluten-Free buns are now available at all BurgerFuel stores in New Zealand. Gluten-free product information for BurgerFuel is also available in store.

BONUS Here's a version with different lyrics.

Source (4:31)

Sunday, November 11, 2007


As mentioned previously, pediatric gastroenterologist Amy DeFelice of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University (CDCCU) is scheduled to speak at the celiac disease/allergies presentation at the 92nd Street Y this coming Sunday, November 18, 2007, from 3:00 to 5:30 pm.

Dr. DeFelice is also scheduled to speak at the upcoming meeting of the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group (WCSSG), Sunday, December 9, 2007 at 2:00 pm in the auditorium of Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Children's entertainment will be provided by a magician. Arrive by 1:30 to shop with the visiting vendor Mr. Ritt's Gluten Free Bakery (you might be able to place an advance order by contacting the bakery in advance) as well as Karen's Decorative Cakes, Within the Ribbon Cookies, Roni-Sue's Chocolates, LesserEvil Snacks, Gluten Free Solutions (Food-Tek), and DeCicco Marketplace.

Friday, November 09, 2007


The Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) just announced the addition of two area restaurants.

Located near Bloomingdales in Manhattan, the Chinese/Asian/Sushi restaurant Lilli and Loo is yet another Upper East Side eaterie that welcomes gluten-free folk. Lilli and Loo is a two-star GFRAP restaurant, which means that the restaurant receives a complete packet of education and training materials, the assistance of a Resource Person to answer questions, and intensive assistance in menu review by qualified nutrition experts.

And, over in Hackettstown, New Jersey, GFRAP welcomes Mama's Restaurant and Cafe Baci. The Italian restaurant's gluten-free menu includes pizza as well chicken and seafood entrees. Mama's is a one-star GFRAP restaurant, which means that the restaurant receives a complete packet of education and training materials, the assistance of a Resource Person to answer questions, and a review of the restaurant’s GF menus.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I'm fascinated by the transformations undergone by certain foods. Take quinoa: The grains are tiny specks before boiling water turns them into miniature ringed planets. Cool!

Then there are the frozen beef hot dogs sold at Risotteria. They come nestled snugly in bun blankets. But pop 'em into the oven at 350 degrees, wait about 20 minutes, and behold the weiners, buns unfurled!

It's like they go through two seasons.



Photos: David Marc Fischer

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Attention chocolate fanatics!

Two summers ago I covered verē chocolates
, but now it's time for an update.

There's an article about verē chocolate founder Kathy Moskal by Lore Croghan in the Daily News (November 5, 2007). "All the products are made of dark chocolate with 75% cocoa content and are gluten-free," notes the article, which also states that "The handmade treats contain so little sugar that a diabetic can eat them. A serving has less sugar than an apple, more fiber than a piece of whole wheat bread and more antioxidants than two pounds of broccoli."

The chocolates can be on the pricey side, but the article says that, as of November 15, 2007, "Moskal is launching a line of three-ounce organic chocolate bars with a suggested retail price of $5." Hm. Maybe that's pricey too.

Anyway, what's really exciting is that the verē factory at 12 West 27th Street is actually open to the public on Friday afternoons. You can go and taste samples and see the chocolates being made!

For a sense of what that's like, here's some footage smuggled out of the factory.

Source (2:57)

Sunday, November 04, 2007


If you're familiar with Gluten-Free Living, you know how important it has been in shining a clarifying light on such concerns as vinegar. (To learn more about that, see Gluten-Free Living's Ingredients list.)

A one-year (four issue) subscription to Gluten-Free Living costs $29 and a two-year (eight issue) subscription costs $49, and now you can sample three recent back issues (Fall 2006, Spring 2007, and Summer 2007) for $20 by ordering the magazine's special "Catch-Me-Up Package." The letters column of the Spring 2007 issue fields the question "Is there gluten in either scotch or bourbon?" while both that issue and the Summer 2007 include Amy Ratner's research into labels, which explains what that "gluten free" on a package currently means (and doesn't mean), and what it could mean in the future. You might be surprised by what you learn.

There are two ways to take advantage of the Catch-Me-Up Package while supplies last. You can call 914-231-6361 to order by credit card or mail a $20 check to
Ann Whelan
Gluten-Free Living
560 Warburton Avenue, 2nd Floor
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
Contact the magazine for more information.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Here's a parfait view from the attractive (and upscale) Upper East Side vegan restaurant Candle 79. It's the Live Ginger-Apple Parfait, made with ginger-cashew cream, nut granola, apples, and huckleberry ice cream. It's pretty...and gluten-free!

Photo: David Marc Fischer