Did you attend the Gluten/Allergen Free Wellness event at the Durham Convention Center this past weekend? I did, thanks to the kindness of event organizers and area bloggers. I feel as though I should disclose that I am not gluten free myself, but I now have a better understanding of some of the difficulties that persons diagnosed with Celiac or those with gluten intolerance/allergy face. Events such as this one can be a wonderful resource for those dealing with challenges as well as for finding a supportive community.
The evening before Saturday’s event, several bloggers attended a gluten-free feast at Raleigh’s Bella Monica Restaurant. Everyone left well sated (stuffed might be more accurate, at least in my case). Though many of the dishes we had that night are not on the regular menu, Bella Monica’s every day gluten free menu is vast (and I’m sure just as delicious). I learned from other bloggers that there’s even an app for sharing reviews of gluten free restaurants, Find Me Gluten Free.
On Saturday, while previewing the event I had the chance to taste samples and talk with area experts. It was really nice to see so many local companies focused on providing quality gluten-free foods to consumers, like Kalo Foods, Moon Rabbit Foods, Daisy Cakes, Slim on Soup and Bone Suckin’ Sauce. You’ll find many more food company details on the GFAF event website.
Raleigh’s Harmony Farms exhibition table featured a wealth of gluten free foods available in their store (found on Creedmoor Road) and I learned they have one of the largest selection of gluten free food products in the area. It was fun talking cookbooks with Linda Watson (of “Cook for Good” and “Wildly Affordable Organic”). Her latest book/romance novel “Fifty Weeks of Green” features many plant-powered, seasonal recipes suited to a gluten-free diet. Pam Jordan, of the local blog, “I’m a Celiac” shared her story, her recipes and had some really cute t-shirts too. You should check out her blog for lots of resources and additional local bloggers to follow.
Don’t kick yourself if you missed the event this year. I expect they’ll be back around in 2014 – Keep an eye, out so you don’t miss out in the future!