Monday, April 19, 2010

Great time at the Gluten-Free Cooking Expo Vendor Fair

Yesterday was the annual Gluten-Free Cooking Expo and Vendor Fair in Chicago, IL..well, just outside Chicago in Lisle (which is right next to Naperville, where I grew up and spent 18 years of my life). I didn't have the opportunity to go to the cooking classes, but I did get to go the vendor fair. Last year I missed out completely and I was thrilled that I could make it this year.

M and Z came with me, and we all left very, very full and satisfied.

It is a good thing too, because we were rushing out of our house for a showing, and since I was running around trying to make sure the house smelled delicious and every single room was pristine, I had no time for breakfast. As soon as I walked in the ballroom hosting the vendor fair, I saw the Whole Foods tables and went straight there. Most of their items I have tasted before, and are all scrumptious, but best of all was the peach pie. Yummy!! And it only got better from there...with vendors providing endless cookies, snacks, pizza, ravioli and even Woodchuck Cider!

Z had a fun time in the kids area making crafts while M and I took turns checking out the goods. It was so great to see so many people and so many vendors supporting the same cause in one place. And how wonderful to be somewhere and not have to ask about every.single.ingredient. It was all safe, and felt so nice!

Best of all I got to meet some great people in person that I have been looking forward to meeting, including the event's organizer and very talented Jen Cafferty. Please ignore my disheveled look, I wish I realized I looked like I just rolled out of bed before I took this picture. She is extremely sweet, but also very busy and was nice enough to let me grab her long enough for this photo.

I think one of the most popular booth's must have been Udi's, it was never slow and people left with boxes of bread. I don't blame them, that bread is good stuff..better than good, it is freakin' amazing (to quote a man I heard coming out of the Expo, and with whom I agree)! And I was fortunate enough to meet Udi's Heather Collins, not only did she have her hands full with the fair's favorite bread, but she was super cool, and even took a second to get a picture with me so we could display their amazing bread. (Again, I look like I rolled out of bed)

I look forward to being able to meet up with Jen and Heather again when things are a bit more calm and we can actually chat. But being busy this weekend was a good thing, and it seems like the Expo was a huge success!

Some of my favorite goodies that I tried for the first time....Whole Food's peach pie, Conté's ravioli, Surf Sweets gummi bears, cookies from Gluten Free Mama (because you can never go wrong with almond flour!). These are just a few things from the many delicious treats I tried and doesn't even include my already current favorites like Udi's sandwich bread, Against the Grain bagels, Pamela's pancake and baking mix, Rose's Bakery biscotti and I could go on and on.

You know when your 5-year old refuses cookies and candy that you have no more. We did not leave there hungry, that's for sure.

Congratulations Jen on a successful event!


  1. Oh my gosh, you stinker! ;) How fun for you to go to the Gluten free vendor fair!
    Sounds like a very "filling" time.
    So, have you ever been to Silly Yaks up here in Madison? I know that besides gluten free, they do dairy and egg free baking also.
    I generally make my own gf baked goods, but wanted to know if they had anything REALLY worth checking out.

  2. Heather,

    I have not been there actually, but would love to check it out someday. Thanks!!

  3. I'm envious, I would LOVE to go to that show one day!

    And yes, Udi's IS freakin' amazing, LOL!

    Lastly, you look GREAT! :-)

  4. Great blog! I am seriously considering going gluten free and was wondering if you had any advice for me? Thanks!

  5. Thank you.

    @Nannyontherun....I guess it would depend on why you would go you have celiac, or would it be for other reasons? I would think starting with cutting out processed foods, and eating as natural and whole foods as possible. And then slowly add in gluten-free substitutes of former gluten-filled foods.

    But to entirely eliminate gluten you will have to read every.single.label and go through what you currently have in your kitchen and toss all gluten containing items. It can seem overwhelming at first, but it gets easier.

    But if you don't need to be gluten-free, you may not want to make such a drastic change.