More on Gluten Free Diets

I believe good food should be available on any diet. However, a gluten free diet creates its own challenges. I’ve been working with Coeliac UK for a number of years now to create great gluten free recipes, and we’ve tried where possible to expand the horizon for those on a gluten free diet. I’m especially pleased when we get to work with foods that people following a gluten free diet might otherwise miss.

Being Coeliac is not a lifestyle choice, so I’m really passionate about getting as many chefs as possible to understand Coeliac disease. Through that increased understanding, we empower more chefs to support people to eat well.

It’s not just about the standard gluten free alternatives – sponges, cakes, and bread. It’s about the meals associated with different lifestyles and cultures and giving people recipes to create those meals to suit them and their families.

It’s an area I’m happy to talk about, so if you want to talk gluten free – or you’re interested in gluten free recipes – get in touch here!

Live Well Gluten Free magazine

Coeliac UK’s Live Well Gluten Free is a periodical magazine full of recipes, education, and tips for everyone interested in a gluten free diet.

I was delighted to be featured in the spring 2019 edition, which you can see reproduced here.

Thame Food Festival 2014

Louise with Ken Bruce 3
Louise Wagstaffe and Ken Bruce

This year’s Thame Food Festival takes place this Saturday, 27th September 2014, and is well worth a visit.

At last year’s festival, I gave a demonstration on behalf of McCormick foods, working on stage with the legendary Ken Bruce. We had a lot of fun, and I’m sure there’s a future for Ken in being a sous chef if the Radio 2 career loses its appeal. Our audience swelled as the demonstration progressed, which we are sure was entirely due to our skills and expertise, and had nothing to do with the presenter who was to follow us, Raymond Blanc.

The Thame Food Festival is a great show for foodies, food lovers, and professionals alike. It’s a food show for all, with a range of stalls and events, from mums-having-a-go, to artisan food houses, to well known food industry giants, to celebrity chefs. There’s lots of diversity, lots of wonderful food on show, and lots of opportunity to learn, try, taste, and buy.

If you’re in the area, pop in on Saturday. To give you a feel for it, here’s the three minute video of the 2013 event. Watch out for the amazing double act exactly two minutes in.


Technology in the Kitchen

There have been some cool technology-in-the kitchen ideas recently, and this is a trend that is going to grow. Here are three to whet your appetite: Vessyl, Drop, and Prep Pad.

Vessyl is a cup which identifies what you are drinking and gives advice about calorific value etc. This is part of a trend towards devices which will help with our wellbeing. We’ve already seen wearables like Fitbit and the Nike Fuelband, which monitor and report our exercise and expenditure of energy, and so moving to devices which monitor and report our intake is a logical step. Will it catch on? Who knows – but Vessyl has reported over a million dollars in advanced orders, at $99 a go, so there is demand out there.

Drop is more of a cook’s tool. Promoted as being a baking aid, it’s an iPad connected kitchen scale with an associated recipe app. It will also help you share your results on social media, if you are so inclined. This is also a $99 device, but Drop is accepting pre-orders at $80 with free delivery at the time of writing.

Prep Pad, from the Orange Chef Co is described with the strap line “Fitness meets nutrition”. It’s also an iPad connected scale with a recipe App, but Prep Pad is more like Vessyl in that the focus seems to be on nutritional content of the recipe, which it helps the chef to visualise and adjust.

My husband – who knows about these things – tells me that this is all part of a technology trend known as the the Internet of Things, where many more of our everyday objects will be connected to the Internet and able to help us do what we are doing. It strikes me that there are tools here for everyone, from smart chefs, to foodies, to absolute beginners. At the same time as these tools help us to be better cooks, we will be informed like never before about the nutritional value of the food we eat, which should lead to healthier bodies.

Exciting times.