Tips and Techniques from Gluten Free Chefs

If you are new to gluten free cooking and want to know where to start or if you’re already cooking gluten free and looking for fresh inspiration, please come to our next meeting to hear from three local chefs, all of whom discovered their own gluten intolerance when they were well into their food-related careers.

Our panel of chefs has a broad range of experience from cooking in restaurants, to directing a cooking school, to food styling. Uniting them all is the journey each has made to adapt their professional cooking careers to meet the needs of gluten free eaters, including themselves.

Amy Fothergill trained at Cornell University and enjoyed a varied career as a restaurateur, caterer, and food service manager. Her daughter was put on a gluten free diet in 2007. Applying her cooking experience to this new gluten-free cuisine, Amy created delicious recipes that satisfied not only her daughter but everyone who tried them.
To better understand customers who were taking her gluten-free cooking classes, Amy changed her own diet to gluten-free. Within a week, she felt lighter, had better digestion and was sleeping better and after a month, she realized gluten-free was for her. In the following years, Amy’s son and husband also switched to eating gluten free. Her family does not have celiac disease but each family member had found their gastro-intestinal and other symptoms relieved by eliminating gluten. Chef Amy now considers herself an advocate for gluten-free living and cooking. She is currently working with Second Helping, a new gluten-free frozen food company to help create delicious, gluten-free food for the consumer market.

Jeffrey Larsen is a food stylist, recipe developer, pastry chef and cooking instructor, specializing in allergen free cooking and baking. As a food stylist he assisted on nine books for Williams-Sonoma and has worked on almost every issue of Sunset Magazine for the last ten years. His allergen free journey started when he began developing recipes for his dairy and gluten intolerant mother ten years ago. His mother lives in Montana and she had absolutely no support and no information when she received her diagnosis. In helping his mother, Jeffrey gave himself a head start when he discovered that he is also gluten intolerant. In addition to teaching, Jeffrey now consults with individuals and businesses on developing menus and creating allergen free kitchens. He recently developed the breakfast menu for a new gluten free inn in Napa, Inn on Randolph. “I find tremendous reward in helping others come to the understanding that there is no need to live without the foods we enjoy,” says Jeffrey.

Laurie Gauguin has been cooking professionally for restaurants and catering companies as well as for doctors and dieticians and as culinary director of a health-focused cooking school. When her health started to wane, she consulted several doctors, but no one was able to determine what was wrong. “I felt miserable every time I ate, and many nights I spent curled up in the fetal position, feeling depressed and listless,” says Gauguin. Through her own elimination diet she discovered her gluten intolerance. Laurie’s mission became to help gluten-intolerant people celebrate their newly-found health by embracing the enormous variety of foods that will keep them healthy. “I show people that eating deliciously on a gluten-free diet is not only possible, but doable for everyone.” Visit Laurie’s blog for recipes and tips about shopping at the farmer’s market.

This meeting will offer a rare chance to meet all three of these trail-blazing gluten free chefs and learn practical tips and techniques that you can put to work in your kitchen. Don’t miss it!

You can RSVP at or on our Facebook page. RSVPs help us plan logistically for the meeting, but if you haven’t RSVP’d, please come anyway! You are always welcome.


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