Chef Kate: A Celiac’s Best Friend


I’m back. Back to reality. Back to routine. Back to the daily grind that life sometimes presents. And most sadly of all, back to making my own meals.

I was blessed enough to take a vacation this past week at The Golden Pavilion in Tortola. Not only did the house come with ungodly views and amenities, it came with Kate. Who is Kate you say? Kate is a five-star chef that prepared and served all of our meals during the week. (Don’t hate me…I understand this is not normal.)

While she was familiar with gluten and celiac disease, I was her first guest in the four years she has been there with hard-core celiac disease who HAD TO BE completely gluten-free for the week.

gluten free cookingIf you read my blog last week, you know how nervous I was going into this vacation. It was my first true vacation since being diagnosed and I was pretty nervous about getting glutened and having my trip blown to smithereens. I even kept a private stash of gluten-free food in my bedroom as a back-up plan (see the pathetic pic to the right).

Kate put me at ease with the first meal and it just got better from there. There were eight of us at the house and every meal she made, she made certain that I was taken care of.

Everybody else is having toast with their steak salad? Kate toasts up some rice bread soaked in olive oil.

Everybody else is having rolls with their dinner? Kate makes me my own gluten-free bread from scratch.

Everybody else is having wild grain rice cooked in chicken broth? Kate makes mine without it (and gives me a double portion!)

Everybody else is having brownies for dessert? Kate puts together a plate of ginger snaps and grapes.

Everybody else is having an after-dinner Vanilla Hot Shot (Galliano Liqueur, Espresso and Cream)? You bet the Gluten Dude is partaking in that!

So now I’m home and Kate is still in Tortola. As much as we tried to convince her to come home with us, she declined the offer.

But not only will the memories of a wonderful week stay with me, the lessons from Kate will as well.

There is no longer any excuse for gluten-free food to be boring.

There are always ways to make a celiac’s meal as interesting and delicious as any other person’s meal. There are always substitutes that can be just as fulfilling. All it takes is some planning and creativity in the kitchen. And while I may not be able to pull together some of the meals that Kate did, moving forward I will not allow myself to wallow in self-pity as others around me eat what they want to their heart’s delight.

If I’m eating boring, it’s my fault.

Thanks for opening my eyes Kate! You’re the best.

gluten free cookies
A nice substitute for brownies...ginger snaps and grapes.
gluten free bread
Homemade gluten free bread to die for.
gluten free lunch
The perfect gluten-free lunch!

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5 thoughts on “Chef Kate: A Celiac’s Best Friend”

  1. WOW. Ummm, jealous about Chef Kate!

    Looks like it was a fab trip… The house looks incredible! Yeah – Foxy’s definitely would not have any food you could eat – although White Harbor was gorgeous (not that you didn’t have a stellar alternative) – but that was one of my PB&J on Udi’s days! So great that you brought your own GF beer. love it.

    1. Yeah…she was dynamite. Quite the gluten free amenity to have on vacation. By the way, since your mission is to find gluten free bread that tastes good, I need to get the recipe from Kate and send it to you. Best bread, normal or not, I’ve ever had. Boy I miss vacation.

  2. Thanks for the lovely words Gluten Dude! I enjoyed feeding you! I’m afraid I can’t take all credit for the bread – it was a Bob’s Red Mill mix that I adapted to copy a Raisin Walnut and Pecan bread that I make. To one packet, add 1/4 cup each of chopped walnuts and pecans and about 1/2 cup raisins and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Bake according to package directions. It was yum!
    Next year I am going to send you off with a packed lunch – Allie’s right – White Bay is gorgeous and I was sorry you missed out on the day and boat trip.
    Hope all good here – it is windy, rainy and horrid here, so you’re not missing anything!

    1. My pleasure Kate. You deserve the accolades.

      Thanks for the recipe. Mrs. Dude will give it a shot. I’m still salivating over the thought of it.

      Even with the bad weather, believe me…I’m missing it.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

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I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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