Last Thursday my friend Cara, a fellow new celiac diagnosed last summer, invited me to a gluten-free cooking class at a local food store and restaurant, Umami. I was excited to learn some new things about gluten-free cooking.
Although I didn’t really learn anything new about gluten-free cooking or living a celiac life, we did learn a few new Korean recipes, which are mostly naturally gluten-free. Luckily Cara and I were the only students that day so we got to help (well, I helped – Cara is a stay at home mom and cooks frequently enough that she was willing to let me hog all the fun). We made a Korean stir fry with sweet potato vermicelli noodles. The noodles were AMAZING – such a great texture. I’m going to buy those right away.
We also made sushi, with a mix of white and black rice which left it purple. I helped roll the sushi, but I’d be lying if I said I made it look this good. We did the prep work but the chef put on all the finishing touches and served it up to us. It was a fun experience.
And finally, we finished off with hand made coconut ice cream that we made at the beginning and the chef fancied up with the fruit etc.
Unfortunately the first time she served it to us there was a big cookie on top. Excited, but confused, I exclaimed, “A cookie?! Is that really gluten-free?”
Oh? Um? Let me see?
She had to make it again for us. Which she did willingly, but also made us both question why she was teaching us a “gluten-free cooking” class when she didn’t seem to know a lot about gluten-free cooking. She had never heard of celiac disease when we told her about it at the beginning. She said she checked the package on the artificial crab meat, but then I was less confident. And yes, we used gluten-free soy sauce.
In the end we didn’t end up getting sick, and we did enjoy a fabulous meal, but I was again left wanting in the “new information about gluten-free eating” category. I’ve been to 2 dieticians, a cooking class, and my doctor and have still learned more from the internet and am left feeling the need to learn more. I have signed up for the National Celiac Conference at the end of May, so I look forward to actually learning something there and meeting some more fellow celiacs.