We have been doing a fun new feature where I highlighted other gluten-free bloggers that I think are doing a great job in the gluten-free community. I have many ideas for bloggers in mind but if you know of someone you would just love to see featured please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The gluten-free blogger I will be featuring today is a new up and coming gluten-free blogger. She has an amazing desire to serve the gluten-free community and is knowledgeable about doing so. She loves gluten-free living and it shows through her writing! I now introduce to you, Lisa of The Cultured Cook!
Please tell everyone a little about yourself: I started out as a baker (my mom loved to cook and hated to bake, so that worked out well!), segued into cooking, then hit the college years and got the traveling bug. I graduated with cultural anthropology and language degrees, wound up living in Germany and Costa Rica, and started to merge my culinary interests with my traveling opportunities. My most recent revelation was tapas in Spain–now I love olives! I just love learning about food and celebrating it, spreading the word about the good stuff, and developing recipes.
Please tell me about your gluten-free blog: When I started the blog, I was including wheat along with the lesser-known gluten guys like spelt and kamut, but as I became more and more aware of the rising number of people with gluten sensitivities/intolerances, I began experimenting more and more with g-f dishes. Then one of my best friends found out she was celiac…and a month later I realized I also have a gluten problem. That sealed the deal. Now I offer all my recipes both g-f and with more traditional flours. I’m hoping that by offering both, I’m helping mainstream eaters realize that cooking for g-f friends can be easy and delicious. Hopefully they’ll even try these alternative grains and flours out for themselves–variety really is the spice of life!
How long have you been blogging? I began www.theculturedcook.com in August of 2008, right after I quit my corporate job to study Spanish in Costa Rica. That spur-of-the-moment decision wound up leading me down a whole new career path–now I’m a culinary speaker, recipe developer, and food coach.
Why did you start a gluten-free blog? I’d love for everyone to realize that g-f dishes are a good idea for everybody–we all need more variety on our plates, and there are far more g-f flours/grains than there are gluten-containing ones. It’s so much more fun to cook and bake when you have so many more choices!
What kinds of products do you feature on your blog? My blog is 100% informational–all recipes and articles about food.
What would you like to see with your gluten-free blog in the future? For myself, I’m hoping that this blog will continue to lead to bigger and better assignments/jobs as both a recipe developer and food writer. In the wider view, I’d love for everyone to check it out at least once just to see if anything hooks their interest…and to see that going g-f is not a terrible thing. If more restaurants and chefs would switch to using more g-f products, then everyone would have a place at the table!
What do you love about gluten-free blogging most? Going g-f has inspired me to learn a lot more about the mechanics of cooking and baking, which in turn has improved my skills as a recipe developer and cook in every area. And it’s fun to learn how things work!
Do you do giveaways? If so, what was your favorite giveaway? This isn’t a giveaway in the standard sense, but I often do public speaking engagements at libraries and civic organizations. During the typical hour or hour and a half, I cover lots of food and medical issues, including some info on autoimmune disorders and how to work with and enjoy g-f foods. These sessions are free to all, and I love doing them!
Tell me some of your favorite gluten-free blogs that you read. I tend to read cookbooks more than online blogs, actually, simply because I like being able to sit back and flip through physical pages. One of my favorite g-f baking books is Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts. For the sake of learning more about how baking works and therefore more about how to tweak any recipe to make it g-f, I really like Shirley Corriher’s Bakewise.
How can people find you? The best way for people to find me is go directly to my blog, www.theculturedcook.com. I also did a piece in this month’s issue of Clean Eating magazine–I’m the banner at the top of the cover that says “20-minute dinners — door to table!” and I’m featured on the contributor’s page. That mag is not a g-f publication, however. But just substitute millet for couscous in my Asparagus Primavera, and you’ve got a total of 6 quick g-f recipes. The other five didn’t have any g-f ingredients. It’s my sneaky way of blending a bit more of the g-f world with the mainstream one!