Last week I attended the Thrive Allergy and Gluten Free Expo in Chicago. Thrive was a two day event (April 18-19) which show cased a number of gluten free vendors. The event, which was held at Chicago's convention center, McCormick Place, provided a large forum for a number of gluten free specialist to share information. The event consisted of a number of speakers, cooking demonstrations as well as booths displaying gluten free products for taste testing and purchasing. The Expo also had booths for people with asthma, skin allergies, and nut allergies.
Most of the booths carrying gluten free foods were local Chicago retailers who specialize in gluten free and allergy free specialties. About 90% of the vendors were displaying baked goods, which I expected. I spent the day taste testing and talking with all the vendors supplying GF products.
My Favorite Products
- Meister’s Angel Food Cake: http://meistersgf.com/
- Deerfield Bakery’s Baguette: http://www.deerfieldsglutenfree.com/
- Toro’s Chocolate Chip Cookies: http://www.tasteslikerealfood.com/
- 123 Gluten Free’s Spice Cake: http://www.123glutenfree.com/
- Sunbutter’s Original Sunbutter (sun flower seed butter, no nuts): http://www.sunbutter.com/
- Lil’s Dietary Specialty Shop’s Powdered Donuts: http://www.lilsdietary.com/
- Van’s Gluten Free Waffles: http://www.vansfoods.com/
- Pamela’s Butter Shortbread Cookies: http://www.pamelasproducts.com/
My Favorite Demonstrations/Speakers
- Kim Koeller, http://www.glutenfreepassport.com/
Kim is publishing her second book later this year empowering individuals with the knowledge to safely eat outside the home, while managing celiac disease, food allergies & special diets
- Jennifer Cafferty, http://www.glutenfreeclasses.com/
Jen made outstanding Gluten Free Coconut Chicken Tenders with Mango Chutney and Tuscan Quinoa Salad
- Jules Shepard, http://www.nearlynormalcooking.com/
Jules made an amazing Gluten and Dairy Free Pizza
The event showcased a number of companies that provide an online shopping outlet for a number of gluten free products. Some of the sites I have ordered from are:
Overall this was a great event, I was able to meet a number of knowledgeable gluten free experts in the Chicago area. I am planning to back to Chicago August 15-16 for the Gluten Free Cooking Expo.