Special Diets on November 3, 2008 by

Gluten Free Italian in Chicago!

Lori Sobelson, Program Director for our Whole Grain Store (left), and I had the privilege of traveling to Chicago last week for the American Dietetic Association’s Annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. It was a delight to meet dieticians, doctors and educators interested in nutrition. I am always astounded by the lack of nutritional education in many doctors and I really enjoyed the opportunity to educate people about whole grains and gluten free foods.

While we did not have much time for sightseeing, we did get the opportunity to have dinner with Renee Zonka from Kendall College,

Carol Fenster from Savory Palate, and Jean Duane from Alternative Cook. Carol and Jean follow a gluten free diet and Renee was kind enough to bring us to Da Lucianos, a family owned Italian restaurant specializing in gluten free pastas and baked goods. The food was amazing and the desserts even better.

Jean (left) and Carol (right) reviewing the gluten free menu- so many options!

The Libreri family was very kind and takes gluten free cooking seriously; with four of their seven children having celiac disease, they fully understand what cross contact means. The family prepares all of their gluten free pastas and desserts in the morning and all of their gluten-containing pastas in the afternoon. The kitchen is scrubbed after preparation of the gluten-containing items and again after the restaurant is closed to prevent any gluten from lingering.

Rosalia Libreri personally ensured that all of the special dietary needs of our party were met and even brought out a special plate of cookies that were dairy-free, gluten-free and out-of-this-world. You can order their pastas, sauces and desserts online at their website.

Here I am pictured with Lori and Renee (right), enjoying the warm atmosphere and good company.


Michele says:

After nine years of illness, a friend who was seeing a naturopath for her rheumatoid arthritis suggested I try eliminating wheat and dairy from my diet. The dramatic improvement in my health led me to request a blood test from my doctor for celiac disease. Lo and behold, after nine years of chronic fatigue and anemia, especially tough for me as an athlete, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Within six months of being on a gluten free diet, I healed myself. I cannot express how important it is to educate doctors and others about celiac disease. Thank you for educating others and providing such wonderful gluten free products. I especially appreciate the GF mixes. They are quick to make and the taste and texture are phenomenal. I’m hooked on the chocolate chip cookie mix and my boyfriend actually prefers Bob’s to Tollhouse. The GF bread and GF brownie mixes are awesome as well. Thanks!!!

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