Coeliac UK urges chefs to enter gluten-free recipe challenge

14/02/2008 - 00:00
'Food Without Fear', Coeliac UK, the national charity for people with coeliac disease, launched a competition yesterday for chefs throughout the UK to design a unique and innovative gluten-free recipe in aid of encouraging awareness of the condition across the catering sector.

Coeliac is looking for exciting and delicious gluten-free recipes (that can be a starter, main course or dessert) from chefs working in restaurants, cafes, canteens and hospitals.

Candidates can enter by sending their recipe to: Coeliac UK, either by email to competition@coeliac.org.uk or by post to: Recipe Competition, Coeliac UK, Suites A-D, Octagon Court, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP11 2HS.

With the number of people being diagnosed with the disease increasing every year, the catering sector is not only neglecting a growing percentage of the population, but it is losing out financially, as the majority of people with the condition, as well as their families and friends, are choosing not to eat to protect their health.

Some 67% of respondents in a survey carried out by Oxford University said they were less likely to eat out after they had been diagnosed with coeliac disease.

Award-winning chef Giorgio Locatelli is supporting the recipe competition and will be judging the entries: "Eating out should be a pleasure for everyone, but can be such a minefield for people with coeliac disease; I hope that more chefs will learn and understand the ease it can be to provide tasty, interesting gluten-free options on their menus.

"I urge all chefs whatever their experience, to enter this competition and in doing so learn more about gluten-free cooking. Try and be inventive, rather than just suggesting using gluten-free flour in a recipe, consider for example, different ways to thicken a sauce without the need for gluten at all."

When designing the recipe, entrants must consider the risk of cross-contamination. It is vital to use clean utensils, separate chopping boards, as well as clean oil for frying and if cooking in any area where gluten is present.

The best recipes will feature in Coeliac UK's Crossed Grain magazine, which goes out to the charity's 80,000 membership, and the overall winner will be named the Coeliac UK gluten-free chef of the year.

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