Showing posts from February, 2010

Birmingham NEC - A Reply To My Complaint/Suggestions

Got this the other day from one of the account managers at the NEC. (See previous post)"Dear Debra,Thank you for your feedback on your various dining experiences during your week working at The NEC for Spring Fair and I am sorry that we didn't meet your requirements during your visit.NEC Group Catering prides itself on its high standards of food and beverage that offer a wide range of options to suit all tastes and special dietary requirements. Our front of house and back of house teams are trained to deal with all dietary requirements, and your enquiry should have been dealt with more professionally. I will be investigating your comments regarding dietary requests, and also the labelling of our salads with the operational management and culinary team, to ensure our normal high standards are maintained. It would be helpful if you could let me know which hall or area you were in where the chef was not able to help with your request, to assist with my enquiries.Once again, …

Gluten Free Naan - HELP

BBC1 is showing re-runs of the Hairy Bakers, I always enjoy David Myer's and Simon's King's programmes. It's a guilty pleasure.The last one I watched was the one where they cook a curry and naan breads outside. I printed off their recipe for Allo Gobi ages ago, the first time I watched it. Last night I decided to give the naans a go too.
The recipes are here;
Aloo Gobi
The Aloo Gobi (potato and Cauliflower curry) was delish but the naans where a bit hard. I copied the recipe but used Dove's Farm Bread Flour instead of regular bread flour.
They looked great but were pretty tough and lacked puffiness. I had a look online for some advice on making gluten free naans but couldn't find a lot. One recipe suggested adding Xanthan Gum but I'm not sure if this would add puffiness. I thought it just helped bind things together. Another recipe suggested using about 4 different kinds of flour - 3 of which I've never seen before :(
I would love to hear from anyone who …

UK organic, wheat free, vegetarian etc Directory

Found this pretty sweet website calling itself 'the UK organic search engine.' However they also list companies producing wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, lactose free, kosher and halal.
The site has listings of companies offering gluten free -
muesli bread cakes pizza bases sausages beer accommodation and places to eat
There's even a couple of links to websites selling allergy cards in several languages. I could have done with one of those when I was in Italy! Repeatedly saying 'me no flour!' at Italian waiters doesn't exactly work!

Wheat Free Sandwiches in London

Yes, tis true!
I've been to this particular bread and sandwich shop a few times and had some bloody lovely rye bread sarnies. Thing is, I didn't know the name of it to be able to post about it. Thanks to the power of Google street view, I now finally know it's name! It's called De Gustibus and it's next to Borough Market, near London Bridge station. I look at their website revealed that they have branches in St. Paul's and Marylebone too.
What's so great about De Gustibus is that you can choose your own bread and fillings. They've got all different kinds of meat, cheese and salad and some more unusual things like pickles and sundried tomatoes. My particular fave combination is bacon, tomato, mayo and cheddar.
Ask for the 'Complete Rye' bread - described as "100% rye flour makes this bread wheat free, yet it is surprisingly light in texture but unsurprisingly magnificent in taste."
Agreed - one of the best I've tried. Blimey, now I'm s…

Food Allergy Training - By Law!

Those lucky so and so's in Massachusetts!
"Under new regulations, some 24,000 restaurants statewide will have to educate their staffs on food allergies and require managers to get a certified through a food allergy training course.
Dr. Clifford Bassett, an allergist with the New York University School of Medicine, applauded the effort.
Bassett encourages his patients to bring a laminated card with instructions about their food allergies when they go out. This way they can hand the card to the waiter and the message will not be lost or forgotten by the time it reaches the kitchen."
Good idea, now where did I put my laminator?
Check this article

I long for salad...

Dear NEC Birmingham,
I recently spent 5 days in one of your halls working with an exhibitor. That's 5 lunches and several tea breaks. Whilst most visitors to the NEC seemed quite content with the hot canteen dinners, the sandwiches, baguettes, caibattas, pasta salads, pastries, biscuits, crackers etc I'm afraid finding a lunch suitable for my diet was a lot more difficult. During one lunch break, I used up half of my lunch hour going through 2 halls to get my lunch from the jacket potato stand. Great, but I couldn't do that every day, after standing up for 9 hours a day, that's the last thing I wanted to do. I suffer from wheat intolerance so as you can imagine, all the above mentioned foods are out of limits. If I eat wheat, I suffer from 2 weeks of painful bloating, alternating constipation and diarreah, nausea, outbreaks of eczema and dandruff and wind. As you can imagine, I have to be careful about what I eat. I struck me as odd that a company catering for thousands…

RECIPE Wheat and Gluten Free Pancakes!

Happy Shrove Tuesday! And a special HI to anyone also celebrating Mardi Gras! Oh how I wish I was in New Orleans today!

I thought i'd post a fail safe pancake recipe adapted from a great book called 'Your Wheat Free, Gluten Free Diet Plan' by Carolyn Humphries.

This recipe makes 8-10 pancakes and they can be served in all the usual ways, with sugar, lemon etc. My particular fave thing is maple syrup and tinned peaches!


175g/ 6 oz/ 1 1/2 cups Doves Farm Plain White Flour Blend
10ml/ 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
A good pinch of salt
30ml/ 2 tbsp caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
300ml/1/2 pint/1 1/4 cups milk
Sunflower oil, for frying


1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the centre.
2. Add the eggs and half the milk and beat to form a smooth batter. Beat in the remaining milk.
3. Heat a little oil in a medium frying pan.
4. Add about 30ml/ 2 tbsp of the batter and cook until risen and golden brown underneath.
5. Flip the pan…

Recipes and Cakes Needed for Great Ormond Street

Bake It Betteris a week of baking, selling and eating cakes all in the name of fundraising for Great Ormond Street. All you need to do is bake cakes, sell them to your colleagues/class mates/neighbours etc then donate the way you can help the hospital is to submit your recipes to is a site where people go and upload their recipes with the top ones being selected to go into a book, with all the proceeds going to Great Ormond St.As you can see, this is a great way to have your recipes published whilst helping save the lives of sick children.
I’m definitely going to get some of my gluten and wheat free recipes up on Mydish and I’m also starting to organize a cake sale in my office block. Both things are easy peasy to do but will make such a difference to those kids’ lives.

I got Glutened :(

I’ve not been well at all these last few days. I got glutened :(I guess that makes me ‘glutarded’ thought I’d treat myself to a snack size gluten free pizza from Hell pizza during lunch at the end of last week walked in and said to the server – “Do you have the gluten free pizza bases in?” and he said yes, they did. I ordered and said “I’ll have the snack size Mischief on a gluten free base please” and the server took my order. Apparently he then forgot to ‘tick the box’ on the computer to send the gluten free order into the kitchen.When I was eating my pizza I kept thinking that the base seemed different to last time but as I’d only had one once and I’d asked twice for a gluten free base, I put those thoughts out of my head.As soon as I got back to the office I was feeling ill. Ever since I’ve had stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea and a horrible feeling of fullness even when I haven’t eaten for age…