Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo 2011: Reserve your spot!

The Gluten and Allergen Free Expo in Chicago April 29-May 1, 2011

Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo is about to kick off. I just finished chatting on the phone with Jen Cafferty,  Founder of the Gluten and Allergen Free Cooking Expo, which is in its fourth year. She’s filled me in on all the wonderful vendors, cooking classes, and possible children’s events scheduled for the weekend of April 29-May 1, 2011. Interested attendees are asked to register now if they want to receive early registration discounts for this event.

Learn about the 2013 Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo which takes place April 20-21, 2013 in Schaumburg at the Marriott Convention Center. 

I’ve attended past Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo events hosted by Jen as a consumer, and I can tell you that each year this event  gets bigger and better. This spring promises to be no different.

The Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo April 29-May 1, 2011For the first time, the Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo will host cooking classes in two tracks, one geared toward beginners and one for experienced allergen-free cooks looking to expand their knowledge.

Sign up for the Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo classes as soon as possible because they sell out every year.

Presenters at the 2011 Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo

Jen Cafferty, Founder of Gluten and Allergen Free Expo
Jen Cafferty

Jen Cafferty has managed to get a terrific list of celebrity chefs to come to this event. Hats off to you, Jen, for your continued work in bringing the leaders in the food allergy community together. The vendor fair is going to be huge. There is over 11,000 square feet of space for the event in the Wyndham’s Grand Ballroom. Additional exhibitors will be stationed in the hallway, and admittance is completely free to the fair. Visitors will get tons of samples from product manufacturers and will be introduced to a variety of educational materials. This is a must attend event for anyone newly diagnosed or for people who are looking to expand their palate with new products. Come and browse the fair, sign up for cooking classes (which are very reasonably priced), and bring the kids. The Expo will also offer activities for the kids to enjoy.

The who’s who of Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo presenter list includes some of my favorites: Anna Sobaski from Gluten Evolution and Joel Schaefer of Allergy Chefs, Inc.

Anna Sobaski of Gluten Evolution
Anna Sobaski of Gluten Evolution

Anna Sobaski was instrumental in helping me learn how to bake her wonderful bread mixes four years ago when my son was diagnosed with a gluten and corn intolerance. Unlike any other product manufacturer, she personally answered my inquiries about proper measuring and cooking. I am excited to see her on the presenter list. She has a knack for helping newbie cooks adjust to the gluten and allergen free lifestyle.  I’ve watched her company grow and expand over the years to a thriving allergen-free flour mix company with a wide variety of options for people needing to avoid many flours that are often found in other gluten-free mixes.

Joel Schaefer of Allergy Chefs, Inc. to present at the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo in Chicagoland April 29-May 1, 2011
Joel Schaefer of Allergy Chefs, Inc.

Joel Schaefer is a top notch professional chef with 11 years experience working in Disney World as an Executive Chef for the food allergic. He has since left his position to launch a new business that focuses on teaching restaurateurs how to safely prepare meals for food allergic guests. Joel has also recently finished a book on the subject and devised a special teaching method for companies to train their staff. He is a wonderful person and a great mentor. His book will be available in the spring of 2011, and I cannot wait to view it. I have such high hopes for his new venture. His program is sorely needed for food allergic folks. Through his efforts I can see many more restaurants catering to food allergic customers safely and effectively. Thanks Joel for your continued dedication to the allergy community and your participation in the Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo.

Other well known celebrities on Jen’s list of 2011 Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo presenters are:

  • Carol Fenster, author of nine allergen free cookbooks and host of
  • Cybele Pascal, allergen free cookbook author
  • Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse’s own Lee Tobin
  • Chicago area celiac disease and autism support group leader and cookbook author Sueson Vess
  • Dr. Stephen Wangen a board certified gluten intolerant physician and the founder and Medical Director of the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle Washington
  • King George Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Group’s director:  Shirley Braden
  • Marlisa Brown, president of Total Wellness Inc.
  • Deepa Deshmuka, a registered dietitian specializing in Diabetes management
  • Pamela Guisto-Sorrells, founder of Pamela’s Products
  • Beth Hillson, founder and President of the Gluten free Pantry
  • Amy Green, author of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
  • Kim Koeller, International Business Consultant and award-winning co-author of the Let’s Eat Out! Your Passport to Living Gluten and Allergy Free book series.
  • Silvana Nardone, author of Cooking for Isaiah, a GFDF book, and the founder of Silvana was also the founding editor-in-chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine.
  • Stephanie O’Dea,  who has been featured on Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, in Real Simple Magazine, Woman’s World, and on She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

If you are attending the Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo from out of town, book the Wyndham through the Expo’s special discount site.

Jen Cafferty also heads the Gluten Intolerance Group of Greater Chicago and is currently working on an upcoming cookbook. For more information on the chapter, go to their website at

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