April 12, 2012

Gluten Free Bloggers Conference and Expo and Benefit, Oh My!

Spring is an awesome time for gluten free people in Chicago. Not only is there already a ton of great gluten free events in the area, but this month marks the return of the Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo in the 'burbs AND The Celiac Center at the University of Chicago's Annual Spring Flours Benefit. As an added bonus, this year introduces the first ever Gluten Free Blogger Conference, Nourished.

Nourished kicks off all the fun tomorrow in Lombard. You could say it's part of the GFAF Expo since it's at the same hotel and many of the bloggers will be speaking, teaching, or attending the expo in the days that follow. At last year's expo, many gluten and allergy free bloggers showed up for the classes and fair and everyone had such a great time. It was fun to finally meet each other in person since we follow each others' blogs.

Gluten Free Bloggers 2011. Recognize anyone?
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again, as well as getting up to speed on different blogging topics. If you couldn't tell by my lack of posts, I need more inspiration and motivation to get back on the blog bandwagon!

This weekend is also the Gluten and Allergy Free Expo at the Weston Hotel in Lombard. Being in its 5th year, I've watched this event get bigger and bigger. Like in the previous years, specialized cooking classes will be offered for those who register beforehand. The vendor fair is open to the public for a $20 entrance fee ($5 for kids) and attendees can sample tons of gluten free foods and products, listen to the presentations at the public stage, shop the Expo store and more. I recommend arriving early on an empty stomach, bringing a water bottle (there is so much to eat!) and having an extra bag to carry all the handouts and goodies home. 

If any of you attended last year, you might have seen me at the Udi's Gluten Free table sampling out buns and muffins. This year I'll be showing my love for the Rudi's Gluten Free team. I won't be working at their booth, but if you see me around, be sure to say hello!

If all of this excitement wasn't enough, next Friday, April 20th, The Celiac Center at the University of Chicago will be hosting their Annual Spring Flours Benefit to fund celiac disease research to one day find a cure. I have been lucky enough to attend the past couple of years (and last year thanks to Enjoy Life Foods), and have been beyond impressed by the amount of detail that goes into this event.

Close to 30 Chicago restaurants with gluten free menus are there sampling their gluten free cuisine. A presentation on the current status of the Center's research is given. Live and silent auctions are held on an array of wonderful products, services and experiences. There is even a raffle with more fabulous gifts to take home.  Best of all, attendees get a giant goodie bag filled with Enjoy Life products and other goodies. If you can afford it, GO!


Sarah @ Celiac in the City said...

See you in the morning!

Maria said...

I wanted to go to the Gluten-Free Expo this weekend but I have other obligations :-( I know there's a big group coming down there from Milwaukee!

Part Time House Wife said...

It was nice to chat today at lunch! I swear you're so familiar to me! Hope you enjoyed the rest of the day!

Betsy Thompson said...

Maria, I'm sorry you had to miss it! You must come next year!

PTHW, same here! I guess I just have one of those faces. :)