Because, as Shauna James Ahern states, one in 100 people are suffering from celiac disease, the intended audience is obviously a broad one. Chances are, you have at least one friend who is suffering, and probably more that just aren’t aware of it. With that said, its obvious why “gluten free” is becoming a trend in the United States. The Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef treat their readers like family. They are assuming that the readers are in the same battle, which is a quality of the book that will draw you in immediately.
The book is divided into two main parts. The first, at home, includes heart-warming stories of how the Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef met and fell in love. Their courtship, their struggles, their laughs, even their flatulence (his specifically). This is done with the same engaging approach as the beginning introductions. The Gluten-Free Girl has a wonderful way of making you a friend through her writing. Each story is followed by a recipe that accompanied the shared moment in her life. Over 10 recipes that Ahern shares, and over 10 stories about her romance and fight through this disease.
The second part is the recipes regarding James Ahern’s restaurant. It was well thought out to include slightly less stories and more tips on the recipes. These recipes are more in depth and difficult for the “at home” cook, and the tips are well used. The most difficult recipes have exact descriptions of each and every step, making it a breeze to follow, and keeping the fear out of cooking at this level.
The photography, by Lara Ferroni, was beautiful. It was simple, elegant, and gave the recipes the final touch. Having a visual finishing point, and such an elegant one was a bonus. The photographs graced almost every other page, and some full pages.
This cookbook, a term I use loosely, since it seemed a page-turning love story with recipes mixed in, is a must have for any kitchen. Odds are, you will need to know how to cook gluten-free and even better odds are, you will want to cook gluten free. The Gluten-free Girl and the Chef invite you into their homes and their hearts, and fill your belly in the process. I felt honored to read this book, and my guests who required a gluten-free diet, surely felt loved when I produced for them.