Meet the makers - The Intolerant Gourmet
Meet the makers - The Intolerant Gourmet
Monday 31st August
This time last week I was sizzling in sunny Spain but back home in Norfolk it feels like autumn has come early. So I've packed away the bikini and, with a long face, brought my cardigans out. My only consolation on days like these is that I can relight my Aga and look forward to all the lovely comfort food that I associate with September. Porridge. Soups. Slow-cooked stews. Sloe gin. Chocolate brownies. Yum.
A few weeks ago I came across a fantastic recipe by one of the deli's suppliers - Pippa Kendrick, aka The Intolerant Gourmet. Writer and blogger Pippa creates exciting and delicious recipes aimed at inspiring food lovers everywhere but especially those who have had to change their diet to accommodate an allergy.
Her Gooey Chocolate Brownies are made using Aduki beans and are gluten free, vegan, egg free and dairy free. I have mixed fortunes with brownies. Sometimes they work, more often than not I make them too dry and crispy. But these, combined with a posh new brownie pan, worked like magic for me and also tasted amazing.
The kids, used as they are to more orthodox cake recipes, tucked into them happily. Obviously I didn't tell them till afterwards that these were bean-based brownies. And that would probably be music to Pippa's ears. One of the best things about her recipes is that although they cater for people with specific dietary needs they're also deliberately tasty and inspiring. Her website is full of recipes - some, like the brownies and cakes, are re-workings of old favourites - others include foreign flavours and foods. Her message is that having food allergies might be a challenge but it doesn't mean you have to give up enjoying eating and cooking delicious food.
Having to avoid certain foods might seem like an annoyance to those of us who can eat anything but for anyone who has been diagnosed with an allery, in the beginning it can feel like a very big deal. Even if your intolerances are small, the list of things you can't eat is sometimes a depressingly long one. You might find that some of your favourite foods have been making you ill and now you feel you have to give them up. It can totally change he way you look at food and how you feel about cooking it or going out to eat.
It was this sense of worry and confusion that inspired Pippa to set up The Intolerant Gourmet.
She is wheat, dairy, soy, egg and yeast intolerant. As a student she became seriously ill with complications that stemmed from an un-diagnosed food allergy and after being in and out of hospital found herself, aged just 21, facing a new way of life where what she ate had a huge and immediate effect on her health.
As she says: "It was a life-threatening situation and a turning point in my life.
"My experience is more dramatic than most, but it has given me an acute empathy for those who suffer from food intolerances and allergies, whatever their stage of health. Diagnosis can come as a great relief, but it is only the beginning of a new way of cooking and eating. In essence, it is a new way of life," she explains.
"I began The Intolerant Gourmet out of necessity for myself. However, it soon became directed by understanding that the fundamental elements of my experience: frustration, ill-health, isolation, and a desire to eat good food, are the same for anyone diagnosed with a food sensitivity. I knew that The Intolerant Gourmet could become an inspiring resource for anyone who has ever felt the loss and restriction that food allergies and intolerances can bring."
As well as writing books and articles and blogging about her food adventures Pippa now supplies allergy-friendly food to several outlets including Louis Deli - lots of customers now come to us specifically to buy her allergy-friendly treats. Chances are you might have eaten them there already without realising what they were.
If you'd like to try her recipes yourself - including Gooey Chocolate Brownies - then find out more at www.theintolerantgourmet.com
We have a range of cakes made with gluten free ingredients and a daily vegetarian lunch choice.