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A trip to the GFAF Expo in San Francisco!

I spent 4 days hanging out in San Francisco this weekend – and I can tell you that I saw all the important things: Zest Bakery & the French Laundry. And that gluten-free people are the best people.

I loved seeing all of your smiling faces, answering your gluten-free baking questions and having the chance to meet you all!

Now, on to how it went!

I planned this weekend for months- anxiously texting my dear friends Kyra (owner of Crave Bakeshop outside of Portland) and Brandy (Mrs. Northwest 2013) to coordinate flights & hotel rooms. Trade secret: we all come to these events together so we have an excuse to gather from far corners of the country. And to collect more awesome friends.

To get ready for this trip, I stalked the French Laundry on Open Table for a reservation. I read up on companies visiting the expo so I could make sure that I would have time to see what products we are missing in the Midwest. (And so that I could figure out whose employees might be the most fun to hang with). I gathered a crowd that included Brandy, Kyra, Alison – the sassy blogger behind A Girl Defloured, Charissa from Zest Bakery and Andrew from Taste Guru for a day of feasting.

I’m a food blogger, so of course this trip was all about the food.

So we started our first day like any responsible party that was about to spend $300/person on lunch. We went to our friend’s bakery and ate from the tasting menu. (In other words, we ordered some of every item in the case and stood there and tried them all). I was in gastronomic heaven, and it wasn’t even 10am.



After breakfast, The French Laundry had a pretty high bar it had to clear. And it did. I may never be able to look at vegetables the same way again (and I am ok with that). 10 courses of gluten-free vegetables, a root beer float and a peanut butter & jelly chocolate and a sinful chocolate something or other and I am set for life. I am working on a post just about that meal, but for now, you’ll have to take my word that it was perfect.



Friday night was also the part that, for me, is the best part of the expo – meeting the smiling faces behind blogs, twitter handles and companies. There were two people I was on a mission to meet- Sabrina from the Tomato Tart (who got away without enough time chatting!) and Erica from Celiac and the Beast. They are as epically awesome in person as they are on their blogs. Funny, kind and gluten-free. There might have been some impressive bear hugs and squeals of delight when we all finally met.

And the there were the bloggers that I didn’t know were going to be there, or I hadn’t come across before – and they are pretty dang awesome too. You should totes check out GF Traveller, East Bay Celiac, The GFree Foodie and Sarah Bakes gluten-free. Because they are totes cool too.



The weekend wasn’t all play – Kyra, Brandy & I all gave talks and shared our passions with the crowds. Erica sold me a pretty dang awesome hoodie.

But I know all you really care about are the goods. So I singled out a few of my favorites.

FAVORITESTop row: Crave Cake Mixes // Freedom Cereal Tropic Os // Red Apple Lipstick
Middle row: Kind Plus Bars // The Good Bean Chili Lime Chickpeas // Taste Guru (box of the month club with awesome stuff inside!)
Bottom row: Schar Lemon Wafers // Blackbird Bakery Bread Blend  //



San Francisco GFAF Expo Preview

Cupcake Wars 2-time champion Kyra Bussanich and Jamie from Crave Bakeshop in Portland

If you follow me on social media at all, you have no doubt picked up on the fact that I am going to be presenting at the San Francisco Gluten & Allergen Free Expo next month. I am going to be teaching 3 basic gluten-free recipes to memorize (or at least be comfortable with) so that you have a few items with endless variations.

And while coming to meet me should be enticement enough, there are a few other awesome things happening there that you might want to check out.

Basic Event Info

February 9-10, 2013 from 9am-4pm

San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront
1800 Old Bayshore Highway
Burlingame, CA 94010
(650) 692-9100


The best part about this expo is that once you pay to get in to the event, all the presentations and classes are free. That means you can spend an entire weekend learning about cooking, baking and living gluten-free. The cooking and dining sessions range from getting started with gluten-free baking, identifying hidden gluten and some bakers giving away the secrets to gourmet desserts to identifying causes of gluten intolerance, travelling gluten-free and how heart disease and a gluten free diet affect your health. With 3 stages full of presentations, there is no doubt something for everyone to learn. Make sure to check out the full schedule.



Vendors are a huge reason to go to this event. There are companies at the expo that are both local and national and this event provides you with a unique opportunity to try out products (because we have all bought something at the store and been less than pleased with the results). The representatives of all the different brands are all very willing to discuss manufacturing processes, allergens and their passion for eating safely.


This might be the single largest reason to attend an event like this. There are going to be representatives from a number of gluten-free support groups and organizations as well as the faces behind several gluten free magazines, blogs and cookbooks.

Please share this event with any friends or family you have in the San Francisco area and I hope that I have a chance to meet you while I am there!