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Monday, March 12, 2007
Gluten-Free Redbridge Beer Benefit Dinner
I have been sick since March 2 with a terrible bout of bronchitis, which is why I haven’t been blogging much. I have had asthma since I was kid and I am prone to upper respiratory infections. This round of bronchitis came with a fever, chills, and a terrible cough. Unfortunately, it was coming on during the NFCA Cooking Spree so I probably didn’t enjoy myself as much as I would have if I were feeling better. I had been totally looking forward to that night for months, so I was disappointed that I didn’t have much of an appetite and that I was popping Tylenol all night long. I guess I played it off well, though, since many of my fellow “MeetUppers” didn’t know I was sick.

Despite my illness, it didn’t stop me from going to a top-secret NFCA Cooking Spree after-party. I was tremendously flattered when I was invited to this invited sponsored by RedBridge of Anheuser-Busch. I was asked to keep this quiet from my fellow Celiac friends since very few of us were invited. The Redbridge Beer Benefit Dinner was held at Centrico located in the heart of Tribeca. Aaron Sanchez, the head chef and owner of Centrico, had participated in the Cooking Spree earlier in the evening and was gracious enough to have this benefit dinner at his restaurant later that evening.

The event was very exciting. We enjoyed a wonderful gluten-free gourmet meal prepared by Chef Sanchez. Heidi Collins of CNN, Alice Bast of NFCA, and Elisabeth Hasslebeck of The View were all on hand to talk about their adventures in Celiac Disease. I had the pleasure of sitting with Jennifer Iannolo and Mark Tafoya of The Gilded Fork who were both extremely eager to learn about gluten-free dining and Celiac Disease. Look for their podcast with interviews and highlights from the event!

The food prepared for this event was wonderful. We started out with a smoked pumpkin soup with canela cream. My entrée was roasted duck breast with spiced red chile sauce, pineapples, prunes, and raisins. The dessert was my favorite, by far. We had coconut flan with cantaloupe. The flavor was just sweet enough and a nice touch to end the evening. The drink of choice for the event was obviously RedBridge Beer which we learned how to pour and enjoy from an Anheuser-Busch Brewmaster. Again, since I wasn’t feeling well I nursed about ½ a beer for the entire evening. I do like the RedBridge and I am happy it is getting as much publicity as it is. A-B has been very eager to get their sorghum beer into local bars, so if you are having issues getting it at a bar near your check out their website.

I truly enjoyed chatting with all of the wonderful people at both events on March 2, 2007. I sat with Jehangir Mehta, of Partistry and Graffiti, and his assistant and friend Tom on the subway on the way home and thanked them over and over again for participating in both the NFCA Cooking Spree and the dinner at Centrico. I told them that they are two more people that now know about Celiac Disease and they can help promote awareness with their new knowledge of gluten-free cooking and Celiac Disease.

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