Gluten Free Garage offers a gourmet food event experience for those who can’t eat wheat.
RonniLyn Pustil and her family went gluten-free when her three year old daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease. Pustil figures it took her husband and her about three years to “navigate” gluten-free life. One of her concerns with gluten-free products that were widely available was that they tended to be highly processed. “A lot of people have a misconception that gluten-free food is automatically healthy, but it’s not necessarily so, there can be a lot of additives,” she explained when I met her this week at the site of the annual food event Pustil organizes, Gluten-Free Garage. The fifth edition of the event happens on Sunday, May 1.
Held at her local farmers’ market venue, the Wychwood Barns, Gluten-Free Garage bills itself as “Toronto’s original pop-up marketplace of all things deliciously gluten-free.” Pustil describes it as a “foodie event”, explaining that “taste is the number one criteria” for exhibiting vendors. Pustil hopes to help families like hers find the best local gluten-free foods, especially good bakers. “Gluten-free baking is a science,” she says, “everything needs its own special combination of flours.”
Named for the garage doors at the Barns, Gluten-Free Garage is a hybrid between a food show and a market. Attendees pay a modest entrance fee ($10) which entitles them to samples and speakers like Meghan Telpner and Jordan Middlebrook. Vendors also sell their products: everything from gluten-free beer to french fries that are guaranteed to be fried in g-f oil. (Pustil explained that gluten contaminated oil can be a big problem for celiacs.) For Pustil, the emphasis of the event is fun and good food in a safe space for gluten intolerant people, and an informative one for anyone who’s interested in gluten-free food, for whatever reason.
For more information visit glutenfreegarage.ca.