What a wonderful weekend it was!!!
A much needed mother-daughter getaway spent doing what we love….eating, walking, & gluten-free networking!
In mid-April, Mom sent me an e-mail about the 4th Annual Mid-Hudson Walk for Celiac Disease. I checked the dates and wondered…it was on a weekend, which of course, in my industry is the busiest time for work! But, I really wanted to go! So, I requested off and my chef was kind enough to allow me the time AND he became my sponsor!
Yay! I was off to raise awareness!
As you know by now, the month of May is Celiac Awareness Month, so it was perfect timing for us to head up to New York. As a Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate, it was an amazing weekend going back to visit my alma mater in Hyde Park, NY.
Not to mention, my favorite Chef Richard Coppedge was going to be there doing a baking demo (I spotted it on the agenda)! We wanted to surprise him…and so Friday came and we were off!
Driving trips are always a great time to catch up with my mama bear while we listen to my latest music choices & we just laugh as the time passes! No sooner do we realize it, we are at the hotel getting ready to go over to the CIA to eat at one of the restaurants, American Bounty.
Meeting up with one of mom’s childhood friends was a great addition to our dinner experience! She and Marilee hadn’t seen one another in many, many years and had been wonderful friends since first grade! There was a lot of hugging and laughing when they saw each other!
Once we were seated in the dining room, we were greeted with gluten-free breadsticks…it’s so great when you make the reservation, you just need to state that you are “gluten-free” and they are ready for you! It’s so easy…call or use OpenTable for American Bounty!
Mom decided to have the half chicken with natural jus, mashed potatoes & grilled asparagus.
Marilee & I got the duck served with morel sauce & braised fennel. Marilee decided to get the grit cakes & I chose the sautéed dandelion greens as a side.
Dinner was so amazing! And of course, we needed to try dessert=)
Mom & I got the lemon meringue with ginger ice cream & raspberry pearls, which was gluten-free.
To end the meal, the kitchen sent out some petit-fours (or as we call them, mignardises)!
I think the only time we weren’t laughing & being too loud was when our mouths were full of delectable treats! Lol=)
We had a long day ahead of us on Saturday, so we said goodbye, and decided to get some much needed rest! Not sleeping so well through the thunderstorms, we were nervous that the weather wasn’t going to hold up for the walk.
Sure enough, we got ready & got lost along the way, but finally made it to the correct side of the Walkway Over the Hudson!
We registered & got a very nice bag full of gluten-free goodies, a T-shirt advertising our walk, and got to meet lots of amazing vendors & taste-test all of the amazing breads, cookies, apple wine & hard cider!
Everything was wonderful….AND the best part ~ there was not one thing there that was going to make us sick if we ate or drank it!!!
The countdown began & the ribbon was cut….off we were on our walk to raise awareness of this disease!
It was absolutely perfect weather! It was sunny, the breeze was blowing & spirits were high!
Again, we got to keep catching up with one another & keep bouncing ideas of what we would like to do with our future plans together as a mother-daughter duo=)
We met Nico, the “AmbassaDOG” of the Walkway Over the Hudson, who is a celebrity in his own right! And adorable, to boot!
We made it all the way across & back over the Hudson River & we couldn’t wait until noon to surprise Chef Coppedge. We had some time to walk around & purchase some of these amazing treats vendors had to offer, although we learned our lesson….don’t ever browse, then think you’d come back & everything would still be there to choose from! Get it as soon as you see it, no matter where you are! Cardinal rule of the gluten-free world=)
We were discussing breads with another amazingly talented mother-daughter team we just met & out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him! Chef Coppedge…he looked like he was seeing a ghost!! It had been almost 8 years since I graduated, and probably at least 6 years since I had last seen him while visiting the CIA!
Immediately, I ran over & gave him a hug! He still seemed like he was in shock! We got to chat for a short while before his baking demo and of course, pose for a few pictures!
At noon, he announced that he was going to be making amazing gluten-free muffins to the crowd that gathered; the wonderful muffins that I remembered! Completely taken off-guard, Chef called me up to introduce me to everyone that was sitting in on his demo.
Slightly blushing, I made my way up to the front & he talked about my being a former student & how he had placed a bio of me in his cookbook (Gluten Free Baking with the Culinary Institute of America; a must for your library), how I had worked at The Hotel Hershey for seven years, & now, how I am starting my venture as an Executive Pastry Chef at The Mill in Hershey!
He also promoted our blog (the one you’re reading!) & handed out our business cards so that the gluten-free crowd could check us out and hopefully, follow our journey =)
I absolutely adore all the people that come out to the gluten-free events!
Everyone is so excited to share their stories, their newest hurdles & adventures. The great part about my background from the CIA is being able to help share that knowledge with others to help them be able to travel & eat without constantly being sick! The even better part is I get to do this with my best friend, my mama bear! I am so glad we got to meet all of these amazing people and now hope to keep in touch & spread the word about their incredible products!
Here are some of our favorites!
Meredith’s Bakery which has many gluten-free products….their bread is FANTASTIC!
And these for which we have no pictures, but it doesn’t diminish their impact!
Schar, an Italian company that’s been around for over 20 years, is a great source of gluten-free products. We were so THRILLED to meet Dr. Anne Roland Lee, Director of Nutritional Services for Dr. Schar USA! She was so personable and knowledgeable!
Thank you to all of you who will be helping us spread the word about our blog in the near future
After the walk, we headed back over to the CIA to hit the gift shop and visit with one other chef that I fondly remember….Chef Stephane Weber. He is the pastry chef at Bocuse, the French cuisine restaurant on campus. His desserts are simply amazing!!
We had a great little mini-reunion!
And of course, the CIA campus changes all the time…this sign is a new FAVORITE!
Can you see why??
Chef Coppedge said to be sure to visit the “fish sculpture” near the Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, the Italian cuisine restaurant on campus….now we now know why!
This 12-foot, 360-pound Atlantic sturgeon was created by artist, John F. Sendelbach, in 2014. It features approximately 700 knives, 400 forks, and 600 spoons!
It’s simply incredible!!
We wandered around some more….just because….and had a blast!
Our last stop before home was a former favorite of mine,
Coyote Grill, in Poughkeepsie. They have really good tacos!
I had chicken and Mom had fish….they were yummy!
If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit the Hyde Park area, please put it on your “Must See Places” list! The area is just gorgeous and has so much to offer!
Until we meet again!
Happy gluten-free adventures!
© 2015, Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk