A little about me

I finished school without knowing what on Earth I wanted to study at uni.

I love maths, so I went for HEC Lausanne (faculty of business and economics).

Mid-bachelor degree, I realised I was cooking more than I was studying, and I took great pleasure in doing what rapidly turned into my daily grocery shopping. I also found out that I was coeliac.

My world crumbled. I realised that not only could I never eat pizza or play beer pong again, like normal people do, but also that it would be a big fat nightmare to go on holiday and constantly worry about food.

The worst bit was, at the time, no one had the slightest clue what gluten was : the cafeteria ladies would just gape at me with blank stares while I would hopelessly stand there repeating “G-l-u-t-e-n, you know? G-l-u-t-e-n?”

The only food I could eat at restaurants was salad.

And the rare gluten free brands there were (like Schär who practically had the monopoly in Switzerland a few years ago) made the most of the situation by putting ridiculously high prices on all gluten free items. As if being coeliac wasn’t bad enough, we had to pay for it as well. (FYI, this high pricing scheme is still going on – it’s definitely cheaper and better to make your own stuff).

I started to fight my way through as new challenges came my way: I quickly learnt to play wine pong (which is disgusting, yuck), or alternatively vodka pong (which I strongly do not recommend). I irritated my friends by asking them for the contents of each dish at a dinner, or insisting on digging the crisps packet out of the bin so I could check the ingredients. I went through a teary desperation phase when in restaurants they would tell me that I could have the dish, but with the sauce (and half the plate) “on the side”. Also, I have no doubt that half the waiters and chefs around the world loathe me for bugging them with gluten-double-checking.

With all these things piled up, I, absolute food lover now robbed of around 50% of her pleasures in life, decided to take matters into my own hands and learn how to cook (properly), with in mind that one day, I would make all of these forbidden foods gluten-free and accessible to myself and everyone else.

So, after spending months convincing my parents that cooking was what I wanted to do, I signed up at the Cordon Bleu London, Grand Diplôme in Cuisine and Pastry. It was the best decision I ever made. I had never been so happy, just cooking everyday and learning practically EVERYTHING about the culinary arts.

9 months later, I graduated.

I then took 6 months to work as a chef for michelin-starred restaurants including Maze by Gordon Ramsay, The Square and Umu.

I then went back to le Cordon Bleu to complete the restaurant management course and designed my future 100% gluten-free certified restaurant, which I am now keeping warm while I train for a few more years.

In the meantime, next to work I decided to write a blog – to share with you all the drool-worthy gluten-free recipes I try my best to perfect, and to prove that anything can be made gluten-free and be good.

I hope this blog will help you in the tedious quest of good gluten-free recipes.

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 Portrait by Mélanie Affentranger for the University of Lausanne Alumni Journal

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