I grew up in Colombia, South America , then moved to the US before coming to Britain in 1985. After a career in design and advertising I set up my own business making premium artisan cookies, brownies and biscotti. The business was called The Little Red Barn.
The Little Red Barn had a prestigious customer list selling the most sought after brownies, biscotti and cookies in the UK. Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Starbucks stocked my products and it is rumoured that our dedicated fan base included the inhabitants of Number 10 Downing Street at the time. (We are talking about Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and many other members of the cabinet)
My first cookbook, The Little Red Barn Baking Book was published by Ebury Press in 2000. In 2003 I sold the company prior to my daughter Ruth’s arrival. And this is where the gluten free story begins.....
My daughter Ruth was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease when she was 18 months old. It came as a huge shock and although I was a trained chef, I have to admit that I new nothing about this disease. Ruth's enjoyment of food even as a small baby, spurred me on to find ways of getting around the issue of gluten. I re-wrote many of the recipes in The Little Red Barn Baking Book, adapting them so we could all enjoy them. One day as Ruth was looking through the book she asked why there were no pictures of her next to the recipes. I said it was because she hadn't been born yet! Her answer to that was, 'well you should write another book about me and put in all your great gluten free recipes'. And that was the beginning of my journey as a gluten free writer and blogger.
The Gluten Free Cookbook for Kids was published in 2008. It contains lots of family friendly recipes which we use at home everyday. Through the process of writing the book and testing the recipes I learned and explored a wealth of possibilities about the big wide world of gluten free cooking. It inspired me to do more and to help build awareness of coeliac disease. I wanted to make the journey and the transition to a gluten free diet, easier for parents and children. That's what this website is about and why you will find lots of family friendly recipes which are easy to make. Most importantly this site is about making delicious gluten free food that everyone can enjoy.
A few years ago, I took another step and started running small workshops at home for people who were interested in learning about gluten free cooking and baking. During this process I discovered that I love teaching. I get my biggest kicks from seeing student's eyes light up when they achieve something they didn't think was possible. I now run workshops all around the United Kingdom and abroad, spreading the word about the wonders of gluten free baking and sharing the knowledge and skills I've acquired along the way.
It goes without saying that none of this would have been possible without the help and support of my husband Marc. He is the person leaning on the giant stack of chocolate chip cookies. And we can't finish this post without mentioning Lucia, who although not intolerant to gluten, wants you to know that she can't eat any citrus!
Our family can only eat out together at one restaurant. It’s called Nandos. It’s a very nice place but sometimes it would be nice to try something new. I am a Coeliac. My mum isn’t Coeliac but she is gluten free like me. She is lucky because she gets to try food that I can’t eat.