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Philly’s Top Medical Professionals and Chefs Unite to Increase Awareness of Celiac Disease

 
11/2/2010

Ambler, PA (November 1st 2010) - A crowd of 1600 gathered to celebrate the gluten-free lifestyle during the 7th annual Appetite for Awareness, held Sunday October 24th at the Navy Pier’s Philadelphia Cruise Terminal. Hosted by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and title sponsor Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals, the event raised funds to support the organization’s national awareness campaign, educational programming and mission to secure diagnosis for one million people by 2015.

Some of Philadelphia’s best restaurants participated in the event, which featured an entirely gluten-free menu. The festivities were a special treat for guests with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder treated only through a gluten-free diet, eliminating foods containing wheat, barley and rye. Current estimates suggest the disease affects about 3 million Americans, yet over 90% live without a diagnosis.

The nation’s most prestigious gluten-free event teams doctors and chefs together in a cooking competition to create the best gluten-free dish. The 2010 ‘People’s Choice’ honor was awarded to Chef Ronald Reid of the Palm Restaurant, who prepared gluten-free crab cakes.

2010 participating restaurants included: Bar Ferdinand, Buddahkan, Butcher & Singer, Chifa, City Tavern, Drexelbrook Catering, El Ray, Feast Your Eye’s Catering, Grandmas Grotto, Jack Kramer’s Catering, Le Castagne. Main Line Pizza, Melograno The Palm, Pasta Pomodoro, Rouge, Terra Restaurant and Zahav. 

Culinary stars including Chef Georges Perrier, proprietor of the world famous Le Bec-Fin, Chef Monica Glass of 10 Arts Bistro and Lounge, and Silvana Nardone, former editor in chief at Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine and author of Cooking for Isaiah, were also on hand to demonstrate their gluten-free expertise at the Drexel University Education Center.

Guests were also able to taste gluten-free products at the event’s Children’s Pavilion and robust vendor marketplace, leaving with goodie bags filled with coupons and free samples from more than 85 of  nation’s finest gluten-free vendors.

In conjunction with Appetite for Awareness, all participating restaurants were trained in gluten-free kitchen protocol through NFCA’s Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training (GREAT) Program. Through this program NFCA and the Philadelphia restaurant community have created the first and largest Gluten-Free Neighborhood in the nation.

Information about the 2010 Appetite for Awareness event including photos and video coverage can be viewed on NFCA’s website, www.CeliacCentral.org.

About Celiac Disease:
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. Celiac is triggered by consumption of the protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. An estimated three million Americans have celiac disease, yet 95% remain undiagnosed – resulting in a fourfold increase in the risk of early death and numerous debilitating conditions such as infertility, neuropathy and even cancer.

When left untreated, people with celiac disease can develop further complications such as other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease and some cancers. The only treatment for celiac disease is a lifelong gluten-free diet.

About the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA):
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness for celiac disease and gluten intolerance that will facilitate research, education and early diagnosis, and improve quality of life for children and adults affected by the autoimmune disorder. Visit www.CeliacCentral.org for more information.

Contact:
Whitney Ehret
Director of Communications
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
(215) 325-1306 x 103
whitney@celiaccentral.org
www.celiaccentral.org

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