|Gluten-free menu: Top - Profiterole with goat's cheese, left bottom - Tagliatelle carbonara, right bottom - Pancakes|
How many restaurants or cafés in Ireland displayed a (c - coeliac) or (gf - gluten-free) symbol after menu options, say ten years ago? Very few I think it's fair to say. It is now very common to expect and be supplied with gluten-free dining options right across the country.
Lucio Paduano is the head chef of Manifesto Restaurant, in Rathgar, a fully gluten-free restaurant, and he is holding the current run of coeliac friendly cookery classes in Citywest. Yes, that is an Italian name, and yes, we were shown how to made pasta. Gluten-free, delicious, satisfying pasta! As the schedule on the day of the cookery class, we were shown savoury profiteroles with goat's cheese and caramelised onions as a starter, tagliatelle carbonara as the main and for dessert, sweet pancakes - all gluten-free, simple and quick to prepare and most importantly, tasty! He also had a few mini tiramisu desserts for us to taste with a nice coffee before we left and these were delicious.
This little post-demo coffee break gave me the opportunity to meet and chat to the other attendees, mostly Coeliac sufferers, some with family members who are Coeliacs. All their stories were different and many had only received a diagnosis in their adult years. I am not an expert, but it was very eye-opening to hear the range of symptoms, from what you might see as fairly minimal, to the very severe.
Chef Lucio was a very likeable and enthusiastic character and he made the cooking process simple, relaxed and enjoyable. I would highly recommend one of the upcoming classes. Regardless of whether or not you have a full gluten intolerance, the classes make for an interesting learning experience and a fun few hours out. The delicious tasters and nibbles are also a big plus! Their next class takes place on 9th September and you can check out the class schedule until Christmas on their website. All money raised from the classes goes back to supporting the work of this valuable organisation.
I received my complementary ticket for this event from the Coeliac Society of Ireland, but as with all blog posts, my judgement is my honest opinion and is based solely on my own personal experience.