My husband and I became pescetarians, or vegetarians who eat seafood, two years ago as a result of my columns on vegan chef Roni Shapiro (September 2012), on the Catskill Animal Sanctuary (March 2013) and my eye-opening research into food industry practices. I also have celiac disease and eat gluten-free.
I am not alone. More people are radically altering their diets for health, medical or animal-cruelty reasons. Food allergies, some life-threatening, and celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity diagnoses are now so common that label laws require gluten-free and major food allergens be noted.
But how do those of us with dietary restrictions, whether self-imposed or medically imposed, fare during the holidays? Are we forever relegated to bringing our own food or eating just the side dishes? And what if you have such an eater in your family?
So I posed a challenge to Rita Cerilli, a private chef from Gardiner, to create an organic, gluten-free, vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner.
Who wouldn’t love a private chef? Someone who can create an amazing meal to your tastes and specifications, shop for the ingredients and then clean up after? Cerilli, a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute Chef Training Program, brings 16 years of culinary experience to her business as well as a passion for fresh, seasonal, local ingredients. She uses grass-fed organic meats when possible and supports sustainable and wild fish choices.