Last Sunday, October 24th, I had the privilege of being invited to two fabulous events in Philadelphia – a decadent gluten-free blogger brunch at 10 Arts in the Ritz Carlton hosted by Rudi’s Gluten-Free followed by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness 2010 Appetite for Awareness.  So, on an unseasonably warm fall day, I trained it down to Philadelphia from NYC.

When I arrived at the Ritz Carlton, I made my way to the 10 Arts restaurant to find Doug Radi, Vice President of Marketing at Rudi’s along with two great PR representatives from Linhart PR, Elexis and Dayna who I had had the pleasure of e-mailing with prior to the event.  I had actually been contacted a few months back to trial Rudi’s bread before its release while at the Fancy Food Show in NYC but due to some technical glitches with my Web site I sadly missed the opportunity.  When I received the invite to the brunch I knew I simply had to go.  I had actually not t morning’s menu choices.  On offer was a choice of Cinnamon Raisin French Toast or Scrambled Eggs with bacon or sausage, and of course a basket of Rudi’s breads.  I of course opted for the French Toast and would not be disappointed.

The private dining room was beautifully laid out with place settings that featured the morning’s menu selections.  On offer was a choice of Cinnamon Raisin French Toast or Scrambled Eggs with bacon or sausage, and of course a basket of Rudi’s breads.  I of course opted for the French Toast and would not be disappointed.

Before the meal we had the opportunity to mingle and chat with the other invited guests and there was a great mix of gluten-free and food bloggers along with staff from the NFCA itself and it was really nice to finally be able to put faces with names that I had been corresponding with for months prior to the event.

When we sat down for brunch I was lucky enough to share a table with Elexis from Linhart PR, Alice Bast from the NCFA, Paul Biscone, Erin from Gluten-Free Fun, and a new (to me, though not the food community) friend Jennifer Iannolo who had just launched the great Zenfully Delicious Web site and was behind the established Gilded Fork.  Doug Radi welcomed everyone to the event and gave a great overview of Rudi’s history and their journey to make a great gluten-free bread that tasted like, well bread.  It took more than 200 formulations to get it right and boy did they ever.  Pastry chef at the Ritz, Monica Glass also greeted guests and talked about being a gluten-free pastry chef who made both gluten-free and regular desserts for diners.  The nice thing to know if you ever dine at 10 Arts is that Monica will normally have two desserts that are gluten-free for GF diners (though no guests would be able to tell the difference).  Finally Alice Bast, President of the NFCA greeted everyone and talked about the NFCA and particularly their relationship throughout the development process with Rudi’s.

When the main courses arrived our table skewed towards the gluten-free French Toast though a couple of people opted for the eggs.  The first thing that struck me about Rudi’s bread was the consistency.  It was wonderfully soft and spongy and instantly reminded me of my pre-Celiac diagnosis days.  The Cinnamon Raisin bread used was not overly sweet but had just the right balance of sweetness coupled with the spicy bit of cinnamon.

At the end of the meal Chef Monica  (of Chef Moni as she is known) sent our two sampling of her gluten-free desserts for all of us to sample – a mini pumpkin macaron (the real deal) and a chocolate brownie – both of which were out of this world.

We all left with a fantastic swag bag courtesy of Rudi’s complete with a full sampling of all of their breads which I am presently eating my way through :-). I truly had a great time at the brunch and send my sincere thanks to Rudi’s for inviting me.  Next up, Part 2: The NCFA’s Appetite for Awareness 2010.

3 responses on “Gluten Free in Philly, Part One

  1. Mike – I’m so glad that you were able to attend the event at 10 Arts. Brunch sounds delicious, and I hear the location and Chef Moni were great. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to be there to meet you and all of our Gluten-Free guests in person. Thanks for your kind words, and I hope you love the breads!

    -Paula, on behalf of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery

  2. Dayna says:

    Mike – It was so great to meet you at the brunch. Your choice of French toast was definitely a good one! It sounds like you are enjoying the breads. Have you tried making the bread pudding yet? It’s amazing.

    On Behalf of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery

  3. The folks over at Rudi’s really know what they’re doing! Sounds like a great brunch!

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