A chef & food writer, plus their 4-year-old daughter, criss-cross this country researching classic dishes to make them gluten-free. Read more
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 16, 2013.
About this project
Imagine being told you can never eat gluten again. You’re going to feel better. But some part of you is always going to miss the lobster rolls in Maine, gumbo in New Orleans, the casseroles made with cream of chicken soup from your youth in the Midwest. What about sourdough bread?
We’re going to make sure you don’t miss out.
Hi, we’re Shauna and Dan Ahern, creators of the website Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, as well as three cookbooks. (Gluten-Free Girl, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, Gluten-Free Girl Everyday.) We love the work we do, making cooking easier for you.
The next cookbook we are creating is called American Classics, Reinvented. We’re taking classic dishes from 10 regions of the United States and turning them gluten-free. Sure, we could research and talk to friends and create these dishes all in our own kitchen. And if this Kickstarter isn’t successful, we’ll do that and do it well. But in order to create the best cookbook we can for you, we want to meet you. And we want to experience the foods you love and miss the most in your hometown.
We want to sit in barbecue joints in North Carolina, eat dim sum in San Francisco, make pie with wild Maine blueberries, drizzle honey on warm sopapillas in Santa Fe, and watch pizza being fired in great places in Brooklyn. Of course, Shauna can’t eat any of this. But Danny and Lucy can. And Shauna can take photographs, talk to the chefs, and take notes. (That’s where all our best recipes come from — that desire to experience.)
And all along the way, we’ll find the restaurants and food experiences where gluten-free folks can eat safely and well, right now.
We want to hit the road and come up with recipes, restaurant recommendations, and food experiences for you.
This is an incredible country, far more friendly and connected than the news would have us believe. We want to sit at your tables, shop at your farmers’ markets, and experience life where you live. And then we’ll convert all your favorite recipes to be gluten-free, so you can share them with your families for years to come.
Here are the concrete outcomes of this Kickstarter:
We will do daily updates from the road on our website, with cooking videos, restaurant recommendations, interviews with chefs and pitmasters and biscuit makers, as well as stories of where we have eaten well and safely. We’ll also be posting frequent photos on Instagram, updates on Twitter, and recommendations on Facebook and Google+. Follow along with us as we hit the road and share the experience with you.
After all the traveling is done, these recommendations and stories will live in a permanent place on our website, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, so anyone can find gluten-free eating recommendations for years to come.
After all this travel and eating, we’re going to create the best cookbook we can in American Classics, Reinvented. It will be good no matter how we make it. But think how much more delicious the recipes will be if we go to the places where this food is made. We’ll use your suggestions for recipes to create and how to make them delicious to make this cookbook, which will be published in 2015.
So we need your help. We can’t wait to meet you.
Risks and challenges
We have the book deal for American Classics, Reinvented, as well as the structure and basic outline of the recipes that will be included in the book.
We’re ready to go.
What could go wrong after the project is funded?
Our car could break down somewhere on the road, delaying us for a few days while we wait for the repairs. But we’ll make it an adventure and share it with folks around us and on the internet.
We’re in the middle of the adoption process. If a baby arrives, we might have to delay a trip. But we’re still going! The new kid will be part of the adventure.
Life could happen. One of us could get sick, delaying the day we turn in the manuscript. But as soon as we’re well, we’re getting out the door to travel again.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We did receive a moderate advance for our next cookbook, for which we are grateful. However, moderate is the word. This might be a surprise to you, but very few people truly make a living from writing cookbooks. Advances pay for groceries — imagine the bills while we create and test and re-test 125 recipes! — and serve as a sort of salary during the months we are creating the cookbook, so we can focus on that work closely.
This idea of traveling through the country to experience the food where it’s made? It’s our idea, not the kind publishers pay for, really. We hope it works.
We’ll do whatever arises and feels best! This is the modern book tour. It’s no longer enough for authors to go to bookstores and read to 50 people. We love bookstores, and we’ll do readings at bookstores, but we want more than that now. Maybe you have access to a church basement and you want everyone to see that living gluten-free can be delightful. Help us organize a big party. We’ve done potlucks in parks. We’ll show up and teach cooking classes in the places that have classrooms. Or maybe you’ll help us organize a class for 20 in your home. It’s going to be gonzo, hilarious, and pretty darned great.
Here’s another reason why we want to visit places instead of simply staying in our home. If we’re making the best gluten-free sourdough bread we can, I want to visit the best bakeries around the country and talk to the bread makers. Once I pull apart sourdough bread from Tartine Bakery in San Francisco — and wash my hands afterwards — I’ll know more about the texture we’re trying to reach.
Besides, all my best baked goods recipes have come from watching Danny eating something delicious that I can’t share. It makes me go home determined to make it for myself, and for you, right now.
We love travel. Google only shows you so much. We want to experience the town where you grew up. The food people love makes so much more sense when you have experienced it in the place people love.
Every time we travel somewhere, as we did recently in the Bay Area for over a week, we document the restaurants where we ate that fed me safely, the cheesemakers and charcuterie makers we love, the hotels where we stayed, and the markets where we shopped. Whether it’s on Instagam, Twitter, or Facebook, people are grateful for our recommendations. Many have written to us to say, “That’s in my city! I didn’t know that existed!” If we can go to these places, we can pave the way for you to visit.
While we’d love to visit every town in this country, we cannot guarantee we will come to your hometown. However, if you want to donate at the highest level, we’ll come make dinner for you in your home!
- (30 days)