I can’t believe a few weeks have already gone by since my trip to the GFAF Expo in San Francisco!! As you know, I was REALLY looking forward to getting out of town and into one of my favorite cities, San Francisco!!!
And you know what? It was better than I’d hoped! For one, the weather was AMAZING!
And “B” the expo was jam packed with wonderful vendors and even wonderful-er (just go with it) attendees!
The hotel was beautiful and provided pretty gorgeous views of the Bay, as well as the entertainment of watching ginormous planes land and take off. For us small town folk, that’s pretty fun stuff! Even better was the restaurant in the hotel, which received a full education on providing safe gluten free food to the public and even created a special gluten free menu just for the weekend. (I’m hoping they’ll keep it in place long after the expo though!) I was even able to order a wonderful GF room service breakfast! The GFAF team deserves major applause for thinking ahead and educating the restaurant and hotel staff so that all of us staying at the Marriott felt safe eating there. Thank you!
The expo itself was stupendous! The turnout exceeded my expectations. I was able to talk to attendees from 10-4 each of the two days, without taking a break! (So busy that I didn’t take very many photos.) But even with the big crowds, there was plenty of room to walk around, plenty of samples for the taking, and lots of smiles! At one point I saw groups of people walking around with 3 and 4 shopping bags filled with purchases and samples. It was like the best GF trick or treating experience EVER! And with awesome vendors like So Delicious, Red Apple Lipstick and Hail Merry to name a few, you went home with some pretty wonderful goodies.
And if that wasn’t enough, for two days there were cooking classes and educational speakers as well! Laura B. Russel gave a wonderful talk about gluten free Asian cooking, Nadine Grzeskowiak, The Gluten Free RN talked and answered questions about the Paleo diet and its benefits, and the lovely FrannyCakes provided an entertaining cooking demo. And this is just the tip of the GF iceberg!
One of the best parts, for me, was meeting some of the most amazing people in the GF community around! Folks like Cybele Pascal, Celiac and the Beast, Zest Bakery, A Girl-Defloured and the San Francisco GF Grocery store just to name a few. It was almost overwhelming seeing the GF people we admire and follow online, live and in color in once place!
I was also blown away at the response I received for my latest cookbook, Paleo Indulgences. Paleo was definitely the hot topic of the weekend, prompting hundreds of people to check out the event, listen to the paleo talk and find me in the expo to ask questions, get a free copy of Paleo Magazine and buy the book. I walked away feeling extremely optimistic that changes are slowly happening in the GF community. Folks are starting to realize that the standard GF isn’t good enough. That nothing but white rice and sugar for each meal of the day isn’t healthy. We are making a difference!
I truly can’t wait for the next GFAF expo that I can attend, which will be in Dallas in October. Head over to the GFAF website and check out the expo locations for 2013 and mark your calendars. You don’t want to miss it!