Collier and Lee Counties Edition

Surprise the Palate with Delicious Gluten-Free Dishes

Laurie Richardone

Laurie Richardone

Laurie Richardone gets a great deal of enjoyment when her recipes make mouths water and taste buds dance. The biggest delight for this private chef and owner of LR Modern Alchemy is the one she gets from demonstrating how her gluten-free dishes challenge participants in her cooking classes to detect the difference between gluten-free and conventionally prepared recipes.

Richardone, a former New York City resident, debunks the myth of tasteless gluten-free monthly at The Good Life, in Naples. “Living gluten-free for eight years has meant that while I did get to leave behind my chronic stomach aches and headaches, I didn’t have to abandon delicious appetizers, entrees, treats and snacks. It just meant that I had to do research, read labels and unleash my intuition when experimenting with spices, flours and moistening ingredients,” says Richardone, whose world travels introduced her to flours such as chestnut, garbanzo and almond.

Growing up in an Italian family, Richardone enjoyed pasta, pastries and bread. Her grandmother and father, who was a chef in several New York restaurants, taught her about the importance of simplicity and using only the freshest, local, seasonal ingredients. “The challenge of living gluten-free became nonexistent when I learned about other flours that were longtime staples in Italian cooking. Wheat is only one possibility. The others are lower in carbohydrates, higher in protein and leave you feeling lighter and completely satiated,” advises Richardone.

“In my opinion, many restaurants that offer gluten-free alternatives don’t prepare those dishes with the same love and attention. This unfortunately supports the myth. Through awareness and education, I’m doing my part to show others that gluten-free can exceed even the highest expectations and the most educated palette,” she explains.

“It’s definitely not a lesser cuisine,” advises Richardone, whose January 13 class, Treasures of the Mediterranean, includes recipes for the menu of shitakke mushroom risotto with tarragon crème fraiche, portobello fries drizzled with truffle aioli, scallops provencal, scallops with lemon zest mache and moist almond and coconut cake with caramelized apples and Chantilly cream.   

For private in-home classes and dinners call Laurie Richardone at 239- 302-6972 or email Laurie@LRModernAlchemy.com. To register for classes with Laurie at The Good Life, visit Goodlifenaples.com.

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