After realizing in 2007 that my body did not like gluten (well, not-like is an understatement, hate would be accurate based how strongly my body retaliated when I fed it gluten), my life went through some interesting changes to accommodate a totally gluten free (and dairy free) lifestyle.
I went through many stages of being gluten-free, and yes, there was considerable denial, anger and outright rage about it. After 12 years on this gluten-free journey, I have learned so much. The most important thing I realized was that, are you ready for this, GLUTEN FREE is the BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME!! No, don’t read it again, you REALLY DID read that correctly. Let me explain.
I am healthier than EVER! I finally rid my diet of the food that was making me feel tired, depressed and just plain BAD! And, I am not talking about just gluten either. That was only the first step.
- I eat nearly all organic food and 100% GMO free food
- I discovered my passion for cooking and created a business
- I discovered I am very good at putting flavors together
- I now find recipes to be more of a guideline or suggestion rather than a unyielding instructions (much like speed limit signs!)
- Before going gluten-free I really did not bake. Now I do and LOVE it, although much of the baking I do is for the product line.
- My son is learning how to eat healthy and delicious foods without feeling he is missing anything. (well he is missing gluten and dairy, but he really does not notice, REALLY!)
- And so much more!
I started Victoria’s Gluten-Free Kitchen in 2012 (originally named The Gluten Free Explorer) with the intent of writing a travel guide to help the gluten-free eat out safely and deliciously. Then in 2013, I went through a divorce and had to put Victoria’s Gluten-Free Kitchen on hold. I emerged from the divorce and ensuing drama and was more focused on what I wanted to accomplish with the business.
I feel that my gluten-free journey has taught me so much not only about how to feed my body and how to cook, but more importantly, it has helped me discover, well, ME: who I am, what I believe and what my course in life really is.
In 2013 I met my now partner in Victoria’s Gluten-Free Kitchen, Rich. He has a passion for food and wine and when we met, although he had been cooking since he was 9, he had no experience with gluten-free cooking. Rich had an open mind though, and that was all he needed. He saw gluten-free cooking as a challenge and set out to create all the gluten-containing recipes he loved into gluten free (and dairy free) masterpieces. He succeeded too!
Rich has completely embraced gluten-free living (well since he does not HAVE to be GF, he occasionally eats gluten, but never at home; we have a GF house) and is on his own gluten-free journey. He offers a unique perspective that will be helpful to all the spouses, family members and friends that need to support their gluten-free loved ones.
In 2013, as Rich and I began to cook together, we both realized that we were missing really good pizza. We tried all the premade gluten-free crusts and even tried some mixes, but we just could not satisfy our craving for chewy, yet crispy, great tasting pizza crust.
Since going gluten-free in 2007, I swore I would NEVER bake any gluten-free breads. I thought it was too much work and too complicated. Well, my desire for pizza outweighed my fears and Rich and I began to experiment. We had many successes and many failures but after over a year of trying, we created the pizza crusts and breads we now bake commercially. We did not start baking with the goal of creating a company, but that is what happened.
As more and more of our friends tasted our baked goods, they were very impressed and always surprised the pizza and crostinis we served them were gluten and dairy free. And most surprisingly, the best comments came from our non-gluten free friends and family. Given this, we knew we we had something we needed to share with the world and started the company in late 2014.
Rich and I have been baking in a commercial kitchen since January 2015 and have made tens of thousands of pizza crusts and breads. We have loved every minute of it and cannot wait to make even more!
Cook. Enjoy. Share.
Founder & CEO
Victoria’s Gluten-Free Kitchen