Chicago, here I come

Swirlz poster

Right now, I’m sitting in the restaurant, as the Chef prepares for dinner service. Normally, I’m off running errands, or writing at home. He needs his space. He’s crossing off items of kitchen tasks to accomplish on the giant board in his kitchen. If that were my list, I’d be panicking. He’s dancing, but he’ll make it in time, and well. And he just took the time to spoon into my mouth some of the creamy tart base for the lemon creme brulee. Yeah, being here isn’t bad.

Today, however, I’m going to stay as late as I can. Late last night, I returned from three glorious days in Portland. (Seattle, I love you. But my goodness, in terms of living gluten-free, you have some work to do. Portland is kicking your ass! People, I had gluten-free fish and chips for dinner last night. And fried cheese curds. Those of you who can’t eat gluten-free? You have no idea what you take for granted. And Corbett Fish House? I love you.) I loved meeting every one of you who came out to Andina (oh, that ginger cocktail, as well), and the swarms of people I met at Bob’s Red Mill, and the wonderful women with whom I shared coffee and gluten-free treats at Piece of Cake bakery. I have so many stories, and I wish I could share them all.

But you see, tomorrow morning (early), I am leaving for Chicago. And the Chef — he cannot come with me. Thursday through Sunday? Prime restaurant time. (And besides, next week, we are going to San Francisco together.) We are trying to be graceful, and joke around the hole of four days without seeing each other. (I know, I know. We’re babies. But we adore each other. Forgive us our sappiness — four days feels like a long time.) That’s why I’m at the restaurant today.

But as soon as I hit the ground at O’Hare tomorrow afternoon, I’m going to start singing.

Windy City, here I come!

If you love good food, if you have to eat gluten-free, if you have a loud, hearty laugh, or if you just want some cupcakes — come out to one of the following events. I hope to see you all there.

(Forgive the formal language. I’ve actually pasted in the press release here. Time is of the essence. I will carefully craft more sentences, later.)

Gluten-Free Girl Hits Chicago Area to Promote Book

Blogger and author Shauna James Ahern will be in Chicago to celebrate the release of her book, Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back…And How You Can Too.

Scheduled events:

Nov. 1, 7:0 – 10 p.m.

Gluten-Free Girl Book Party

BooCoo Cultural Center, Recording Studio & Café

1823 Church St, Evanston, Ill.

Guests will be able to meet Ahern, receive an autographed copy of the book, taste gluten-free bites provided by Bot Bakery and learn more about gluten content in food from G-Free-V.

(And thank you, so much, to an amazing man named Josh Alper, who organized all of this for me, on his own good will.)

Nov. 2, 12 p.m. to 1:30

Book signing

Swirlz Cupcakes

705 W Belden, Chicago

773.404.2253

Nov. 3, 1 – 3 p.m

Cooking class

Whole Foods – Lincoln Park

1000 W North Avenue, Chicago

Guests will be able to meet Ahern, receive an autographed copy of the book and learn gluten-free cooking tips. (It says on the website that the Chef will be with me. Sadly, that is not true. I hope that seeing me alone will do!)

Call Whole Foods to make reservations, 312.587.0648. Space is very limited.

I can’t wait to meet you all, and eat some great food in Chicago. I can promise you laughter.

And most of all, what I have found to be exhilarating and beautiful on these trips? The deep sense of community that occurs, naturally.

It’s not about me. It’s about us.

25 comments on “Chicago, here I come

  1. Gluti Girl

    Wow, these places with gluten free offerings sound wonderful. In Indiana, they just look at you very confused and say, “Gluten?? We can get you some whole wheat paste with olive oil.” That happened to my friend this week!

    Sounds like you are having the time of your life!

  2. Tay

    It was wonderful meeting you in Portland, please do come back soon! And safe travels to Chicago(they are going to love you), spreading the magic. Thanks for the YES! I needed it!

    Check out my blog tomorrow 11/1, for a special piece on you.

  3. Lola

    Shauna,
    I’m a good friend of Karen & Shawn Chambers (from Chicago and living with Michi and Jeannine temporarily). My husband, Joe, needs to eat gluten-free and we have been reading your blog over the last year since his diagnosis, so we are extremely excited to stop by Swirlz to say hello on Friday!
    Best,
    Laura McGowan

  4. sweetpea

    Fried cheese curds, WHOA. I might have to travel to Portland just to eat at the Corbett Fish House and stay at that swanky hip hotel. After 8 years, I still feel an emptyness when my partner and I are apart. Even a night feels like an eternity! I can’t imagine three and four nights with little time together between the seperations! Seems like your choosing great places to be together though, NYC, SF! And, you are empowering each other in your work which is important. Chicago, here we come!

  5. Lola

    Shauna,

    I am a good friend of Karen and Shawn Chambers, from Chicago and temporarily living with Michi and Jeannine.
    My husband, Joe, needs to eat gluten free and we have been following your blog over the past year since his diagnosis. We look forward to dropping by Swirlz on Friday afternoon to say hello!
    Best,
    Laura McGowan

  6. Nicole

    If Seattle is lagging behind in the celiac-friendly race, Oklahoma is a clear contender for last place. There are some dining options here (mostly at national chains), and some products at small health food stores, but very little beyond that. I can’t imagine how wonderful it would be to live in a more celiac-friendly city like Seattle or Portland or Chicago. You’re so lucky!

  7. Anonymous

    think you’ll ever make a trip down to the South? Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, etc.? you’ve definitely got a fan base here :)

  8. Kate

    Shauna —
    I hope you find a million places to eat GF in Chicago (my previous home and definitely where my heart is)!

    There are a TON of great ethnic places to eat — and it’s MUCH easier to eat GF than you think there =)

    May your travels be light, happy and bring you joy. And upon your return, may you fly in on wings that hel you greet Danny with all of your adventures rolled up in stories to share forever more.

    :)

  9. Anonymous

    Shauna,

    You’re seriously going to have to make a transatlantic trip to Ireland!! 1 in 100 people suffer from Coeliac. You’re inspiration is needed!

    Have a great time in Chicago.

    Suzanne

  10. madre-terra

    Oh, I really like Chicago. Hope that you have a blast there. But, of course, you are having a blast everywhere. With all the traveling that I do it’s fun to hear about all these gluten-free options for eating out. Thanks!!!

  11. Jen

    Any stops for Sunday in Chicago? We are going to try and make Saturday — but just in case! Thanks! Can’t wait!

  12. *christie*

    I’m looking forward to seeing you here in san francisco. Will we find out soon your schedual while you are here?

  13. Zoomie

    Have fun in the Windy City, Shauna! I know just what you mean about time away from the loved one — My Beloved and I have been together for 11 year, 10 married and we still suffer with even a night or two apart. Thank heavens for telephones!

  14. Anonymous

    ENJOY Chicago — it was my last home and I loved it so much there; and miss it so. It’s a lovely time of year to visit.
    Also, I understand about 4 days … one day without my love is too much. I miss him even in the span of each workday between the morning and when we return home to each other.

  15. In Recovery

    I just finished your book last night. Lovely, just lovely. And for anyone worried that if they’ve read your blog they’ll have read your book, so very not true! There were so many great stories!

    Glad you had a chance to hit Corbett Fish House! I’m not gluten-free, but had a great lunch there recently…sweet potato fries!

    Enjoy the Windy City!

  16. Suzanne

    Shauna,
    My fave GF restaurant in Chi town is not a GF restaurant at all, but a Brazilian restaurant — Fogo de Chão. Where they bring tapioca/cheese biscuits (basically Chebe) to your table, along with polenta and fried plantains. Most of the meat is GF and quite tasty — but they have a killer salad bar … best I’ve ever seen, outranking even fancy cruise ships I’ve been on. And FUN, too!!

    Chicago is one of the best cities in the U.S. — so enjoy! Be sure to bring your warm duds, though. I mean REALLY warm! Wish you were coming to Indianapolis!

  17. Leah

    I’m not GF, but some of my friends are. Hoping to come to Whole Foods to say hello. Sooooo jealous that Miss Guth got to hang with you today.

  18. Zoomie

    I know what you mean about missing the loved one even when just a few days separate you — ain’t love grand?

  19. Daniela

    Why are all your events while I am at work :( I so wanted to meet you.

    Hope you have fun here in Chicago

  20. cyberprof

    Hi Shauna, I’ve been following your tour since we met at your book launch party at Osteria La Spiga. I really enjoyed the book and I agree with the other poster who said that the book is almost exclusively new stuff, not a repeat of this site.

    I checked Amazon and saw that your book has now moved up to #947, which is great considering a) you’re not “already” a celebrity like Seinfeld’s wife or Ophrah’s regular contributor and b) you are self-funding your book tour!

    Your pizza crust recipe is in my oven now, rising. I am going to make 3–4 smaller pizzas, eat one for lunch and use my Food-Saver (great for celiac cooks) to save the rest to use like fast food! I’m going to pre-bake the crush before freezing. As we used to have pizza weekly (sometimes home-made, sometimes Pagliacci) it will be great if it’s as good as I think it will be. My 14yo son is now going gluten-free and I want him to be able to enjoy pizza too.

    Happy travels!

    ~Laura

  21. cyberprof

    Reporting back…the pizza was great! I thought it was the best pizza I’ve had since I was gluten-free. My son thought it was as good as gluten-free. Thanks again, Shauna!

  22. Rachel

    Hello!

    I just wanted to say that tonight I made apple/pear crisp… following a combo of your recipes… crips topping and apple/pear cobbler

    I had friends over and they loved it
    It was so wonderful to have a fall gf dish that my friends could enjoy!

    thanks for the book, and the online cooking advice

    your website has been a huge help on this GF journey.

    Rachel

  23. sally

    4 days is still a long time, and I’ve been married for almost 10 years. It’s always a long time when you don’t get to see your best friend.

  24. Tanya

    Shauna,
    My non– gluten free roommate met you at Whole Foods in Chicago and surprised me with your book (I am a celiac)! I was so excited! She told me all about meeting you! I was sad I couldn’t be there! I am a big fan of yours! Thanks! I can’t wait to read your book! –Tanya in Chicago