come have a picnic with us.





picnic in Central Park

On a Sunday afternoon in New York City, we had a picnic. We sent the invitation out into the air and then showed up. Who might be there? How many? We didn’t know.

Maybe a handful?

When we walked onto the Great Lawn, we saw a huge group of you, already talking and eating, becoming friends.

yes II

We asked everyone to show up with the words YES or IMAGINE on them somewhere. I have yes tattooed on me. Danny has imagine tattooed on him.

This entire experience has felt like imagining yes.

I loved seeing yes on people’s wrists, around their necks, on bags and shirts. It was a lovely feeling.

picnic food

And the food! To my delight, people really did treat this like a potluck, instead of keeping to themselves. Spread out on green grass was an array of food: pasta salad, fruits, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, apple cider, salsa and chips. More food than I ever imagined.

All of it gluten-free.

with Maggy

And we met friends whom we loved without meeting them before. This is Maggy of Three Many Cooks. Love her.

Sammy and Lennon

This is Lennon and Sammy, the boys of our dear friends Megan and Brian. Lu woke up in her stroller to find two little boys waiting to play with her. She was smiling Lu, immediately.


This is Kamran, from The Sophisticated Gourmet. He could not be any cooler if he tried. (Don’t try, Kamran.)


And then there were bubbles.

yes III

We were so moved by the chance to meet you all. We shared stories and laughed together. Many of you were kind enough to tell us what our work has meant to you. We cherish this.

But more than that, we loved the gathering. We don’t want our touring for the book to be all about us. We want you to meet each other. One young woman told me at the end of the picnic, “I just moved to New York three years ago. I don’t know anyone in this city. Now I have 10 new friends.


imagine II

Imagine a gluten-free picnic, with friends and family, bubbles and little kids, new friends and old, good food and conversations.


If you are anywhere near San Francisco this weekend, we are having another picnic on Sunday at noon. In Dolores Park. Bring some gluten-free food to share. And bring your YES or IMAGINE.

46 comments on “come have a picnic with us.

  1. shornrapunzel

    Wish we were going to be near San Francisco! Any chance you guys are coming to Portland or Eugene on your travels?

  2. Kristina @ spabettie

    ah! this looks beyond wonderful. I wish I could have been there. simply wonderful…

  3. Clare

    That is the coolest idea in the whole wide world and, of course, I am not surprised that you guys thought of it.
    Your post put a huge smile on my face, (I am still smiling, in fact.)
    I am thrilled your time in NY went so well. You deserve all your success– you new book is fantastic.

    (Oh, and as a side note, it's fun to see a picture of Kamran! That guy is a mover and a shaker and so effin' talented! I wish I'd been so together at his age!)

  4. GFree_Miel

    Aw, it looks like everyone had such a wonderful time! I wanted to go so badly but I was stuck in a meeting all day. Hope you're having fun in San Fran!

  5. Alessa

    That's really awesome! I'll be in NYC starting tomorrow, so I'm a little sad I missed it… Have fun in SF, though!

  6. That Girl

    Oh how I wish we lived closer to San Fran! (it's over 6 hours away) That is such a lovely idea though! I am so excited for ya'all- the success of the book and meeting so many more of the GF family that's across America! (let alone the world!) Another word you should have- INSPIRE.

  7. FabFrugalFood

    Ack, if only I had kitchen access to bring something homemade, as an out-of-towner! But perhaps we'll bring some treats from the Farmer's Market . . .

  8. kamran siddiqi

    Shauna, wanna crop me out, or put a smiley face over mine? You look lovely in that pic. But me… it was a bad week. Break-outs galore. I looked like a dweeb, but thank you for your kind words. πŸ˜€

    Sending lots of hugs your way! πŸ™‚

  9. Cookin' Canuck

    What a wonderful event. I wish I could have stayed in SF a little longer to join the picnic today. Great photos of Maggie and Kamran, two dynamic, talented people.

    I sat in the keynote speech that you were a part of yesterday. The energy and honesty between the three of you on stage was infectious, touching, and inspiring. Thank you for giving those moments to all of us in that room.

  10. JenPB

    Sunday as in the day after this post!? We're out of state for the rest of the month, but with a little more notice I would LOVE to have shared this with my gluten-free family members in the bay area. Then again, I suspect they're rabid…er…avid readers, too. πŸ™‚

  11. Lori

    Looks like so much fun and SO inspirational! Wish I weren't in Atlanta. Hey! Come to Atlanta. πŸ™‚

  12. Mom@Work

    Come to Austin!! This looks amazing, and what a wonderful way to meet people who share a similar 'trait'.

  13. Kristen

    We are going be past picnic time in Minnesota soon, but I would love if you came here! πŸ™‚ Perhaps next summer?

  14. heather

    I soooo wish I could come to one of those picnics. What a super fun idea.:) I'm glad it was such a wonderful success. And your work has meant so much to me and to two of my little ones. We love your recipes, your pictures, your words. We no longer even feel like calling it a disease. It's now an opportunity and a privilege to "have" celiac. Our eyes are wider and our minds more focused. We are grateful and healthy.

    Thanks for all you do.

  15. Creative Mom

    I am so glad you posted a follow up on your picnic. It's great to see all the people and food how fun! If you have one in Portland I am there!!

  16. azusmom

    Oh dang it! Last week was so incredibly INSANE I didn't read this post in time! Otherwise I TOTALLY would have been there!
    Hope you had a great time in our fair city!

  17. Lisa Torres

    HI, Just wanted to let you know I made the Pumpkin Soup from your new cookbook today and it is SOOOOOOO GOOD..Thank you thank you…
    Dont tell the chef I had to make a few tweaks…I didnt have fresh sage so used dried and couldnt find my nutmeg so used allspice..and the ultimate I used organic canned pumpkin from Trader Joe's I had from leftover from making gluten free pumkin pancakes yesterday….so just wanted to let you know even with the tweaks it was wonderful…even my teenage boys liked it…whoo hoo!! I just found out I was Celiac last Tuesday…so I ordered your book that day…Cant wait to finish reading your amazing story.
    Thank you.
    Lisa Torres

  18. Ann

    I'll be in SF this weekend! I'm running the Nike Women's half-marathon, which ends in Golden Gate Park. My family (gluten consumers) will be with me, and it will be great to introduce them to this awesome community!

    Can't wait to meet you!

  19. alphia.possamai

    This is really beautiful. I live in Sydney, Australia right now (originally from Pa.) so I don't think you will be coming this far on your travels – but I just wanted to let you know that I often use your recipes (just have to do some conversions into the metric and sometimes find alternatives) – and they have been amazing! Your banana bread (or as my little one calls it "nana cake" is better than the non-gluten free one that I have made for years.
    It seems you have had an impact around the world!

  20. Krista

    If you ever come to Toronto, I hope you announce it before it.. because, if you do.. you'll have the biggest gathering you could ever imagine. You're insanely popular πŸ™‚

  21. Krista

    Please come to Toronto!! So many people want to have a picnic with you πŸ˜€

    Jealousy does not inhabit this body, but persuasion does!! What will it take to get you to Canada?!

  22. jenny


    Big, wonderful, happy outpourings of gratitude to Shauna, Danny & Lucy. It was such a joy and an honor to meet you guys in Central Park. Your stories and your approach to life have been such a big part of my life these last two years, and it was a thrill to finally, humbly say "hello & thanks" in person. And, of course, it was so wonderful to meet even just a few of the folks who have been inspired and moved by your site. What a fun, casual, lovely way to get together–my husband Tim and I had a great time, and I wish we could have stayed longer! I'm still bubbly when I talk about it. And thanks for including my silly, smiling face and my "yes" in these pics. Tim and I have both been trying to say yes lately, and this is a great reminder. Tim's helping me say "yes" to gluten-free…he baked me your fabulous carrot cake for my birthday (I've had more than my fair share of it. delicious.) and he'll write yes on my hand whenever I'm feeling out of sorts. That little, red Sharpie "yes" reminds me to never stop imagining.

    So, thanks to you guys and this lovely community for doing all you do and for making this happen. Yes. Imagine. And hip hip hurray!

  23. Cathrin

    Ditto to all the oohs and aahs here about what you two have accomplished. Ab Fab times infinity.

    I rarely get to visit SF, but I will be there in December. It's too bad my trip doesn't coincide with your gathering there.

    I don't suppose you'll be coming to Saskatoon. We aren't many, but we have big hearts, and a lot of celiacs (in fact, many of my closest friends have had to go gluten-free in the past few months).

    If you're going to be anywhere in the Canadian prairies (Calgary, Edmonton or Winnipeg, for example), please let us know ahead of time. I might be able to bring a caravan of people.

    Yes, I imagine.

  24. Anonymous

    This has nothing to do with the recent post, but is a gluten question some of you may be able to answer…

    I have read that sprouted grains (wheat, barley, etc) do not contain any gluten. Is this true? How about Wheat germ?

    Jasmine in Maine

  25. Laura

    Sounds like a beautiful and fun gathering! I am an SF transplant living in LA now, and sooooooo missing Northern California. Your park day just give me one more reason to wish I were there! But you also have a lot of friends in southern California. I'm just sayin'… πŸ™‚

  26. looksgoodinpolkadots

    What a blast! Wish I was closer!

    Just received my review copy of gluten-free girl and the chef… so excited! Can't wait to try out some recipes and post a review!

    You guys rock!

    Portland, OR

  27. Lady Jennie

    Aw – I used to live right near there. Next time you have a picnic in Paris, I'm there! πŸ˜‰

  28. Anna @londonfoodieny

    it was such fun! can't wait for another! BTW just made the beans from the book. UNBELIEVABLE. I nearly died at the amount of oil and then said ah what the heck! totally worth it.

  29. Dana

    Amazing!!! What a fantastic idea!! Is it strange that the post and photos have me goosebumps? I'm smiling ear-to-ear. πŸ™‚

    So glad your picnic was a success and that many people made many new friends.

  30. Camellia

    Awesome! I can't think of a better way to spend a fall afternoon. Let me know if you make your way out to Utah!

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