Thrive Allergy & Gluten-free Expo

Thrive Allergy & Gluten-free Expo welcomes noted patient-expert and author Jules Shepard as cooking stage partner

Leading gluten-free baking expert offers Thrive attendees demonstrations and interactive exhibit space, April 18-19 in Chicago’s McCormick Place.


Chicago, IL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/03/2009 -- THRIVE Expo, the only consumer show aimed at providing education, products and services all under one roof to the rapidly expanding allergic and gluten-free communities, announces today that they’ve tapped Jules Shepard to offer attendees baking and cooking demonstrations and other interactive presentations using free-from recipes.

“Two things people worry about most with altered recipes are taste and consistency,” says Eva Prokop, VP of communications for Thrive. “Jules knows that without helping consumers understand how to tackle these issues when cooking at home, too many individuals don’t enjoy the type of meals that are very doable. We’re very excited to have her expertise at the show and her availability to interact with the audience and answer their questions.”

Shepard, a noted celiac, author and inventor of a patent-pending allergy- and gluten-free all purpose flour will be hosting two days’ worth of demonstrations during the Thrive Allergy Expo this spring. “I get countless requests for bread recipes and baking tips, so I’m going to do several bread baking demonstrations,” Ms. Shepard says. “I see my role as demystifying gluten- and allergy-free bread baking, as well as baking in general,” she continues. “Thrive has recognized this need from their attendees and has dedicated a large space to enable me to show people first-hand how simple it is to make delicious breads, muffins, pizza crusts, cookies, soft pretzels – just about anything – if you use the right flour.”

Jules’ expertise and popularity as a presenter are augmented by the fact that she has been creating uncompromised gluten-free foods as a celiac herself, for ten years. Her recently released book for the newly diagnosed celiac is very timely as well. Entitled, The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free, this week-by-week guide to easing the transition to eating gluten-free was released in December. Her first book, a popular gluten-free cookbook entitled Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten Free Eating, continues to be among the most popular gluten-free cookbooks.

“Adding Jules to our well-rounded group of presenters for this year’s Thrive Allergy Expo,” comments Prokop, “will offer attendees insight on the physiological aspects of allergy issues, food labeling standards, research and the like, and Jules will add a valuable and practical aspect. Her message is very encouraging, very empowering and we value our partnership.”

“I really respect the approach Thrive is taking in producing this show,” adds Jules. “I share their educational, empowering and thorough attitude. It’s vital for those of us with food allergies and autoimmune diseases such as celiac.”

A detailed schedule for the baking demonstration and interactive presentation space have yet to be finalized, but Prokop states they will be posted on the Thrive website by late March. Jules comments, “There will be something for everyone…kids, families, bakers, non-bakers. We plan to make it a lively and informative space, to be sure.”

Thrive Tickets are on sale at Adults are $10 or $15 for a 2-day pass, children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult. This is an opportunity to help families learn about these conditions from credible sources, yet not spend a fortune to do it. In order to further lend support to the not for profit effort, Thrive will donate back to participating non-profits the full face value of tickets purchased by their members.

Thrive Allergy & Gluten-free Expo is presented by sponsor Sciele Pharma Inc., a Shionogi company, the marketers of allergy-related products. Please visit Sciele’s booth, # 811.