Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A gluten sufferer rises to occasion with education

September 24, 2008 Chicago Sun Times Rachel Finn

Sunshine Best is an enthusiastic young woman on a mission: to provide access to the simple pleasure of food to all and educate the masses about healthy, flavorful, gluten-free cooking.

Beginning her quest in 2003 after graduating from culinary school and being diagnosed with Celiac disease, Best embarked upon the journey of teaching and educating herself about the world of gluten-free cooking.

Curiosity, passion and exposure to many different types of food during childhood and Caribbean family roots helped open her eyes to the possibilities of cooking with ingredients as varied as sorghum, teff and coconut flours, banana vinegar, palm oil and shortening.

At her online bakery,, the fruits of her labor are evident: vegan sunflower cookies, cassava coconut loaf, key lime pound cake and whole grain cornbread all attest to her creativity and the quality of her cooking. Her philosophy is simple: "Teach young people about basic nutrition needs, what foods meet those needs and flavorful, inexpensive ways on how to prepare them. People have to know there is a better option that is accessible to them."

Her drive to educate and share her passions led her to establish Your Safe Kitchen, a special diet and culinary instruction consulting service. Through referrals from dieticians and naturopaths, Best helps people create recipes, clear pantries and cupboards of potentially harmful foods, and show them the basics of shopping and cooking in a gluten-free, allergy-free lifestyle. Those interested in booking private cooking classes or other services may reach Best at

Best also teaches regular gluten-free cooking classes at Whole Foods in Palatine.

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