Pie Day

What is a better way to kick off the month of November and the upcoming holiday season than baking gluten-free pies?

The Sans Gluten club got together for a research and development meeting on Friday, November 8th to produce 100 each: pumpkin, chocolate, apple, and pecan pie using the following doughs: oat dough, basic pie dough, gingerbread dough, and chocolate dough-all gluten free.

The meeting began with demos by Chef Lavornia on gingerbread dough and Dorothy Turka on basic pie dough. After the group learned about the fundamentals of making pie dough, massive amounts of pre-made dough were pulled from the fridge to roll, cut, and insert into cute mini pie tins. Then, the tins were filled, topped with finishing touches, and baked off.

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Altogether, the members of Sans Gluten not only got a chance to learn, hands on, about the making of gluten-free pies, but they also got to taste test the pies for themselves and experienced the delight of homemade pies that are not regularly available. It was definitely a treat.

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The pie sale for these: I-can’t-believe-they’re-gluten-free pies was held on Wednesday, November 13th on the Harborside Campus where the members built an elegant pie table for students and faculty to purchase.



(Photo credits: Jessica Bose, Samantha Riley, and Jenny  Manseau)


Breakfast Gluten-Free Style- The First Kitchen Adventure of the 2013-2014 School Year

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The 15 members of the Sans Gluten Club gathered Friday, October 25th, along with the club’s advisor, Dean Lavornia, to embark on successfully creating a gluten-free English muffin that gluten-allergen and non-allergen people alike could enjoy. The club was back from winning Best New Club and ready to start a new year off with a bang. It decided the best way to do so was tackling the most delicious and gluten-filled meal of them all; breakfast. Beforehand, the Research and Development Team had put together three recipes they had decided were acceptable to test out. The three recipes as seen in the photos below were sorghum flour, tapioca flour and a Cup 4 Cup flour blend. The students learned everything it took to make an English muffin, from start to finish.



opening muffin


Once the English muffins were out of the oven, the real test began. The students carefully analyzed each of the three types through appearance, feel, smell, texture and of course, flavor. The tapioca flour and Cup 4 Cup flour blend made wonderful English muffins, but the overall winner was the tapioca flour one. With its similar tan color, nook and cranny appearance and chewy texture that resembled a real English muffin, it came out on top. While some of the members worked on the English muffins, the remaining students made gluten-free pancakes and tried their hand at turning one batter into gluten-free and vegan pancakes and another batch into pumpkin gluten-free pancakes.


Photo by: Samantha Riley

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Once all was completed, the students then turned the muffins into breakfast sandwiches and prepared the pancakes with toppings and all to be eaten, which were then thoroughly enjoyed. Fellow member Sandra, stated that it was the first time she had eaten a breakfast sandwich for as long as she could remember. It goes to show that moments like this are exactly why the club is around and needed. Afterwards, the students learned through a PowerPoint Presentation given by a member of the Leadership Team, the science behind the baking of English muffins and the pancakes. The club is much more than enjoying gluten-free foods, it is about learning what it takes to cook and bake gluten-free, to promote awareness, to learn the history behind the food being prepared and experiment with recipes. It is welcoming to people with gluten-allergies and without gluten-allergies because informing people and allowing them to learn more is the best way to go about such a thing.


Photo by: Samantha Riley


Informational Meeting to Kick-Off Sans Gluten 2013-2014


Welcome Sans Gluten members, new and old, to a new year! To kick off the year and give members insight on our gluten-free club at JWU, we all got together to meet this year’s officers and committee chairs, reiterate the club’s definiti

on, brainstorm ideas for our future lab meetings, and try out a goody-bag full of gluten free products.



We allowed this meeting to not only be about the club, but the students as well. We gave them a chance to speak about their allergies and what foods they missed the most as a result. Then, we took note of the following foods that we aim to make during our meetings through out the year:

Chocolate Cake
Pie Crusts
Cronuts – doughnut-croissants
Fettuccini Alfredo
Granola Bars
“on the go” snacks
Fried foods – breading – chicken fingers, onion rings, etc.
Gravy – Thanksgiving themed day with stuffing etc.
Candy theme for October

At the end of the meeting, we concluded that 18 out of the 22 students in attendance has Celiac Disease or Gluten-Intolerance. Numbers like these make us eager to begin our lab meetings, where we will make our members feel comfortable and hopeful while we experiment with gluten-free flour blends to create homemade products that will put smiles across the faces of every club member.

Thank you to all in attendance. Let it be said that the Sans Gluten Club of the 2013-2014 school year has officially began!

The Art of the French Macaron


Last night we were privileged to have Chef Lumi, master of French Macarons  share her vast knowledge and experiences of making these delicate little treats.

Chef Lumi is originally from Transylvania, Romania and moved to the United States in 2001. When first moving to the United States, she lived in Chicago where she enrolled in Culinary School at Kendell College. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Baking & Pastry in 2008. Over the years she gained much experience in the field of baking & pastry arts, and we are fortunate to have her as a Chef at Johnson & Wales and learn from such an amazing and accomplished Chef.

Below are some photographs from last nights demo and production of French Macarons.

Thank you Chef for taking the time to share your tips and knowledge with us, it is truly appreciated.



Pizza Night

Theme: Pizza Night

Date: March 28

Location: JWU Providence, Harborside Campus

About every other week we hold a Sans Gluten meeting and this one was dedicated to pizza. We used one standardized recipe with four different flour blends plus we made an additional crust for those celebrating the holiday (unleavened pizza crust). We wanted everyone to be able to enjoy the pizza so the unleavened pizza was also made dairy free (for a dairy allergy). The toppings included pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, red, yellow, and orange peppers, mushrooms, caramelized onions, fresh basil, and tomato sauce. Below are some photos taken by our lovely club photographer Maria. Each recipe made two pizza crusts – one half of one of each of the crusts was intentionally left plain so the students could taste the cooked crust by its self. The students then topped the remaining 1 1/2 crusts with whichever toppings they decided…mine had mushrooms, peppers, mozzarella, caramelized onions, pepperoni, and fresh basil – aka, the works! Overall I think they came out pretty delicious. I tend to enjoy my crusts a bit thinner but that can be achieved with using any of these doughs.

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Vice President, Sans Gluten JWU Providence

Build Your Gluten-Free Blend: Chocolate Chip & Peanut Butter Cookies



For our first production meeting students were given a “Build Your Gluten-Free Blend” information sheet that included a basic ratio mix for an “All-Purpose” flour blend. Below that listed the different “primary flours”, “secondary fours”, starches, and gums/strengtheners. In addition to that sheet each table was given a recipe for classic chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies. The goal was to create a blend that could be substituted for the regular all-purpose flour listed on the original recipes. Students broke up into groups and got started on creating what they thought would make a good AP flour blend. We had three groups of chocolate chip cookies and three groups of peanut butter cookies.

Many of the students had little to no experience with gluten-free baking. We answered whatever questions came out and offered suggestions if needed, but for the most part the 25+ students who joined us that week worked with each other to create a blend. Once all of the cookies were baked we laid them all out so everyone could see the immense difference between them all. No two recipes were alike! Which was great. Some had issues with ingredient amounts (baking soda, etc. which can be different in some gluten-free baked goods). Each group present their cookie, explained their flour blend and why they chose they flours that were used, and discussed what they would change (if anything). Each cookie was tested by everyone in the group, we talked about flavor, texture, smell, mouth-feel, etc.

Below are some photos from our build your gluten-free blend experiment!

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This was a great learning exercise for both the students and myself. Gluten-free baking isn’t my strong suit but I enjoy it very much.

Thank you to everyone who came out and made this night a success. If you are interested in joining us for one of our meetings please find us on Facebook where we post all of our upcoming events. Full culinary uniform and paid dues ($10.00 for the year) is required to participate in production meetings. If you are not part of the College for Culinary Arts and are in need of a uniform please e-mail me at jsm264@jwu.edu and we will try to find you one.

A very special thank you to Joshua for coming to our meetings and take these photographs. Congratulations on your graduation!!


Welcome to Sans Gluten at JWU Providence



Welcome to Sans Gluten at JWU Providence.  We are a brand new student group at Johnson & Wales University Providence campus. We are focusing on bringing awareness and education about Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity to our fellow classmates, chefs, and faculty. The members of our group are all part of the College of Culinary Arts at JWU and are studying either Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry, or Culinary Nutrition. We are fortunate to be a part of a culinary school because we have the ability to also work on recipe development in the kitchens.

Within our group we have several committees which include:

Sans Gluten Education Committee – focusing on designing materials for new students, educational segments on the gluten-free diet, celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy, along with developing a HAACP educational demo segment.

Sans Gluten Baking Science Committee – this group will identify what our recipes need for success (the science behind why gluten works and what our substitutions need to accomplish), and present their findings to the group before production.

Sans Gluten Photography Committee  – responsible for photography our products and events.

If you are a company that is interested in working with Sans Gluten either by sponsorship of products, flours, etc. or would like to donate equipment to help us prevent any cross-contact when making the gluten-free items please e-mail Jenny, Vice President of Sans Gluten at jsm264@jwu.edu or creativecookinggf@gmail.com