Every great venture has a beginning, often rooted in a powerful and personal story. Ours is just that. It all started with a moment that would forever change my life.
“Roanna? Trey’s coughing, and his face is swelling!” These words pierced the air through a frantic phone call from my husband. I was at home, just two blocks from the park when that call came in. Panic gripped me as I realized the urgency of the situation. While my husband sprinted home with the stroller, I swiftly called an ambulance and ran to meet them.
What I encountered was a scene of pure terror. My three-year-old son’s face and neck were alarmingly swollen, and he was struggling to breathe. The ambulance arrived in a hurry, administered an epi-pen shot, and roared off, carrying my husband and our little boy inside. There’s a strict two-passenger limit in an ambulance, a rule that adds to the feeling of helplessness in such moments.
As I stood there, vulnerable and alone, others stopped to offer me comfort, having witnessed the distressing incident. In the blink of an eye, the world as I knew it had changed forever.
Subsequent bloodwork revealed a harsh truth: allergies to wheat (gluten), nuts, and eggs. Overnight, the very thing that sustains us—food—became perilous. I found myself in the unenviable position of struggling to feed my own child.
Despite the obstacles, I persevered. In the face of these challenges, I did more than just endure; I transformed hardship into results. The journey was difficult, but it led to a remarkable destination: finally being able to feed my friends and family and eventually a business that supports others in their quest for safe, allergy-friendly food.
The catalyst for our mission was the lack of teaching and training surrounding allergy-safe cooking and baking. Families like mine, struggling with dietary restrictions and allergies, often found themselves isolated, unable to participate in the simple joys of a meal or enjoying baked goods at a restaurant. The longing for inclusion and safety for everyone fueled a deep passion within me.
And so, the vision for The Gluten Free Culinary School was born. It was a vision driven by the desire to break down the skills I had acquired into easily accessible training for restauranteurs and professional bakers. The belief was simple but profound: we exist to train individuals to create delightful gluten-free and allergy-friendly food accessible to all.
I proudly stand as the founder of The GF Culinary School. In this place, dreams of safe, delicious, and inclusive dining experiences come to life. Our journey is marked by challenges overcome and dreams we have achieved. Join us on this inspiring path, where we turn adversity into opportunity and make a difference in the culinary world. Together, we will create a future where no one has to feel isolated because of dietary restrictions.
- Roanna Canete