“Roanna? Trey’s coughing and his face is swelling!” I was home, two blocks from the park when I got that frantic phone call from my husband. While he sprinted home with the stroller, I called an ambulance and ran to meet them. My 3 year old’s face and neck were swollen and he was struggling to breathe. The ambulance roared up, gave him an epi-pen shot, and roared off carrying him and my husband inside (2 passenger limit). I stood there feeling helpless as passers-by stopped to comfort me, after having witnessed the incident. The world as I knew it, changed forever.
Bloodwork showed allergies to wheat (gluten), nuts, and eggs. Overnight, food became unsafe for us, and I struggled to feed my child. If I felt helpless watching the ambulance roar away, I felt just as helpless with gluten free baking. Despite this, I prevailed….and I turned it into a business that supports others.
Because of the lack of teaching and training concerning allergy-safe cooking and baking, many families like mine remain isolated– afraid to participate in normal family activities such as enjoying a meal or baked goods at a restaurant. I am so passionate about breaking down the skills that I have learned into easily accessible training for restauranteurs and professional bakers because it means inclusion and safety for all. I firmly believe The Gluten Free Culinary School exists to train individuals who will make delightful gluten-free and allergy-friendly food accessible to all!
Roanna Canete, Co-Founder of The GF Culinary School
Discover the First All-Encompassing Professional Online Course Dedicated to Gluten Free Food
Your Journey to Professional Gluten-Free Baking Begins Here
How Did It Start?
The Gluten Free Culinary School was formed to train individuals to succeed in the gluten-free market. With the professional gluten-free arena still in its infancy, no formal pastry school exists to train industry leaders. The gluten-free supply chain is tenuous. Every ingredient must be critically researched to determine if it is contaminated by gluten in the manufacturing process. This means that the ingredients available are limited, often requiring shipping, as they cannot be sourced locally, and are therefore expensive.
Success in the gluten-free food business rests on numerous considerations: considerations not even imagined by a “gluten” business. Over the years, we have developed the skills, systems and business savvy required to succeed. The Gluten Free Culinary School will train leaders in both pastry arts and supplemental business classes. Topics from sourcing to staffing will be covered with everything in between. Gluten-free wholesale and retail have added stressors and considerations that are literal make-or-break points, all of which will be covered.
Some of the above challenges almost put us out of business more than once in our first two years. And while all new businesses have challenges, the unique set of challenges presented to us by the gluten-free market seemed more like icebergs under the surface – you don’t see them and they’ll sink your boat. By successfully navigating these treacherous waters, we have gained comprehensive wisdom which we are excited to teach to new gluten-free business owners and chefs. It is our privilege to empower others to push this industry to new heights.
Who We Are
We are professional gluten-free chefs with backgrounds in retail, wholesale and hotel/restaurant environments. We saw the need to bring safe, delicious gluten-free baking into the community and we developed this online course to train individuals to achieve the same level of success in the gluten-free baking industry.
We have already gone through the difficult learning process and made all the mistakes along the way, so our advice will save you both time and money as you advance in your career. We will share the knowledge and expertise we have gained through years of trial and error in essential areas like ingredient sourcing, navigating the gluten-free supply chain, scaling recipes for commercial purposes, efficient food storage techniques, baking schedules and so much more.
And, it’s not just learning the intricacies of the baking side. Our extensive knowledge of business operations will prove invaluable when you start your business (or expand your business). You’ll learn how to successfully manage your employees, how to increase customer conversions, how to diversify your revenue stream and more. We even cover how to keep your sanity & handle the difficult situations that occur in every business person’s life.
Every experience we have had and every issue we have overcome in our business brings strength and substance to the important lessons you will learn throughout this course.
What We Do
We are the first ever comprehensive online course dedicated to educating individuals who see their future in the gluten-free culinary world. Whether you are opening your own business or working for another business, we will educate you to provide safe, delicious and visually pleasing baked goods for your customers. Our online courses are all filmed in an actual industrial kitchen so students can watch and learn proper techniques and skills in a real-life setting.
Our students learn to produce amazing baked goods with impeccable taste, texture and appearance, while also learning how to accommodate additional allergies to nuts, eggs and dairy. We provide thoughtful, customer-tested recipes that can fit into any eatery, from a gluten-free bakery to a restaurant kitchen. We teach a variety of gluten-free recipes, including cookies, donuts, breads, pies, and even celebration cakes (and so much more!) along with important business strategies in the food industry and the keys to achieving financial success.
Why it Works
Learning from experienced professional gluten-free bakers who have already developed solutions to complex industry problems provides a shortcut to success! Sharing our previous experience allows our students to achieve the skills, capabilities and strategies they need to expedite their dream and get to their end result faster.
The convenient online format provides students the ability to access the content from anywhere, and complete the courses at whatever pace is most comfortable. Students have the flexibility to work around their schedules, complete coursework as quickly as they choose, or repeat lessons as needed in order to master important topics and techniques. Students also find that this format provides a much lower overall cost when compared to traditional schools.
Meet Our Team
Roanna grew up on a cattle ranch in rural Utah and her family is Greek immigrants. Fascinated with travel, between the years of 18-30 she traveled to more than 30 countries and worked as a leadership consultant on several continents. She holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership as well as an MBA in Entrepreneurship, and for 10 years served as a global leadership consultant teaching leadership at the graduate level.
When her toddler son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies, she began to realize the limited options available to him and wanted to make a difference. With a unique understanding of the challenges associated with food allergies, she blended her love of baking with her desire to help reshape the food industry. She opened The Gluten Free Baking Co in 2015 to serve wholesale clients out of her home kitchen. In 2018, she acquired a 2400 sq foot European-style bakery that only served wholesale clients. She subsequently turned the entire bakery gluten-free, and not only did she not lose any of the existing wholesale clients, but she also gained more. Her first two years were spent honing recipes and processes for successful wholesale business.
In 2019, after placing 2nd on the Netflix baking competition series Sugar Rush, she considered opening a retail shop. She called on her friend Annabel Cohen, who had worked and managed retail, to help. Together, the two successfully opened the doors on Feb 8, 2020. The retail shop was wildly successful, touted as one of San Diego’s most anticipated openings of 2020, and there was constantly a line around the block. A mere 5 weeks later, Roanna lost her entire wholesale business when the world was rocked by Covid. So, she spent the next 2 years learning and perfecting retail and was extremely successful. When the world began to return to “normal” she successfully put back together her retail business, opening her second retail location in 2022.
Born and raised in Paris, France, Annabel’s love of baking started at a young age in her grandmother’s kitchens. She studied communication, public relations and event planning, and in 2001, she partnered with 2 individuals to create a PR & event agency in Paris. Over the next 14 years, much of her work centered on clients in the food and hospitality industry. Although very happy in the PR industry, she had two dreams: living in the U.S. and being a pastry chef. In 2011 on a trip to Rome, Italy, she met and became friends with Roanna Canete.
In 2013, she applied to the Ferrandi Pastry School in Paris and enrolled in the American Green Card Lottery. She received the incredible news that she won a spot in the highly competitive pastry school (24 students were accepted out of thousands of applications). The same week, she won the green card lottery, securing her ability to live and work in the US.
After graduating from pastry school in June 2014, Annabel moved to New York to begin her impressive career, advancing to head pastry chef positions at esteemed establishments including Los Angeles’ famed Chateau Marmont Hotel and Sunset Towers, creating impressive menus for multiple Hollywood award show events.
Her final stop was San Diego, where she worked as a Pastry Consultant after joining Roanna at the Gluten Free Baking Co. The goal was to transform French baked goods staples into gluten-free deliciousness, rebrand the company and open the first bake shop. A month before the pandemic hit, the shop opened with a line around the block which continued (albeit socially distanced) even through the early days of the pandemic. She is now excited to share her expertise with students of the Gluten Free Culinary School.
A Great Place to Master the Art of Professional Gluten-Free & Allergen-Friendly Baking
The Gluten Free Culinary School can help you achieve your professional baking goals, no matter where you are in life. It’s the perfect place to begin for recent graduates who have dreamed of becoming a gluten-free chef in a hotel or restaurant but didn’t know where to start. Or for celiacs who understand the challenges of gluten-free living and want to fill a void in the community by offering delicious gluten-free options. Or perhaps the entrepreneur with a hospitality background who would love to open a profitable gluten-free bakery or café. Or even the pastry chef looking to expand their menu in order to meet the increasing demand for gluten-free options in the hospitality industry. Whatever your reason, we are here to help you achieve success.