Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes


The first cookbook from the author of Gluten-Free Girl and, now in paperback

Combining tempting recipes with an authentic love story, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef is a narrative cookbook for anyone who loves food. A must-have for those who eat gluten-free, this cookbook offers irresistible stories and plenty of mouthwatering meals. From the authors of the much-loved food blog, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, the book includes...

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The first cookbook from the author of Gluten-Free Girl and, now in paperback

Combining tempting recipes with an authentic love story, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef is a narrative cookbook for anyone who loves food. A must-have for those who eat gluten-free, this cookbook offers irresistible stories and plenty of mouthwatering meals. From the authors of the much-loved food blog, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, the book includes evocative photos, cooking techniques, and 100 chef-tested recipes that are sure to please.

  • Illustrates the working day of a talented chef and what he does to put delicious food on the table
  • Contains great-tasting recipes that everyone can cook and eat
  • Combining a love story and delicious food, this is more than a cookbook, but a story meant to be read cover to cover

Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef inspires anyone who has to eat gluten-free to say yes to the delicious possibilities that are still available to them.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the blogosphere, food writing has become more personal than ever, and Shauna James Ahern has led the pack with her blog about living with celiac disease, "The Gluten-Free Girl"; a recipestudded memoir of the same name; and now, a new hybrid memoir/cookbook artfully weaving words and flavors. This book also has an added ingredient: the titular chef, her husband Daniel Ahern (the Hardware Store on Vashon Island, Wash.) who brings his considerable culinary expertise to bear on the proceedings. Instead of distinct chapters, the contents are divided into two parts, "At Home" and "In the Restaurant." While the introduction does little to orient readers to the book's unconventional organization, it sets the tone for the highly intimate, lyrical essays that follow, covering the pair's whirlwind romance from meeting and eating ("That First Bite") to an Italian honeymoon, then cooking for three. The recipes interspersed throughout let readers in on the sophisticated and inspired gluten-free treats that the pair has shared through their courtship and marriage: halibut with millet, carrot-fennel salad and golden raisin sauce; pan-seared beef tenderloin with port sauce and balsamic onions; blue cheese cheesecake with a fig crust; and even a gluten-free crusty bread recipe. Occasionally, the Aherns stray into the TMI zone with their lusty references, but overall, this is an accomplished collection, with plenty to offer serious home cooks, the gluten-eaters and gluten-free among them. Photos. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470419717
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/21/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 297,735
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

DANIEL AHERN is the chef-in-residence at He has spent twenty years cooking at great restaurants across the United States.

SHAUNA JAMES AHERN is the author and photographer behind the award-winning blog and the food memoir Gluten-Free Girl. Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005, she is considered one of the most authoritative gluten-free voices on the Internet.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Dancing in the Kitchen.

At home.

That First Bite.

The Foods We Used to Woo Each Other.

Grocery Shopping as Foreplay.

Watching Him Cook.

Losing Him to an Open Kitchen.

Eating through the Seasons Together.

Living in the Northwest.

You’re Marrying a Chef.

The Importance of Ingredients.

Sunday Afternoon.

Come on Over and Bring Some Bacon.

The Chef and the Gluten-Free Girl Get Hitched and Run Off to Italy.

Planning the Menu.

At the restaurant.

Waking Up Hungry.

What’s Cooking Today?

The Chef Dance.

Running Food Errands.

University Seafood and Poultry.

Our Saturday Afternoon Ritual.

His First Hours Alone.

Cheese Plate.

Soup’s On.

Honey, Remember to Eat.

Special Food.

The Opening Act.

Dinner Service Begins.

Main Dishes and Dishwashers.

There’s a Gluten-Free Table.

Cooking for the Chef.

Plates Coming Back.

Sweetness at the End of the Evening.

Burnt Garlic.

Meals at Midnight.

Sweet and Savory, Mixed Together.

Recipe List.



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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 7, 2010

    Really wanted to like it, but....

    I really wanted to like this book. I love the concept and was hoping for some great new ideas... but this book was not for me. The meatloaf, roasted eggs with potatoes, fig and blue cheese salad and roast chicken are fine, but these foods are naturally gluten-free and I have tried and true versions that I now know I prefer. I was hoping for recipes adapted from the gluten versions- not more recipes that one can find just about anywhere. The pear tart recipe in particular is terribly unappealing and doesn't really work (and I am an experienced baker), and the "pizza" recipe is just a cracker recipe where you are meant to add pizza toppings (and it's quite difficult to find- nothing listed under "pizza"). Such a disappointment if you're looking for something remotely like the true Neapolitan delight we all miss. It's odd in that sense- this book is not comprehensive enough to be a primer for new bakers, but there is also not much information for those who want to move beyond the basics into more complex baking creations. After having made a few of them, these recipes remind me of Martha Stewart's recipes: lots of work and expensive ingredients for just OK results. All in all, I am not sure that I would describe these recipes as "tempting." The writing is quite condescending and rude in some places (this couple must be terribly insecure), the soppiness goes on for a bit too long for my taste, and the cover is odd... like someone who didn't know how to use the proper computer programme cobbled it together. I don't expect something slick and unrealistic, but I wasn't quite prepared for this. It looks like one of those low-quality cookbooks specially made for an American big-box warehouse bargain bin shelf. In addition, there are some layout mistakes, actual misspellings and contradicting sentences that I found confusing. I can only fault the editor here, and I hope these authors stand firm on this point next time. On a final note, I was very put off by the author telling those on facebook to write good reviews and give positive marks on amazon, to counter some reviews that she didn't like but were in fact quite fair. She encouraged her fans to bully a few poor reviewers on amazon who were expressing their honest opinions. At that point, I'd bought the book and wanted to give it a chance, but it left an unpleasant taste in my mouth. I tried to donate this to my local library and they didn't want it- apparently the last one by this author didn't do well, and didn't even sell at their annual dollar sale. Not sure what I will do with it now. I wish I had trusted some of the amazon reviews more fully.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    Recipes aside...

    ..I couldn't figure out what the point of this book was. The author has had a blog for years and recently she incorporated her husband, the Chef, into it as a co-author, except that he doesn't write actually anything. The book seems to be an attempt to give him more airtime, as it were. It's like those chefs who become well-known first for the food they cook, then even more so for the books and/or tv shows they do, and then the public wants to know more about their personal lives so there are more books and more tv shows. But this guy isn't a celebrity at all, and in fact was not working at all for a year before he got his current job. He's just some regular joe who is interesting...why? Because he's a chef? I don't get it.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2010


    The bread recipe alone is worth the price of the book. It's actual bread that tastes fantastic!

    The reviewer that commented on the author telling people on facebook to give it great reviews is incorrect. The author mearly pointed out that someone was rating all the reviews poorly and asked if we would help out. Never once did she say bully anybody. We are adults not children.

    I didn't interpret this recipes as everyday meals. Rather something to make when you are having company over, making a special meal, or just want something different! I probably won't make all the recipes in this book but I enjoyed reading about the flavor combinations. It's kinda like going to parade of homes and seeing how everyone decorates their home. You won't go home and copy everything they do (especially if your budgets are different) but it's fun to see how it's done. Same with this book. You get a glimpse inside their kitchen and get to see how they eat. Only you CAN make the recipes if you want!

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2010

    Gluten Free Girl and the Chef

    gluten-free girl and the chef by Shauna James Ahern & Daniel Ahern, $29.95, Hardcover (Wiley)

    Since, as Shauna James Ahern states, one in one hundred people are suffering from celiac disease, the intended audience is obviously a broad one. Chances are, you have at least one friend who is suffering, and probably more that just aren't aware of it. With that said, its obvious why "gluten free" is becoming a trend in the United States. The Gluten Free Girl and the Chef treat their readers like family. They are assuming that the readers are in the same battle, which is a quality of the book that will draw you in immediately.

    The book is divided into two main parts. The first, at home, includes heart-warming stories of how the Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef met and fell in love. Their courtship, their struggles, their laughs, even their flatulence (his specifically). This is done with the same engaging approach as the beginning introductions. The Gluten-Free Girl has a wonderful way of making you a friend through her writing. Each story is followed by a recipe that accompanied the shared moment in her life. Over 10 recipes that Ahern shares, and over 10 stories about her romance and fight through this disease.

    The second part is the recipes regarding James Ahern's restaurant. It was well thought out to include slightly less stories and more tips on the recipes. These recipes are more in depth and difficult for the "at home" cook, and the tips are well used. The most difficult recipes have exact descriptions of each and every step, making it a breeze to follow, and keeping the fear out of cooking at this level.

    The photography, by Lara Ferroni, was beautiful. It was simple, elegant, and gave the recipes the final touch. Having a visual finishing point, and such an elegant one was a bonus. The photographs graced almost every other page, and some full pages.

    This cookbook, a term I use loosely, since it seemed a page-turning love story with recipes mixed in, is a must have for any kitchen. Odds are, you will need to know how to cook gluten-free and even better odds are, you will want to cook gluten free. The Gluten-free Girl and the Chef invite you into their homes and their hearts, and fill your belly in the process. I felt honored to read this book, and my guests who required a gluten-free diet, surely felt loved when I produced for them.

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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