10 year old Aoibheann Austin from Beaumont, Co Dublin will be headlining one of the many events scheduled for the first virtual Gluten Free Living Show, which is supported by SuperValu, as it opens its online doors to visitors on October 12 2020. Catering for the estimated 50,000 coeliacs and the 400,000 gluten intolerance sufferers in Ireland, the show will run for a week.
Gill Brennan CEO, Coeliac Society Ireland said: “Clearly, we didn’t want to disappoint our members and all those who get a great deal out of the Show. It’s really important, even in these unusual times, that the show goes on, and we’ve created a fantastic interactive and inclusive virtual event for 2020.
“We’ve built a programme that includes everything you’d expect – with live cooking demonstrations, educational talks and so much more. Whether you are suffering from the lifelong and incurable autoimmune Coeliac Disease or experiencing some of the many, often debilitating, symptoms associated with eating gluten we will have something for everyone who attends.”
Aoibheann Austin will feature as part of the Kids academy, supported by McCambridges Bread on Wednesday October 14 2020. After being diagnosed as a Coeliac at age 8, Aoibheann started her own YouTube channel – “The Gluten Free Adventurer” – as a way to own her diagnosis and document her journey into gluten free cooking. From BBQ steaks and chicken wings to apple crumble and chocolate lava puddings, she’s tackled everything in her videos.
Commenting on being part of this year’s virtual experience, Aoibheann said: “I’m very excited to be part of the Gluten Free Living Show. I want to show everyone that living gluten free can be fun and tasty. It was difficult at the start when all you want to do is eat the same things as your friends, but since I started my YouTube channel lots of my friends now want to eat my treats. I can wait to show others like me, who cannot eat gluten, that making food can still be yummy and fun if you just try hard and sometimes experiment! “
In addition to Aoibheann’s culinary contribution there will be live cooking demonstrations throughout the week from leading chefs including Kevin Dundon, Dunbrody House Hotel, Nicola Halloran of The Wonky Spatula, Aymar Gourdet of Le Skinny Chef and Mairead Finnegan of Roll It Pastry.
Other events during the week include education seminars with leading dietician and coeliac specialist, Sarah Keogh entitled “Eating for Immunity” and the Chairman of the Coeliac Society, Dr. Nick Kennedy on “COVID, flu vaccine and Coeliac Disease” both of which are supported by Safefood.
Additionally, there will be talks emphasising the importance of both mental and physical health – one such seminar, entitled “Mindfulness”, will be hosted by Jane Jane Negrych of The Sanctuary. An interactive fitness class will deal directly with osteoporosis, one of the many issues associated with coeliac disease and gluten free diets called ‘Strong Bones – Strong Body’ will be hosted by Suzanne Clarke of Feelfit Gym.
Gill Brennan said: “For the Society it is important that we can continue to provide a source of comfort, information and offer the services so everyone who suffers from gluten intolerance can live as normal a life as possible.
“Coeliac Disease is an incurable lifelong autoimmune disease which if left unmanaged can lead to serious side effects including osteoporosis, infertility, difficulties during pregnancy and low birth weights.
“There are over 400,000 gluten intolerant sufferers in Ireland and nearly 70% of coeliacs are undiagnosed. Events like this are incredibly important in highlighting the issues and raising awareness amongst the public of an extremely serious health condition.
“We hope that everyone can join us in celebrating living well with gluten intolerance, a serious condition that affects very many people and that we, as a society, should be taking more seriously.
“I would like to thank our main sponsor SuperValu as well as McCambridges, Safefood, Bfree and all our exhibitors for making this week possible.”