Earlier in the week I chatted to Neville and Judy Green from
GFME is THE place to learn to cook fantastic gluten free (and other allergy friendly) food. Not only do Neville and Judy run classes across New Zealand, they also make their recipes available through their online Recipe Club.
GFME was born out of the couple's dream for gluten-free folk to be able to make good quality, safe food in their own kitchens. "We want to give families the skills, information and confidence to do it all themselves at home" says Neville.
The couple got started with gluten-free 15 years ago in their own cafe. When their gluten-free food started out-selling the regular food, they knew they were on to a good thing. The couple were asked to teach their skills to a family with coeliac children, and the difference these skills made to the family were huge. Both children started gaining weight for the first time, and their dietitian was impressed with the results.
And so GFME was born.
Judy and Neville's dedication to GFME is something to be admired. Although the couple claim to be retired, Judy says they're always thinking about the business and playing around with new ideas, "I come up with the weird ideas, and Neville tries to solve them... sometimes our recipes take months to perfect." The couple describe themselves as perfectionists, and say that their kitchen (which is 100% gluten-free) is in use 24/7.
Neville, a qualified chef has over 50 years experience in catering. He says one of the main challenges of gluten-free cooking is the lack of rules "Wheat based baking has been around for over 200 years. Gluten-free baking has only been around for twenty years, so we're at the forefront here. There are no rules [for gluten-free baking], and there are lots of different ideas of how to get there."
Neville's dedication to gluten-free experimentation has led to the development of the couple's flour blend recipes, which are the basis of a number of their recipes: "The base flours are more economical [than bought ones], with no additives or preservatives." says Judy " ... Using the flour blends ends up being cheaper overall."
The success of GFME is largely down to word of mouth. The couple don't advertise, and yet their Facebook page alone has over 11,500 fans. Many dietitians and doctors even recommend GFME to their clients. And Neville is a regular seminar speaker at the
With such huge success, you'd expect their classes to be expensive. But that's not the case at all. "This is our way of giving back to the community" says Judy "regardless of where we run our classes, we charge the same amount." The couple say they derive huge satisfaction from hearing the success stories of people who have taken the skills they've learnt and applied them in their own kitchens.
Neville and Judy's classes have brought relief to thousands of allergy-affected people. And I'd just like to make a personal thank you to Neville and Judy. Thank you for sharing your skills. For many of us, you've been the difference between a life of boring food and confusion over what to eat, and a world of fantastic noms with lots of variety and good health. Thanks guys!
If you want to go in the draw to win a 12 month subscription to GFME's Recipe Club, leave a message on this post with your top tip for allergy-free cooking. Competition closes Friday, 19 December.