NFCA kicks off celiac awareness month in Washington, D.C.

May 7, 2009

NFCA kicks off celiac awareness month in Washington, D.C.

Local chefs, health professionals, and media members help NFCA spread awareness of celiac disease and the gluten-free diet at the 2009 Washington, D.C Gluten-Free Cooking Spree!

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness marked the start of Celiac Awareness Month with food and fun at the 2009 Washington, D.C Gluten-Free Cooking Spree. Over 300 guests attended the May 1st celebration at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda and watched local chefs, health professionals, and media representatives compete for the evenings ‘Best Gluten-Free Dish” honors.

Winning the ‘Best Gluten-Free Dish’ title was Zengo’s Chef Graham Bartlett for his Scallops Al mojo de Ajo recipe. Chef Bartlett’s team included Bonnie Benwick, assistant food editor for the Washington Post, and John’s Hopkins University School of Nursing Program Coordinator Richelle Bolyard.

The winning recipe was judged by Susan K. Flinn, principal of Susan K. Flinn Consulting, Dr. Vicki Peterson, co-author of The Gluten Effect and Clinic Director for HealthNOW Medical Center in California, and Tracey Seaman, Test Kitchen Director for Everyday with Rachel Ray Magazine and co-author of Real Foods for Healthy Kids.

In addition to sampling, attendees enjoyed a robust gluten-free buffet, dessert table, and bar thanks to many generous sponsors and donations.

Presentations from event honoree Dr. Bob Anderson, internationally recognized leader in celiac disease research, Dr. Vicki Peterson, and Dr. Linda Arterburn of Alba Therapeutics Corporation were featured throughout the night.

For more information about this fantastic event, check out the 2009 Washington, D.C Gluten-Free Cooking Spreeprogram book online.

NFCA would like to thank all our guests, sponsors, participants, vendors and volunteers for making this celiac awareness month celebration a success. NFCA also sends a special thanks to the Hyatt Regency Bethesda for hosting the 2009 Washington, D.C Gluten-Free Cooking Spree.
Visit for information and updates on all NFCA events.

2009 Washington, D.C. Gluten-Free Cooking Spree ‘Best Gluten-Free Dish’

Scallops Al mojo de Ajo by Chef Graham Bartlett, Zengo

4 servings

MAKE AHEAD: The aioli and the plain sushi rice can be made several days in advance and refrigerated.

1 cup canola oil
6 medium whole peeled cloves
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce, preferably Sriracha
1 tablespoon yuzu juice (sour citrus juice; available at Asian markets)
Freshly ground white pepper
1 cup uncooked sushi rice, such as Tamanishiki brand
1 1/4 cups cool water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (a gluten-free brand)
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound (10- to 20-count) dry-pack sea scallops, patted dry
Kernels from 1 or 2 ears roasted corn (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
1 or 2 scallions, white and light-green parts, coarsely chopped (2 tablespoons), plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons white or black sesame seeds, plus more for garnish.

Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a sauté pan over low heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook for 20 minutes, until they have caramelized and flavored the oil.

Reserve the cloves for another use, if desired; transfer the oil to a container and let cool.
Meanwhile, make the aioli: Place the egg yolk in a medium bowl; slowly whisk in remaining oil to form an emulsion. Add the chili paste and yuzu juice; stir to mix well, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Wash the rice in cool water, until its starch is gone and the water is clear. Place the rice and water in a rice cooker and cook according to package or the rice cooker manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a medium bowl to cool completely.

Combine the rice vinegar, sake and sugar in a liquid measuring cup, then add to the rice and mix well. Add the corn, scallions and sesame seeds; toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Divide among individual plates, making a small mound in the center of each one.
When ready to serve, heat a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic-flavored oil.

Lightly season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper. When the oil is almost smoking, add about half of the scallops, making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. Turn them over and cook for about 1 minute, until just cooked through.

Place some scallops on top of each portion of rice. Drizzle with some of the aioli and garlic-flavored oil from the pan, if desired. Garnish with some of the scallions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Per serving: Calories: 420; Protein: 24 g; Carbs: 45 g; Fat: 16 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 90 mg; Sodium: 370 mg; Fiber: 1 g;

Chef Graham Bartlett’s winning recipe can also be seen on his 2009 Gluten-Free Cooking Spree teammate Bonnie Benwick’s Washington Post Blog.