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Appetite for Awareness Creates Gluten-Free Philadelphia Community

November 13, 2008

Appetite for Awareness Creates Gluten-Free Philadelphia Community


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On September 24th, over 1400 people turned out to celebrate NFCA’s fifth anniversary and to raise funds for celiac disease. The party was a huge success thanks to our Chairs Bethann Schaffzin Kagan and Laurence Kagan and our many volunteers. Called Appetite for Awareness, this extravaganza showcased 35 top chefs from Philadelphia’s premier restaurants as they partnered with 43 top doctors to create gluten-free dishes for everyone to try.

Our center stage “Iron Chef-style” competition gave eight of these chef/doctor teams a chance to pull out all of the stops to go for the first place prize for Best Gluten-Free Dish in Philadelphia. The award went to Brad Spence, of Vetri, and Dr. John Marks of Lankenau Hospital, Main Line Health. Pasquale Masters of Pasta Pomodoro won the coveted People’s Choice Award.

NFCA was fortunate to have the talents of two “foodies” as commentators. Lori Daniels of Two Chefs on a Roll, and Christina Pirello of Christina Cooks. Marc Summers of The Food Network was the emcee while Chef Bill Orton of Disney served as a judge. You can see photos and learn more about all of the chefs at

All participating restaurants have made a commitment to include gluten-free items on their menus.This means that folks with celiac disease can dine out without worry! Dr. Ritu Verma of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia declared Philadelphia the first gluten-free celiac-friendly city in the US.

A huge thanks to all of our generous sponsors, donors, volunteers, and loyal friends who joined us for this record-setting event. Please help the NFCA expand its programming and educate doctors and restaurants nationwide by making a donation today at

Your support will be critical in achieving our goals for the rest of the year and into 2009. And, help us meet the last part of our outstanding challenge grant of $45,000.


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