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Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  404 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
The first cookbook from the author of Gluten-Free Girl and, now in paperbackCombining 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 th ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 3rd 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published August 13th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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penny shima glanz
Recently (or again), I've been in a cooking slump. When I saw this was released I remembered Shauna offering glimpses of yumminess and delight as she and her chef readied the recipes for publication.

Well, it works. While I've yet to cook from it, I am once again doing more than boiling water and adding gluten free pasta to the pot.

Why does it work? Gorgeous photos, a layout one can cook from, and a nice feature I really enjoy -- suggestions. I am terrible at pairing one dish with another and w
Feb 17, 2013 Chak rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adventurous cooks who don't mind complicated stuff, whether gluten free or not.
Recommended to Chak by: John and Linda
Shelves: cookbooks
I enjoyed this book, though I didn't cook anything from it (so haters, take this with a grain of salt, and exit now). I have read it cover to cover, though, which really says a lot about the writing. Many of the recipes include dairy (which I usually don't eat) and/or nightshades (which I never eat). I know it seems strange to give a cookbook four stars without having cooked anything from it (which is why I disclosed that up front), but there are quite a few cookbooks that I own that I use more ...more
May 30, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it
Two things drew me to Shauna: her response to a celiac diagnosis—saying ‘yes’ to everything she could eat instead of mourning what she couldn’t— and her deep/high/broad respect for her chef husband. There’s almost too much dancing and kissing and gazing and shopping-is-foreplaying.

Beyond the intoxicated-with-love bits, there is solid straight-from-the-chef content. Once again I'm reminded to put mise en place in place. The five classic French sauces clarified questions I'd had. Their recipes ar
Jun 12, 2011 Danika rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book, but can't really see myself making many of the recipes. If you want to make really upscale food and impress your friends, I have no doubt this book will help you do that. But for me and the audience I am cooking for (including 2 picky kids) it's too fussy. Most of the recipes had a lot of ingredients and steps, which are kind of a deal-breaker for now. But it's a lovely read and the photos (shot by my friend Lara Ferroni) are wonderful.
Jennifer Louden
Mar 20, 2011 Jennifer Louden rated it it was amazing
Shauna lives one island over and she came to our local bookstore last week. What a delightful joyful love filled gal. I have bought maybe 10 cookbooks in my life (me and cooking, we are still getting to know each other) and frankly, I bought this because I wanted to support Shauna but my Bob, who is a cook, loves the recipes. I love the essays. Its a story book of their falling in love with recipes. Beautiful, uplifting and one warning: a number of the recipes are fairly involved.
Sep 27, 2010 Spanky rated it it was ok
Too many high fat, high calorie recipes! I can't cook this way or we'd all be blimps with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Some of them look more healthy but overall it's not the kind of cookbook I would keep on my shelf.
Sep 02, 2016 Ganesh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, love
I love Shauna's writing! It's more nurturing and delightful than any meal I've ever had.
Apr 25, 2013 Pam rated it liked it
Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef is an interesting format for a cookbook.The life stories interspersed throughout the book are endearing and tell how they came to use/love the various recipes. I find the how-to pages on cooking, preparing, salting, and buying simple foods the most useful. In reality though, I would only use a handful of recipes from this book. Like three-cheese lasagna, warm rice salad, or pumpkin soup. Many recipes call for ingredients that I am not willing to try/buy (for various ...more
Madeline Ashby
Sep 16, 2011 Madeline Ashby rated it liked it
I'm giving this three stars simply because I haven't made any of the recipes contained within it. That's about half of the book's utility diminished, for me. My friend had it out from the library and I started paging through it because I love Shauna's blog. Then I started actively reading it as a book. As a foodie memoir and love story it's tough to beat; it ranks with the Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook in that regard. It's also beautifully styled and organized. My favourite parts were Danny's tips ...more
Sep 18, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I enjoyed the love story, and I liked both the author's writing style and the book's layout. Most of the recipes sound amazing, but are too complicated and time-consuming for the average home cook. I marked off about a quarter of the recipes in the book that I'd like to make. So far, I've made the gluten-free muffins, pancakes, and waffles and they all turned out good. My biggest issue with this book is the lack of editing. Some of the recipes are missing ingredients (they're mentioned in the si ...more
Mar 01, 2012 Lia rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first fourth of the book as GF Girl told about her courtship with the Chef. But then ... well, as I continued, I finally thought, "Shouldn't this book be entitled GF Girl writes about the Chef?" It started to feel the same. Every little essay felt like a rehash with some new little bit added in. There were a couple of essays toward the end that felt fresher and more lively. But the book was a disappointment. I loved getting to know GF Girl in her first book, but she's not in ...more
Apr 07, 2012 Ageena rated it it was amazing
5 stars, yep 5, because the story is engaging, the recipes I have tried are delicious and this book is on my to-guy-it list. I love the way they talk about food, the artistry, the fun, the adventure, and the recipes that are in the book not only, so far, taste delicious but come with ideas of how to play with them and make them different. This book makes me think of the old saying 'give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.' The Ahern's throughout the bo ...more
Dec 25, 2010 Stephanie rated it really liked it
The title of this is actually Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef; for some reason, it's correct for the e-book version, but not for the hardcover. It's a cookbook, but also the story of how the two of them came together. There are lots of good cooking tips from Daniel and lots of interesting sidebars about techniques or other cooking topics. For most recipes, they provide alternates (e.g., "If you can't eat dairy, try ... instead") and also a free rein to experiment with the recipes. Many gluten-free ...more
Oct 27, 2010 Clare rated it it was ok
What can I say? I am disappointed. The stories are fine, Shauna is a terrific writer, but I did tire of "before I knew Danny" prefaces.

What I am disappointed in are the type of recipes included. These are probably great recipes, but they are not practical, imho. In a restaurant, yes! At home, not so much. Not using ingredients that I would normally purchase, such as the featured proteins. If you are an experimenter with a food budget that isn't limited, then this is the book for you!

I can still
Aug 25, 2011 MonsterAteMy rated it really liked it
A lovely book. I especially enjoyed the essays between recipes (and really, those are the reason I wanted to read this book). The recipes themselves are a bit...advanced, which is fine, but not really what I was looking for. They are beautifully presented, and I did jot several notes for myself (mine was a library copy). I'm also a vegetarian, and most of the recipes here are decidedly not, though I knew that going in. Still, very enjoyable as a browse-and-gather-inspiration experience; recommen ...more
Feb 22, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
Not only are the recipes in here amazing, whether you're gluten free or not, but the stories are really lovely and charming. It's not just a cookbook, but a romance between two people and food.

My one complaint is that while every single recipe I've made is amazing, there are some editing errors in the text. There are a few places where they forget to tell you when to add an agreement and a couple recipes with tips that don't match the recipe. All in all though, the recipes themselves are amazin
Sasha Boersma
Feb 01, 2016 Sasha Boersma rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
A love story told through food!

Wonderful read for anyone managing celiac disease or gluten intolerance - love and food can mix with the right person.

The recipes reflect the stories and all sound amazing. The recipes themselves are very Seattle, because it's their story. So a lot of seafood. Recipes are also all slow, thoughtful creations - really only for those who love cooking.

This is one of her earlier books so all baking includes gums (warning for those who avoid those additives as well).
Rachel Maxwell
Jan 19, 2014 Rachel Maxwell rated it it was ok
I'm not impressed with cookbooks that think too much of themselves. I enjoyed the story parts of this book but I'm disappointed with recipes like poussin with red quinoa and rhubarb or braised balsamic rabbit. There were maybe 5 total recipe that dealt with gluten at all. The only part I found helpful or intriguing was the breakdown of what the different flours are good for. I didn't find a single thing I was interested enough in to cook!
This was so much more than a cookbook. It was a resource, an educational tool, and the road map to a journey. But more than any of those things it was a love story. About discovering yourself while redefining your relationship with food, and in doing so leaving your body and mind open to the possibilities of love. The only 'cookbook' I have ever read from the first page to last. I follow Shauna's blog, and I actually follow her recipes to the letter!
Jun 12, 2015 Tracey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
foodblog/cookbook (GF). half recipes and half love story (which parts I didn't read--they had my approval with "he converted his restaurant to GF without her even asking"). The recipes are (presumably) restaurant-quality and thus call for some specific ingredients--no doubt following such instructions would improve my cooking (at least with practice) but I am not ready to be that exact in my flour blends just yet.
Feb 09, 2011 Eron rated it liked it
I like Shauna James Ahern's blog and read it regularly. I enjoyed reading this autobiographical cookbook, but didn't love it. As I read it, the details of her life and romance didn't seem like any of my business, nor were the stories told particularly well. There are some good recipes in here, as in her blog, but there were also quite a few heavy, meaty or oil/fat filled recipes that just didn't seem appealing.
Mar 04, 2012 Kit rated it liked it
there are some outstanding recipes in this book, and the story that goes along with it is entertaining. For anyone who either IS forced to be gluten free, or anyone who suspects that maybe they should be, or for those who cook for people who have gluten issues.... I recommend it.Note: this is NOT a book for vegetarian diets :-) lotsa lotsa meat, albeit prepared in interesting and extremely well photographed ways.
Dec 07, 2011 Tina rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I love, love, love the stories in this book. In fact, Shauna and Danny have written a love note/cookbook that is sweet but not too sugary. This eating lifestyle book is balanced by beautiful photography and workable recipes that are best suited for a non-vegetarian/vegan. The author's combined experience and flexibility in the kitchen and years of experimentation with GF make this a wonderful bet for your own kitchen or as a gift to a GF meat-eating friend.
Kris Gösser
Jul 16, 2014 Kris Gösser rated it really liked it
I read a lot of cookbooks because I love to cook. This was the best one I've read to date. The mix of excellent recipes and stories to go along were well done, but what made it so excellent was the continual attention to technique. I learned more about HOW to cook—just little things like the right way to boil potatoes—than most cookbooks which just give you recipes and generic instructions.

An odd book to review. It's not current affairs or fiction or whatever else. But who cares.
Dec 27, 2010 Mrs.soule rated it really liked it
I'd actually give this book two different ratings. The (true) love story is five stars all the way - engaging, funny, touching, and well-written. The recipes on the other hand I'd give between three & four stars for their difficulty, long ingredient lists, and the frequent use of lactose (something plenty of people who have Celiac are unable to eat in addition to gluten). As a working mother, these recipes were fun to read and dream about, but impractical to add to our repertoire.
Nov 18, 2011 Amanda rated it it was amazing
This was my favorite Christmas present this year from a dear boy. Never thought a cookbook could make me cry; tears of happiness, of course.

Made my first dinner last night from the book - Potato Leek Soup with Truffle Honey. Incredible! I added fennel as well. Really, I'm not surprised that it was great. Thanks Shauna and Chef!
Amie Simon
Apr 01, 2013 Amie Simon rated it it was amazing
More than just a recipe book - this is packed with lovely stories alternately told by Shauna and her chef about life, joy, food, and dancing in the kitchen together while cooking. It's got a ton of tasty recipes, and most of them don't rely on replacing regular gluten options with gluten-free subs -- so even if you're GF, you'll get a lot of use out of this one.
Apr 14, 2013 Kelly rated it it was amazing
I'm glad to have this in my kitchen. I've been gluten-free for three weeks now, and while I'm not ready for the bread and stuff, I'm trying out other things which is always a pleasure. And I look forward to the breads when my body is ready! Sure, there are things in here I will never cook, but there are a lot of new things for me to try and I love that. Thanks Shauna and Daniel!
Leila T.
Mar 07, 2012 Leila T. rated it liked it
I think I might have tried one or two recipes from this. I did read the whole memoir-story, and I looked through almost all of the recipes (i'm a vegetarian, and unless a recipe looks like it can be easily adapted without the meat, i'm not interested). But on the whole they were a bit too complicated for my current preferred style of "throw everything in a pot and cook it for 30 minutes" cooking.
Jun 23, 2012 Chailee rated it liked it
I do love this book despite giving it only 3 stars. My only issue with it, is there are not many basic recipes in it, and since my 6yo daughter who I'm trying to cater to, I didn't find many recipes which would pass her strict standards.

In saying that though, I love the book.
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