The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) has announced that its 6th anniversary celebration will be held at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia on September 30, 2009. The event, known as "Appetite for Awareness," aims to raise awareness and funding for celiac disease by featuring Philadelphia-area chefs, assisted by doctors from the region, cooking gluten-free meals.
The NFCA has retained the involvement of more than 35 restaurants by working with each to develop an alternative gluten-free menu and have their kitchens certified by NFCA’s gluten-free kitchen protocol training program. The event also will feature music, wine, gluten-free beer, an auction and raffle. The VIP reception, to take place on the arena floor, is scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., with the main event on concourse level set for 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Ticket information will be posted soon at the event website.
We attended the event in 2008 along with about 1,400 others and had a fabulous time. (Last year's event raised $340,000 for celiac awareness efforts.) In addition to samples offered by local restaurants (The Capital Grille's gluten-free lobster mac-and-cheese, anyone?), there were dozens of food manufacturers, distributors and stores providing samples, product information and discount coupons. For example, Whole Foods introduced its gluten-free vanilla cupcakes at the event before rolling them out to stores, while Schar handed out loaves of its bread and packs of hazelnut wafers to guests.