At a New York City luncheon on July 21, Schar, the European manufacturer of a large variety of gluten-free baked goods, announced plans for the opening of a manufacturing facility in the United States.Above is the delicious tiramisu, the perfect ending to a lovely meal by chef Jason Munger.
How rare for a gluten-free vegetarian to be able to enjoy so many of the exquisite antipasti made with Schar pizza crusts baguettes, crisp breads and crackers: mixed mezze, bruschette and the extraordinary miniature pizzas (goat cheese and pesto, roasted artichoke with manchego, and margherita con mozzarella di bufala). The main course selections, made with Schar breadcrumbs and pastas, were herb-crusted skate, breast of chicken stuffed with ricotta and red peppers, and fusilli or penne for the vegetarians.
Hannes Berger, President and CEO of Schar USA and Donna George, VP Schar USA, spoke about the planned expansion of Schar's manufacturing facilities (currently located in Germany and Italy) into the US, specifically, New Jersey, which is expected to be completed within the next 15 months. There are currently 30 products distributed within the US, and with this facility in place, there will be more to come.
Ann Roland Lee, Director of Nutritional Services, Schar USA, spoke about Schar's commitment to creating gluten-free products which are not only harmless to celiacs but healthy for them as well, by adding fiber and protein to often nutritionally-weak gluten-free flours, and by choosing flours which naturally are higher in protein and fiber, such as millet and buckwheat.
Colin Leslie, a young man who was diagnosed with celiac disease at the age of twelve, and who, since that age (he is now eighteen) has organized the Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease which has raised $230,000 for celiac research.
Alessio Fasano MD, Director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine gave a fascinating talk about the history and current methods of diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
Guests were a diverse group, and it was wonderful to meet Diane D Holtaway and George Sansiveri of the Rutgers University Food Innovation Center, Catherine Oddenino of Cooking Light and A Gluten Free Guide, Brian Todd, CEO of the Food Institute, Lorna Shafir of Kettle Cuisine, Rachel Begun, the Gluten Free RD, and Melissa Gibson CEO of New In Town.