Growing up, I was that kid who watched reruns of Julia Child in place of Saturday morning cartoons. I have such a vivid memory of my first time cooking–I was five and made a blueberry lemon pound cake with my mom. After that I was seriously hooked. I knew early on that I wanted to be a chef, but my interest in chemistry led me to major in Food Science and Technology at Clemson University. During my summers, I cooked in restaurants from South Carolina to Idaho and worked under several award winning chefs, whose training still influences me today. Working in these restaurants was absolute heaven for me, and I loved every stage of the process. The quiet monotony of prep work in the mornings. The frantic whirlwind that is the dinner rush. The scrubbing and mopping at the end of a long day. I couldn’t get enough.
But during college, I could tell that I wasn’t feeling like myself. After visiting countless doctors, I learned that I have celiac disease, an autoimmune reaction to gluten which, in my case, causes seizures. The news felt like a punch in the gut—I knew I wouldn’t be able to work as a chef, in the traditional sense. But this isn’t some meandering pity party! With the help of friends and family, I was soon back on my feet and ready to use my love of cooking.
I know from experience that finding food that is delicious and also meets your nutritional specifications can sometimes be a nightmare, and Julia B’s was created to ease some of that pain.