Most of my friends and relatives now know me as a chef. Some of my clients call me a healer and even one client keeps calling me “Dr. Beau”.
Hello World, my name is William Beau Blackburn, a.k.a Chef Beau, “the Gandhi of Gluten Free.”
My mission: feed people amazing food while educating folks on how a tiny sugar protein called gluten can wreak havoc on your well-being.
Here’s the deal. Food is weird. What we eat affects our physical, mental, and emotional well being more than many of us realize. As a 100% gluten-free chef, my company, Beau K Catering, offers personal and private in-home catering services tailored to dietary sensitivities. We are raising the awareness of being gluten free one dinner party, one catered event, one family, one client…at a time.
A little about me.
My mother and father worked their butts offs, providing my sister and I an above average childhood. My mother raised my sister and I on “gourmet” meals such as herb-crusted salmon with demi-glaze and homemade rhubarb pie, rhubarb from my father’s backyard garden, which by the way is still in use 40 years later. I knew from a young age that watching my mother cook, I wanted to be a chef. Fast forward 35 years later, and I finally am one.
Yet, it wasn’t until just recently, when an immediate family member was diagnosed w/ Attention Deficit Disorder that I knew I needed to look into the nutritional link between food and his behavior as a chef. Was food the cause to his “disorder?”
See, I had ADD & ADHD too; diagnosed when I was 8 and in the second grade. My pediatrician told my parents to either eliminate all “white” from “Billy Beau’s” diet (and red dye #5) or try this new drug called Ritalin. This was 1976! I don’t even remember this time, probably because I had ADD. So my mom tried removing the flour from my diet but it was difficult. Just about all our meals contained some sort of flour from coffee cake and cookies, to pizza, and pasta. Not too mention, our sandwiches for school lunches were made with Brownberry Whole Wheat bread. Do you think my pediatrician was onto something in 1976? Who would have thought that wheat, barley, and rye grains, our household flours, sweeteners, and breads for years would launch into nutritional conundrum.
At the time my family member was diagnosed, I was enrolled at Kendall and working as a chef for Blue Plate and Behind the Scenes Catering when I met the Gut family. Almost everyone in the family, except the father had some type of food allergy or sensitivity to food that affected their behavior. They said that wheat gluten made both of their kids behave differently and it gave the mom, severe headaches and bloating. Most of them agreed, gluten was “poison” to them. So I told them I would start researching the benefits and side effects of this thing called “gluten” and what affects it has on the (American) body and mind.
My family has a history of Diabetes, addictions, and ADD/ADHD, and anxiety issues so I wondered how I could benefit nutritionally from the removal of this tiny sugar protein called gluten before I try and fix my families issues.
I was becoming a chef and I new what gluten was and how it was used in baking. What I did not know was how much processed food companies use wheat/gluten in their products. Wow, a lot!
I used to make the BEST Sicilian sesame sour dough bread (pictured). Not any more…:( The gluten is what makes the dough spongy. Gluten is used as a binder that simply sticks all the other ingredients together more efficiently. I even use to add gluten to my starter which gives the dough it’s sour/salty taste. So I knew what gluten was.
My research helped me conclude that gluten really could be the culprit of even my emotional struggles. However, I decided to test the theory first. My fiance, Sheila Flanagan and I (co-owner of Beau K Catering), decided to go gluten free together. I was skeptical, and also a little ignorant too. How could this one little sugar protein be the make-up of who I…was..? Sheila and I had different responses to removing gluten. Sheila’s, we will tell you about in a future blog. Here’s a hint…gluten was just the beginning…
My story continues below.
My first 3 gluten free days of what I call the “complete detoxification process” went by w/ no affects. By day 5 of the detox process, I awoke with what I now call cognitive thought for the first time in my life! Between 5 & 6 days and already I could sense something was different. I started to experience greater clarity of thought, emotional balance, peace of mind, but most of all, my anxiety was gone. And I lost 20lbs in 3 weeks! The results were transformative, empowering me to become the person I always knew I wanted to be—all by simply removing gluten from my diet.
Today, I am committed to spreading the word to anyone who will listen to discovering his or her true self through what you eat.
I have so much more to say but I want to keep my first blog under 1000 words. Thanks for reading.
Check back soon for more in the life of;
“The Gandhi of Gluten Free”