Matthew and Nicole Knegt have been plucked from relative obscurity and thrust into the spotlight.
The Knegts, who are well known to Kelowna Farmers and Crafters’ Market patrons for providing tasty nosh to those who have gluten issues through their Four Spoons bakery, recently earned the attention of international cooking sensation, Jamie Oliver.
Oliver launched a foodie talent search on his highly successful YouTube channel, Food Tube, in November. The winners could eventually work with Oliver’s production team on an ongoing basis and gain access to his 1.15 million person fan base.
“We want to find the best people from around the world and get it up on Food Tube so we can share it with everyone,” Oliver said in a recent video about the project on his site.
The contest, thus far, has 10 contenders that Oliver’s production team hand-picked, and among them are the Knegts.
“They put us up, which was shocking and wonderful,” said Nicole, pointing out that they had sent in a package to Oliver’s food channel, without any knowledge that a competition would soon be launched.
Once they went on the site, the approvals started to roll in.
They’re currently at just over 17,000 views and have close to 1,000 thumbs ups logged.
The Knegts are the only Canadians in the running and they’re also the only ones focussed on tasty recipes for those who have food allergies.
“My very favourite thing to do is take a regular recipe, switch out a few of the ingredients and make a recipe that’s allergen free, that I can eat,” she says in the intro of her video, pulling out a gluten and dairy-free version of a recipe from Oliver’s comfort food cookbook.
“Until last week I had never eaten a cream puff or profiterole before, so I’m very excited to show you how to make these because they taste amazing.”
She then goes through making the cream puffs, and finishes up by snacking on the treat.
It’s all fairly simple, albeit professional looking, and that’s kind of the point. For someone like Nicole, the simplicity of eating can be surprisingly complicated.
“When I was a kid, no one else had allergies— I was the only one,” she said, pointing out that she wasn’t able to eat anything that other kids got to enjoy.
“When you get diagnosed with celiac disease you just can’t have gluten and that’s horrible and challenging. But when you actually see someone baking with different flours, it’s easier.”
Currently there’s no real resource of that kind. Some bloggers offer a cadre of gluten free options, but a professional food channel where you can watch and emulate those in the know has yet to be established.
“We would like to step in there and do that,” she said.
Seven of the nine competitors are from London, England, and the other is from Dublin, Ireland. The Food Tube producers have dubbed Nicole “the Canadian Queen of gluten-free baking.”
The Knegt’s video can be viewed here (http://ow.ly/Gm2yg).
Or You can follow Nicole here: