That’s me. And one of my team.

Gluten free food without the sacrifice

The Low Flying Duck was born out of a desire for me to share my new experiences of living with Coeliac disease and how to turn it from being a sad imitation into a culinary joy. The blog pulls together some great recipes, restaurants and other culinary sources that have helped me make the transition.

I source recipes from my favourite cookbooks and websites with modifications to suit me and my family. I always attempt to get permission to reproduce exact recipes and acknowledge the source.

The majority of the photographs are my own. Should you wish to use any of them, please contact me first.

Most of the restaurants reviewed are within Australia (mainly Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, where I spend most of my time). Hopefully in the future my duck wings will expand and I will roam the globe a little further, tasting and eating.

My sad farewell to superb bread

I was diagnosed as a Coeliac in December 2009, after prompting from my mother who found out she was Coeliac 10 years ago.

I have two young children – one who’s been tested (not currently coeliac) and the other who hasn’t yet – and a partner whose favourite foods include meat, nice squishy white bread and Twisties. My family now largely have a gluten free diet.

I design brands and websites for a living, and in my down time spend some of my happiest hours in the kitchen and behind a camera lens.

I am the person on weekends away with friends who volunteers to cook. I love it – the planning, the experimenting with tastes, the glass of wine as you cook and chat, and the joy that comes from serving a meal that others appreciate.

So, adjusting to gluten free eating has been a challenging transition to say the least.  Especially given an extreme love of fresh pasta, egg noodles, sourdough bread with vegemite (hello Iggy’s) and good pizza. My gluten free strategy is about focusing on what I CAN eat, rather than attempting elaborate recreations of dishes I can’t.

What the Duck?

The name of the site originates from the very Australian and irreverent saying: “I’m so hungry I could eat the crotch out of a low flying duck”.

One of my best friends Ginni (who is a branding genius and is also beautifully irreverent), came up with the name – fittingly over a sumptuous Japanese degustation dinner at Wasabi in Noosa. The chef prepared beautiful gluten-free versions of every course for me – and it was over that meal that the Low Flying Duck was born.

My 5 year old daughter designed the duck in the logo. It’s her first logo.

Questions and comments welcome

I welcome your input and will respond to any queries to the best of my ability, keeping in mind I’m a designer not a food scientist or nutritionist.

If you don’t already know, Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease, with a permanent intestinal intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. (A note about oats: Oats naturally contain a type of gluten called Avenin that is different to the type of gluten found in wheat, rye and barley. The Coeliac Society of Australia states that approximately 1 in 5 people with Coeliac disease react to uncontaminated oats. Please read the Coeliac Society position statement on oats and seek medical advice on whether this applies to you).

The immune system in a person with Coeliac disease reacts abnormally to gluten, causing small bowel inflammation and damage.The symptoms of Coeliac disease vary considerably. Some of these symptoms may occur on their own or in any combinaton: fatigue and lethary, anaemia, flatulence and abdominal distention, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, nausea and weight loss. Some people with Coeliac disease are ‘asymptomatic’, in that they have no obvious symptoms at all.

For more information about Coeliac disease, visit the Coeliac Society website.

This blog is purely about my personal experiences. It’s not intended to be a dietary guide for coeliacs or offer any diagnosis of conditions or health issues.  I am not a health care professional.  If you have, or suspect you may have, Coeliac disease you should consult your doctor about foods and ingredients that you may eat and those that should be avoided.

All recipes on this blog are gluten free unless stated otherwise.  If you are unsure about whether you may be intolerant to any of the ingredients used in the recipes, please ask your doctor.

The restaurant reviews on this blog are based on information provided to me by restaurant staff at the time of my visits.  However, restaurant menus, and the precise ingredients used in restaurant dishes, may change over time. If you choose to visit any of the restaurants reviewed on this site, please discuss their gluten free menus and kitchen facilities prior to tucking in.

I hope you enjoy the Low Flying Duck.

Vanessa Rowe