Time is running out to enter this year’s Gluten-free Chef of the Year competition judged by celebrity chef Phil Vickery. The competition run by Coeliac UK, the national charity for people with coeliac disease, has two categories and is open to professional and trainee chefs. Entrants have until Friday 19 October to design a three-course gluten-free meal for two people. Menus must include at least two courses which include a gluten-free element, such as pasta, pastry, cake, bread, batter etc which must be made from scratch on the day of the live cook off on 12 November 2012.

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Damage to the gut lining occurs when gluten is eaten; there is no cure or medication for the condition and the only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet for life. At least 1 in 100 people in the UK have coeliac disease; representing a potential £100m market amongst those diagnosed with the condition and the friends and family they eat out with.

Phil Vickery, Coeliac UK’s Food Ambassador said: “More and more people are being diagnosed with coeliac disease and in today’s difficult times, it’s a market the industry can’t afford to ignore – there should be at least one gluten-free choice on every menu.”

More information on the competition can be found at http://www.coeliac.org.uk/node/212685