My name is Brett. I love cooking, sharing, and eating food. Giant Hippo is dedicated to promoting the cause of eating authentically and well without a host of food allergens, specifically all forms of gluten (wheat, barley, oats, and rye), dairy, egg, sesame, peanuts, and tree nuts (except for coconuts). I began cooking without these common ingredients after discovering my toddler son is allergic to them. This website is a ongoing compilation of original and adapted recipes that are friendly to those who love to eat while on restricted diets.

I come from a family, a culture, and a region that reveres food and relishes every bite. Food isn’t just about physical sustenance. It’s about history, about family, about culture. It’s a large part of who we are, who I am, and I want my son to be able to be a part of this continuum. I’m not going to let some food allergies get in the way of culture and history! My son will eat, and he will eat well.

The cooking, serving, and sharing of food connects us to those before us, from our grand parents and great grandparents to our cave-dwelling ancestors who probably worked harder than any of us ever have to get food on the table (or stone tablet, log, or whatever). Whenever I cook a meal for family or friends, I do it within this historic and prehistoric context.

One day I’ll get around to writing more about this topic; for now, though, I say on with the food (and recipes)!


r2d2And I’m Dan, the other half. Ditto what she said.

When applicable, we’ve marked recipes as shellfish-, fish-, soy-, corn-free, etc. to assist folks with those other common allergies.

As a home cook, we focus (1) on getting food on the table and (2) providing “authentic” food for my family. The first goal is easy to understand. The second goal requires explanation.

By “authentic,” we don’t mean slavish imitations. Of course, by its very nature, a kitchen devoid of wheat and all other forms of gluten, dairy, egg, peanuts, sesame, and all tree nuts except for coconut (as is our kitchen) is not going to duplicate certain dishes exactly.

But duplication is not our goal. Authenticity, as in trying to understand and be faithful to the intent of the recipe — the taste, textural, and visual goals of the recipe — is a major goal of ours. What exactly was the person (or likely persons) who created this recipe trying to do? What was his or her culinary and aesthetic point?

Additionally, we’ll share information about the ingredients we use, where we buy them, our favorite kitchen implements, and personal thoughts about allergies, food, and what eating means to me in the greater context of family, culture and history.

Happy eating! Sik fan! Smacznego! Mangia, mangia! Bon appetit!


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