Ilaria Bertinelli is an expert when it comes to food and nutrition, she is famed for her book, ‘A chef for Gaia’, her television appearances and for her gluten-free food blogging. But what led Illaria to write her book and become passionate about free-from recipes?
Illy, as she is also known, was born in Parma, Italy and grew up on her family’s farm which produced Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. She graduated as an interpreter in both English and Spanish and in 1997 she took over translation company, Interconsul as CEO.
But in 2010, Ilaria’s life changed completely when her daughter was diagnosed with two separate conditions, type 1 diabetes, and coeliac disease, at the age of six. Ilaria poignantly remarked at the time of the diagnoses that there were now ‘two unwelcome guests at her table’. The news prompted Ilaria to completely upend the way her family ate their meals. She was determined to help her daughter, but maintain some ‘normality’ when it came to meal times.
She later decided to record her experience in her best-selling book which was published in 2013. The book, ‘Uno chef per Gaia’ – ‘A Chef for Gaia’, describes the journey of Ilaria’s family following the diagnoses, it contains recipes and advice on cooking for coeliacs and diabetics and details the carbohydrate content count of each recipe.
The book, now in its second edition and with new recipes, has achieved renowned success and in 2016, alongside, journalist, Chiara Marando, and photographer, Lorenzo Moreni, the ‘Chef for Gaia’ blog, was created.
In 2017, Illaria won the 7th Edition of the “Chef Giuseppina Carboni” Rice Food Blogger Contest promoted by Risate & Risotti, that gives rise to the publication of a travel journal with recipes entitled “Food blogger in Viaggio”, Food blogger’s travels. Today, Ilaria often holds cooking courses, performs cooking shows and is the guest of TV programmes all over Italy.
*All copyright royalties are entirely donated to the Italian Associations for Young Diabetics (AGD Italia) and Coeliacs (AIC).