Heather Christo believes everyone should have access to delicious, nourishing and wholesome cuisine. An accomplished chef, blogger and cookbook author, Heather had established a reputation for creating delicious and inventive food and sharing her passion for cooking and entertaining on shows such as Good Morning America and as a regular guest on New Day Northwest, when life threw her a curve ball. In 2014, Heather and her daughters were diagnosed with severe food allergies and suddenly she was forced to rethink her whole approach to food and cooking, both personally and professionally. Diving into the challenge, Heather gave her kitchen a complete overhaul, ensuring that every new recipe she created would be free of the “Big 8” food allergens: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and cane sugar. With the ingredients of time, deepening knowledge and a hefty helping of perspective, Heather came to realize that while food allergies are a serious business, life and food needn’t be.
Despite Heather’s firm belief that an allergen-free life should not be one of deprivation, she was frustrated to realize that resources for adopting the lifestyle were lacking. What she needed but couldn’t find, was a culinary guidebook that could provide professional-grade, allergen-free dishes that were as gorgeous and appealing as they were nutritious and fulfilling. Heather created what she couldn’t find. Her upcoming book, Pure Delicious: 200 Delectable Allergen-Free Recipes Without Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Shellfish, or Cane Sugar (Pam Krauss Books; April 26, 2016; $30.00; Hardcover) is dedicated solely to living an allergen-free life to the fullest, and was written with the goal of inspiring and empowering individuals and families through safe, healthful, approachable and always delicious food. Serving as a complete lifestyle guidebook, Pure Delicious also includes an 8-week plan to guide readers through the time it takes an average person to clear the body of inflammation and symptoms from underlying food allergies or intolerances. Her eponymous blog, HeatherChristo.com, shares this focus and is updated six days a week with original, allergen-free recipes and photography.
Pursuing her Passion
Heather’s passion for food began at an early age when she learned to cook in her mother’s busy kitchen. Her attraction to the culinary arts only increased as she matured, and after college she enrolled in the California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, where she graduated with honors. She won an apprenticeship at La Folie, one of San Francisco’s top French restaurants, which turned into a job as pastry chef. Heather ultimately returned to her hometown of Seattle, where she opened her own catering company and spent several years throwing stunning cocktail and dinner parties and serving as private chef for her Seattle clients. In 2007, she hung up her chef’s coat to focus on her growing blog and to start her family.
An Expanding Empire
As a result of the overwhelming success of her blog – then a platform for sharing her culinary and entertaining prowess – Heather released her first book, Heather Christo’s Generous Table: Easy & Elegant Recipes through the Seasons (Kyle Books; May, 2013, $29.95). Combining her experience as a working mom, chef and entertaining expert, Generous Table chronicles her expertise in both formal and casual entertaining, focusing on food designed to impress.
Just prior to her second book release in April, this winter Heather will unveil Heathermade, a line of allergen-free baked goods which will be sold at select Costco locations nationwide. The line includes mouth-watering delicacies such as Banana Bread, Pumpkin Muffins and Ginger Molasses Cookies.
Heather currently lives in Seattle with her husband, Pete, and their two children, daughters Pia and Coco. She has passed her love of cooking on to her daughters, and they can often be found creating beautiful, balanced, and bountiful allergen-free masterpieces together in the kitchen.