CORRECTION: Nelson is speaking September 22, not September 23.
Carmel Nelson had to learn how to cook. Her parents both had evening jobs, and her sister has only now, at 39, learned how to make spaghetti.
But it was a pleasant necessity; Nelson actually loves cooking.
“I’m a big fan of food network; it’s on my TV right now actually. I love learning about food and watching techniques.”
Nelson had to learn a whole different set of techniques after she was diagnosed with being severely allergic to cow’s diary and gluten.
“Allergies force you to re-learn everything. The basic food staples, you can’t cook with anymore, and you got to start from scratch.”
Nelson started reading allergy cookbooks, like Bette Hagman’s “The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread
As helpful as it was, some reciepes didn’t apply for people with multiple allergies. So Nelson decided to change that.
She teamed up with her high school friend, Amra Ibrisimovic, to make a cook book that provided recipes for several common allergies: gluten, dairy, soy, corn, nuts and shellfish.
Nelson said that not only the number of people with allergies are increasing, but also the number of people with multiple allergies.
Nelson has a masters in social work from UAA. She has never taken a culinary class for credit, and prefers a “learn as you go” approach.
She plans to lead several cooking classes at Allen and Peterson Appliance Center and Viking Cooking School in the future.
She will be at the main campus bookstore on sept. 22 at 5pm.