A Talented Chef Who Can’t Eat the Food She Prepares Due to Allergies

Great Big Story visited Kathlena Rails of The Allergy Chef, a talented culinary artist who can’t eat the food she makes due to extreme food and environmental allergies. She is also the founder of RAISE, a large platform featuring recipes and cooking lessons for others living with allergies

Kathlena has made it her life mission to create delicious ‘free from’ alternatives for people suffering with restricted diets, but her own allergies are so severe that she can’t taste her delicious creations, and often has to wear a full face respirator to cook. Despite this, she started an amazing resource called RAISE that provides safe recipes for people living with food allergies and dietary restrictions.

Because she understands what it’s like to live with allergies, Kathlena has made it her mission to help other people find safe foods by developing recipes that exclude allergens but not taste. 

I will find all of these strange ways to bring back flavor and texture and experience when you thought you’d never have it again. It includes the entire community. No one gets left behind.

To ensure her own safety, Kathlena wears a respirator while she’s cooking and while she’s shopping.

For Kathlena to cook certain foods safely, she wears a respirator. I think I’ve had to wear my respirator for about seven or eight years now. I make it look cool and look good, but it’s really uncomfortable. …So when you’re at the grocery store, corn is everywhere, right? The wax on produce is corn derived, even like the adhesive on the stickers that they use, usually corn derived. It’s in so many places that you literally cannot avoid it unless you buy a piece of land and never leave.

The Allergy Chef

Here are some helpful videos by Kathlena, The Allergy Chef.