Slade Grove Makes Gluten-Free Amaretti Cookies

Categories: Pie Social

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Diderique Konig

Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the third annual Pie Social Saturday, November 3rd, from 2 to 6 p.m. on Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix. We've got an all-star line up of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now til Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one. We challenged each to make us something -- anything but pie.

Today: Slade Grove of Slade Grove Creative Gourmet makes gluten-free Amaretti cookies.

See also:
-Wait 'Til You See the Final Celebrity Baker Lineup for Pie Social 2012!
- 9 Favorite Metro Phoenix Spots Where You Can Eat Gluten-Free

Sugar runs in the family. Growing up in Farmland, Indiana (population: 1,341 in 2008), Slade Grove's grandmother owned the only pie shop in town and his mother made candies for her family around the holidays.

It was during one of these times in the kitchen that Grove picked up Betty Crocker's cookbook off of his mother's bookshelf. It was this book that inspired this chef to start baking at age 8, using her recipe to make cream puffs for the very first time.

Grove's kitchen, along with the rest of his condo, has orange walls -- a shade somewhere between caramel (his favorite candy) and pumpkin, casting a warm glow throughout his galley-style kitchen.

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Diderique Konig
The Magimix food processor and KitchenAid stand-up mixer are the two most important tools in Grove's kitchen.

But just because space is limited in this kitchen, it doesn't mean the chef doesn't have it fully stocked -- with every appliance, utensil, and tool necessary to create, bake, and try his goods. His home kitchen is also his test kitchen, after all.

Tool chests from Sam's Club, extra storage spaces and perfectly organized drawers make it easy for Grove to find any utensil he's looking for. The counters are packed with stainless steal appliances, including his two must-haves: a Magimix food processor and KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

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Diderique Konig

"Baking is fun, it's precise" Grove says. It must be the engineer in him, he adds, since he loves the math and exact measurements baking requires.

Talking animatedly about his love for the caramels he creates, he proudly tells us about a new line of gourmet caramel sauces he is currently working on for Whole Foods, and how he uses only natural ingredients, without any additives or preservatives.

"Caramel requires so few ingredients, but makes something so crazy good," Grove adds with a big smile on his face.

His philosophy: "If you can't pronounce it, don't eat."

This leads to a discussion about a trip to the grocery store where some foods have ingredient lists containing scary and unpronounceable names. "Beef flavoring in ground beef?" he asks with a look of disgust, " I grew up on a cattle farm... If we wanted beef we would slaughter a cow."

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