UPDATE: Tully’s has been rebranded as Tulu’s Gluten-Free Bakery
I first heard rumors of Tully’s new line of gluten-free baked goods on twitter back in October. I found their cute web site, with drool-worthy photos, but at the time it didn’t have much info. Then I got an email – they wanted me to sample their wares. They didn’t yet have distribution, but it didn’t take long for the buyers at my local health food store and even Zabar’s to get on the Tully’s bandwagon. Then, just yesterday I got an email from a friend alerting me to the arrival of Tully’s Gluten-Free Bakery in the East Village. Oh joy! Finally, Manhattanites avoiding gluten can enjoy a cupcake from a charming little bakery like the rest of the sweets-obsessed New Yorkers.
While Babycakes offers a range of gluten-free treats, they don’t have a dedicated gluten-free facility so there is always a risk for cross-contamination. Tully’s new shop though? It’s completely gluten-free! Not since Happy Happy Happy, shuttered have we had a truly gluten-free bakery in Manhattan.
The shop is on 338 East 11th between 1st and 2nd Ave is opening in mid-January 2010. I can personally vouch to the deliciousness of their cookies, brownies and cupcakes. The oatmeal raisin cookies are so tasty, my gluten-glutton co-worker who considers himself an ‘oatmeal cookie connoisseur’ deemed them “spectacular.” The brownies are moist and chocolate-y and the memory of the frosting on the adorable mini-cupcakes is making my mouth water as I type. Those sweets plus an expanded menu of gluten-free goodness (including paninis!) will be available once the retail space opens.
Fear not you, non-NYers, you can order the brownies and cookies online for delivery across the country.
I asked Tully herself to give us all a little background on her and the gluten-free bakery.
Q&A with Chef Tully:
What inspired you to start a gluten-free bakery? When is it opening?
I had been cooking professionally for four years before I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant. I went for a while without any baked goods, which was pretty devastating, until I got back in my kitchen and began experimenting. I started with box mixes and gradually worked up the courage to try gluten-free flours. I came up with some really great recipes and wanted to share them with the rest of the GF community. It is still hard for us to find freshly baked, delicious treats, and I want to change that! I hope to open my retail location in mid-January.
Will you be expanding your menu beyond the items currently offered on your Web site?
Yes, we will be baking six different varieties of cupcakes daily in both mini and regular sizes. There will also be muffins, scones and cookies, along with a few vegan items. We will also have several different gluten-free paninis.
Is your kitchen a dedicated gluten-free facility?
Yes, we will be 100% gluten-free!
How long have you been following a gluten-free diet?
Almost a year and a half, I was diagnosed in July 2008.
What did you miss the most when you were first diagnosed?
Cupcakes and sandwiches. Thank goodness I can eat them now!
What was your first job in food?
My internship at Gramercy Tavern right after culinary school.
Gramercy Tavern is one of the top restaurants in NYC. What was your biggest takeaway?
Working at Gramercy Tavern actually made me become more excited about the idea of working in catering, where the menu changes everyday, and there is more time in advance to prepare each dish.
What was the biggest challenge when you started baking gluten-free? Biggest triumph when you finally figured it out?
I really wanted every one of my products to taste exactly the same as gluten baked goods. Once I figured out how to make that happen, I was thrilled!
Are there any gluten-free baked goods you are still working on but haven’t been able to adapt to gluten-free yet?
I’m working on gluten-free donuts and would love to be able to make a great loaf of homemade bread. I am also testing out more vegan items to add to the menu.
How long have you lived in NYC? What are your favorite gluten-free restaurant finds in New York?
I’ve lived in New York for about four years now. The pizza at Pala in the Lower East Side is incredible. Caracas in the East Village has amazing arepas made entirely of masa (corn), and I love the falafel at Taim in the West Village.
What’s your favorite trick for eating gluten-free on the go?
I always bring a few slices of gluten-free bread when I travel or for sandwich orders at lunchtime. Mary’s Gone Crackers are a staple for cocktail parties.
What’s your favorite type of apple?
What’s your favorite cooking show?
The Barefoot Contessa and Top Chef
What’s one ingredient you can’t live without?
Cheese….any kind! And corn tortillas
What would you wish for your last meal?
An H&H onion bagel toasted with cream cheese. Oh how I miss those.
Tully has also generously offered a giveaway to one lucky reader – you will get the choice between a Tully’s sampler pack including brownies and both types of cookies to be shipped direct to you or a dozen mini-cupcakes if you live in the NY area and want to pick them at the bakery once it opens.
To enter, leave a comment telling us what you hope to see on Tully’s new menu by 6pm Eastern on Monday December 28th, you must live in the U.S. to be eligible. Blog or tweet about this giveaway and link to this post and you can comment twice (be sure to put @yumcat in the tweet) which will increase your chance of winning.
Happy Holidays!Tweet Pin It
Is there a restaurant or bakery you want me to check-out? A product you want me to review? Any other questions or feedback?
glutenguide at gmail [dot] com