Q+A w/ GF Guru, Nicole Cogan
Hey, hi, hello and welcome to our @NOBREAD TAKEOVER!
Gluten, dairy, and soy-free… Many may think this means taste-free, freedom-free, fun-free and just plain SAD. Womp, womp, womp.
NOT TO NICOLE! After being diagnosed with food allergies, Nicole Cogan didn’t waste time dwelling on her new limited lifestyle. Instead, she found ways to make the most out of her restrictions, creating a thriving business that both gluten-eaters and haters, love! @NOBREAD is a lifestyle blog about Nicole’s gluten-free journey, including cooking and dining-out tips. A friend of by CHLOE., Nicole regularly stops by for some GF, plant-based meals and snacks!
This week, Nicole shared with us a few of her favorite vegan, gluten-free, easy peasy recipes for you to make at home. Check out her Butternut Squash Cheese Sauce, Cacao Avocado Pudding, and Sweet Potato Cookies!
by CHLOE: Introduce yourself.
NOBREAD: I’m NOBREAD… aka Nicole Cogan. Born and raised in New York, I love food (literally nothing makes me happier), I also love to travel, and I’m pretty spontaneous… if you ask me. NOBREAD is my website and Instagram dedicated to being gluten-free, but also enjoying all of the amazing food NYC has to offer.
bC: What lead to @NOBREAD?
NB: NOBREAD started when I was working at JP Morgan. I worked in Equity Sales and I was constantly taking my clients out for lunch and dinner, but I never knew what I could eat at these amazing restaurants without gluten! I started NOBREAD selfishly as a guide for myself to help me order at restaurants. NOBREAD translated easy to social media, and that’s how the @NOBREAD Instagram began! I grew a following pretty quickly, and that’s when I realized I was on to something great, sooo I left finance and here I am today!
bC: Did you always have a passion for food?
NB: No way. I was the pickiest eater growing up, and I basically ate the same thing everyday. Breakfast- cereal. Snack- Nature Valley Bar. Lunch- whole wheat wrap. Dinner- pasta (as you can see, lots of gluten, ha). When I went gluten, dairy, and soy-free, I was forced to become food obsessed, and now food is my passion.
bC: What are some challenges that come with running your own website?
NB: Well with a website specifically… when it CRASHES- nightmare. There have been instances where the site will crash and we lose 3 days of activity… so all the menus we’ve spent hours uploading and reviews we’ve written just vanish!
bC: What made you take the leap and make NOBREAD a full time job?
NB: It got to the point where I had two full-time jobs. One made me incredibly happy and I was so passionate about, and the other was a job. Nothing more. I saw the traction and positive responses I was getting with NOBREAD and knew I was onto something great.
bC: What tips or advice would you give someone who was recently diagnosed with a gluten allergy?
NB: It’s not necessarily advice, but I would reassure them that life goes on and tell them all the amazing things they can still eat (popcorn, tacos, etc), and tell them all of my favorite GF brands and restaurant options.
bC: What’s the best city for gluten-free dining? Top 3 restaurants there?
bC: What’s your favorite dish at by CHLOE.?
NB: My go-to order is the Spicy Thai Salad (no wontons) or The Greek Salad with a side of sweet potato fries and a GF Chocolate Chip Cookie (or two) to top it off. But the GF Mac N Cheese is life changing.
1. Nickname? Skippy.
2. Emoji that best describes you? The face with the stuck out tongue and winking eye.
3. Sweet or savory? Sweet.
4. Go to snack? Sweet potato chips/potato chips and anything with chocolate (as long as it’s dairy-free!).
5. Last meal? Chips and guacamole to start, obviously. A grilled protein with roasted brussel sprouts and sweet potato fries topped in sugar, followed by something super chocolate-y for dessert. Or kettle corn. Hmm make that chocolate kettle corn.
6. One food you cant live without? Avocado.
7. Song lyrics you most identify with? “We might be laughing a bit too loud, aw but that never hurt no one” – Billy Joel.
8. Weird personal fact? I don’t like when people touch me. Respect the bubble.
9. Super hero power? Read people’s minds. Specifically men.
10. Hosting a dinner party with 4 people (dead or alive), who would you invite? Sam Hunt, Jake Gyllenhaal, James Cordon, my friend Gaba.
12. Favorite board game? Candyland.