A Stapleton-based gluten-free artisan bakery won an international gluten-free pizza competition. Victoria Wolf and her husband, Rich Ouellette, started the Gluten Free Explorer, Inc. in 2015 when Wolf cut out gluten after ongoing dietary issues.
Both had worked in the food industry and decided to experiment with gluten-free baking. Wolf was not thrilled to enter the baking world. “You have to use about four to seven ingredients to replicate what that single protein does [gluten],” Wolf says.
But after many rounds of recipes, they have mastered gluten-free artisan pizza crusts, French bread baguettes and sandwich bread. They’ve also made a pound cake and are developing another cake recipe. “We want to provide what we miss being gluten free, which is the delicious-tasting comfort food,” Wolf says.
Their products are sold at Denver metro grocery stores and served in restaurants including Silvi’s Kitchens, The Good Son, Lala’s Wine Bar, The Crafty Fox, The Bistro at Stapleton, Serioz Pizzeria, and Denver Deep Dish.
This year they entered the 2016 International Pizza Expo for the first time. They didn’t realize it’s the “Super Bowl” of pizza, where 6,500 people in the pizza industry attend annually. “We rolled in having no idea what we were getting into,” Wolf says.
There were 30 entries in the gluten-free category, including entries from Seoul, Korea and Italy.
Despite attending on a whim, they won the best gluten-free pizza worldwide. “It’s amazing. I’m still in shock,” Wolf says.
To learn more about the Gluten Free Explorer, visit glutenfreeexplorer.com.