Meet Ali Weiss: @BitchesBeGlutenFree

Showing the sexy side of a wheat-less world!

Jeff Swanson
Mar 2, 2016 · 5 min read

She’s much more than a gluten free girl. She knows herself, her friends and her city and she’ll fight all night to save what she loves.

Tell me about your provocative moniker

Actually my best friend came up with the name. It needed to be original, a little bit edgy, and unique. I was afraid that labeling myself as gluten free would put me in a box. There is a stigma that gluten free practitioners are hippies or nouvea riche or super health conscious. So I needed a name that would immediately counter that.

A handle like BitchesBeGlutenFree tells everyone that: A. I am gluten free, and B. different than others. At an audition I make my first impression the moment that I walk in the door, this is how I translate that to social media.

Are your followers more loyal because of the name?

They are, I try to make my Instagram account and my website hyper personalized. I post photos of myself, I give anecdotes about my family, I talk about my background, what I was like as a teenager. I’m not dishing out all my innermost thoughts and feelings but I definitely try to give a lot of me because I find that a lot of my followers are coming for the genuine sense of connection that I have facilitated. The connection isn’t just between me and them but even between my followers themselves. It’s become an authentic community.

Why have a food blog?

I love food, I’m passionate about food, but first and foremost I consider myself to be a writer and an actress. There are very few things left in our Generation “Y” world that truly encourage people to connect with one another. We are all hidden behind iPhone screens, we operate from behind a computer, we text instead of talk.

“We are a generation that is constantly connected but totally disconnected at the same time.”

My project started out simply as a way to show others the gluten free food that matched up to the food I ate before I had to change my diet. It has since turned into a platform for me to show people my other work and even facilitate meaningful conversations, and connections outside of the Instagram life.

The umbrella of the entertainment industry is not so small anymore. Food, fashion, music, literature and theatre are all encompassed under the same hood. I want to show that food can be a fine art itself, that a caption in an Instagram photo can be just as compelling as a newspaper article. My ultimate goal would be to expand people’s horizons to those arts by using something that we all partake in…food.

Tell me more about growing up in the city.

I am a rare breed now-a-days. There are very few people, I’ve found, that grew up in NY and are still here. I did go to California for college though.

Going to high school in NY was like the experience that a lot of people get when they go away to college. People watched Gossip Girl and they were horrified about what they were seeing, parents complained, but the reality is that Gossip Girl was pretty accurate for a lot of kids on the Upper East side.

I actually grew up in Greenwich Village, between the East Village, the West Village and SOHO, so I got my influences from a bunch of different neighborhoods. I was in and out of clubs, staying out late, I was meeting people from all walks of life. When you grow up in New York, you grow up fast and become a broad minded, culturally aware, adventurous, curious person. I think that has served me very well in my adult life and certainly made me stand out in college.

Where do you find yourself eating most often?

I eat dinner with my family very often. We usually go to Il Cantinori. It’s been around for a long time but has had a weird trendy resurgence recently. Another place we love is Bar Pitti.

A place that I find myself consistently going back to would be Congee Village on the Bowery. It’s like the epitome of old school NY: flashy, shiny soulful, melting pot of characters. Sometimes I struggle to eat there cuz I’m gluten free but they are always very accommodating, plus the people watching and ambiance make it all worth it. I would say that those three places are my most frequented places but of course you know I’m not factoring in where I go to eat when I’m drunk.

What makes NYC special?

I think NYC is special because everybody in NYC is special in some way, and a city is defined by its people. There is nowhere else in the world where you can encounter so many people from so many types of backgrounds. Even if on paper these people don’t stand out as being brilliant or innovative or particularly exceptional, everybody has a story, and in NY everyone is willing to share it.

What’s your ideal weekend night?

I would have dinner at Miss Lily’s, the original location, with a big group of my friends. I would eat the garlic shrimp and I would have multiple fruity cocktails. After that I would probably get in an Uber and go to Freehold in Williamsburg where I would dance my butt off until 3 am. Then I would go to the Tacos Morelos truck, right by the Bedford L stop. Whatever happens after that remains in the vault for only me and my friends to know.

What is your life philosophy?

I don’t think anybody should be ashamed to chase pleasure in any way or any definition of the word. My day jobs away from my food blog all involve decadence, adventure, spontaneity and pleasure. I try to infuse all of my life projects and endeavors with a sense of sexiness - define that as you will.

You can find Ali on Instagram @bitchesbeglutenfree, at her site or if you’re lucky enough you may find her on StreetBuff.

Jeff Swanson

Written by

I am 32 and from Boulder, Colorado. I am fascinated with “living in someone else’s shoes” so consequently I have lived in different cultures and countries.

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