Flourless & Frozen

November 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

You know you’ve had a tough day when you’re forced to eat desserts all day.

 puddings- rice, tapioca, fruit, chocolate 

We had the “Flourless and Frozen” class today- never has a title been simultaneously nondescript yet appropriately named. We spent the entire day making flourless and frozen desserts. Yes, life has been harder.

 vegan sorbets & ice creams

 fruit compotes to top our “frozens”

We had an extremely busy month, which is why I’ve been quiet. School has been flying by and I can’t believe I’m already past the midpoint. Look out for more pictures and recipes! 🙂

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National Food Day

October 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

 CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) created Food Day, which is a day to celebrate and educate others about eating healthy, wholesome foods. As a subscriber to Nutrition Action, CSPI’s newsletter, I learned about food day at the beginning of the year. I have been looking forward to this day, anticipating the public’s reaction and the festivities people have planned.

Being in New York City, I was able to participate in two food day events- one at Times Square and one through school.

Event 1- Food Day at Times Square

 approaching Times Square Food Day tents

 was handed an apple and a variety guide

All the who’s who of the Food Day event were seated at this long table

What was cool: I saw Dr. Marion Nestle, whose blog I follow religiously, Dr. Michael Jacobson, whose the co-founder of CSPI, Mario Batali, who I grew up watching on the food network and Morgan Spurlock, who created Supersize Me.

What was weird: People like me were just watching them eat. Well, I did it for 5-10 minutes and then I snapped out of it. I mean, they were just eating. Not sure what I expected them to do. Perhaps talk to the public? Maybe they did earlier and I was just a little too late.

 i’m sure they’re famous. unfortunately i have no clue who they are.

 Morgan Spurlock

 Dr. Michael Jacobson

Event 2: Veggiecation & EatNYC’s Food Day Event

 i’ve highlighted some of the vendors i really liked

 40+ vendors/educators 

 my classmates & i with the one of our awesome instructors- Chef Barb!

 mini vegan tempeh reubens (rye cracker/bread, dijon mustard, tempeh, 1000 island & pickled cabbage)

one of my favorite vendors-  Regal Vegan with faux gras! funny, but delicious 🙂

Another delicious item from Northern Rye- a Finnish savory rice pie aka Karelian pasties

 Sun in Bloom

If you know me, I generally don’t like cupcakes and never buy them. I loved these cupcakes! and added bonus/surprise they’re vegan & gluten-free! what?! Delicious.


 Loved Jennifer Abadi’s food too! She had a delicious date, walnut & pecan cookie.



 This is pretty much icy fruit. If you don’t expect it to be more than that, than it’s delicious for what it is. 

 yes, I went a little cinnamon crazy on my apple icy

 this was my first time having raw ice cream and it was surprisingly good! mint chip was extra yum

 last but not least, a delicious quinoa falafel with a tasty tomato apply chutney from Saucy by Nature 

I had a great Food Day! It was great to be around so many people who care about making delicious tasty food with good quality ingredients. Though, that’s kind of the norm for me since I’m in school. 🙂 I’m definitely looking forward to next year’s festivities. Maybe I’ll even start my own!

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North Fork Trip

October 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Where is the North Fork?

 map from nyt

Chef Rich (an instructor at school) announced that he would be hosting a field trip to the North Fork. I had no clue where the North Fork was, but I signed up for the opportunity to milk a goat.

My classmates and I went on a two-hour bus ride and arrived at our first stop- Garden of Eve.

  Before we started our tour, Chef Rich brought us some breakfast. We had some mini cupcakes, cookies and cider. Yum yum yum! 🙂

1st : Garden of Eve – Organic Farm & Market

 sunchoke, fennel, beets, broccoli and more!

 fresh picked (pulled?) carrots

2nd : Macari Vineyards

 we tasted 4 wines

3rd : Catapano Goat Farm

 This is the reason why I signed up for the trip- very anti-climatic. I guess I thought I would be getting my hands and knees dirty filling buckets and buckets with milk. That was not advertised, only in my head.

We had one quick squeeze disposed to the ground…no buckets. The milking was not what I expected, but their gift shop left me completely satisfied. They sold an array of lotions and surprised me with a deliciously flavored honey lavender chevre.

4th : Greenport Harbor Brewing Company

We tried 3 or 4 different brews and got this awesome glass. I love their logo! It’s the North Fork/a whale. 🙂

5th : Pipes Cove Oysters 

This was my favorite stop. Even though I didn’t have any oysters, meeting the wonderful owners and this view was worth it.

I’ve never seen such beautiful pebbles and stones on any shore. I’m definitely not in Los Angeles anymore.

Our field trip was from 8am to 8pm. It was the longest and most fulfilling field trip I’ve ever been on. I was surrounded by wonderful people and amazing food. I can’t think of a better way to spend my Saturdays.

Wish you were here! 🙂

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NYC Catering Events

October 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

view from Brooklyn Heights

Private Party (Oct. 7)

A few weeks ago I assisted Personal Chef Minna Suh cater a small party for 30-40 people. It was my first official paid job in my new career. It was amazing! She was extremely knowledgeable and boosted my confidence in being able to be successful in this field. Helping her helped prepare me for last week’s Self Magazine/Pretty City’s event for 175-200 people.

Menu for Minna Suh

Duck Spring Rolls (non-veg)

Sweet Corn Mini Madelines

Mushroom Parsnip Tarts

Lemon Curd Crepe Rolls with Candied Lemon Zest

Chocolate Cherry Truffles

Self Magazine/Pretty City Event (Oct. 12)

The night before the event several CTP (Chef’s Training Program) students assisted the chefs on all the prep work. I along with my fellow CTP schoolmate poured our hearts and souls into supremeing oranges and slicing + toasting whole wheat baguettes.

How To: Supreme an Orange

Some stats: ~18 oranges=~250 half slices & sliced and toasted 415 slices of bread

Menu for Self’s event

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad on Mini Papadum (non-veg)

Tempeh Meat Balls with Sweet and Spicy Tomato Chutney

Goat Cheese and Beet Crostini topped with Orange and Dill

The event was hosted at Marquee night club, which was a weird venue, but what made it weirder was where our booth was located. We were a bit hidden in the back of the club across from a nail polish stand. If it makes you feel any better it was “healthy” nail polish.

It was an extremely mixed crowd and we spent most of the night explaining what tempeh was and handing bite sized treats to girls trying to balance their half bitten cupcake without ruining their freshly polished nails. I’ll have to admit that I enjoyed prepping more than the event, but I’m glad I went.

I left with a swag bag and a bag full of crostinis. It was a good day. 🙂

 all the swag

Friday Night Dinner

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Every Friday night my school is transformed into a restaurant that serves a 3-course vegetarian meal at $40 per person and you’re allowed to B-as much of-YOB without a fee. As part of the final project, each person who enters the Chef’s Training Program (CTP) works with an instructor and fellow group members to develop a menu, prep and cook the food. The main group is assisted by students from other CTP classes.

This past Friday, I was among several other students who helped CTP 201 prep their meal.

Not only did they develop a beautiful menu, they transformed the classrooms with fresh flowers, candlelight and string lights, which gave guests a relaxed backyard feel indoors.

We started prepping Thursday night and finished on Friday. Even though I knew what we were serving, to be honest, I didn’t know what it would look like or how the flavors would come together. Would they even come together? I was nervous.

Later that night, I finally saw how they were plated and had my ah-ha moment when I tasted everything. It was delicious. Why did I even question it? Afterall, this was their final project. They definitely knew what they were doing.

 latkes with picked vegetables, homemade applesauce and almond cream

 brussels sprouts & arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette

 tempeh collard rolls, cauliflower puree, tomato sauce & some $$$ mushrooms

I regret two things from that night: (1) not taking more leftovers and (2) not taking a picture of the dessert.

If you’re ever in New York City, make sure you come to a Friday Night Dinner. You won’t regret it!

FYI: Mine will be on January 13, 2012. Hope to see you then!

Finally in Culinary School

September 28, 2011 § 2 Comments

Goodbye Los Angeles

Last week I moved to New York City to begin culinary school at The Natural Gourmet Institute. I chose this culinary school over many others because it focuses on combining culinary arts and health. It is also the training grounds for some of the most well-known vegan and vegetarian chefs in the country. The school provides us with the best ingredients and cookware. All the food we use for classes is organic unless it is a rare fruit or vegetable that is out of season and/or native to another country which may be difficult to source organically.

organic veggies

I wanted to enroll in culinary school since high school, but never listened to that part of me. Since school began, my daily happiness and satisfaction levels reassure me that I am finally in the right place. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. It’s unreal knowing that I spend on a minimum 7-8 hours focused purely on learning, cooking and eating delicious foods. It’s amazing!

my new home for the next few months

I concluded my first week with knife skills and I have learned that the French are very particular about their cuts. A little too particular. 

If you were wondering, the highlighted portion displays an 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch dices which form perfect cubes for the perfect French dish, which I have yet to learn.

I’m excited to be here and hope to share some new and innovative recipes as I continue to learn.

Thanks for following me!

Yes, it’s official!
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