Archive for August, 2010
We have been working every day these past two weeks to make sure our culinary showcase was a success. I believe it was. Every chance I got I would ask an attendee if he or she thought this year was enjoyable. Without exception the answers came back: “Loved it!” “I learned so much!” “It is amazing what you can do with a tomato!”
One student I asked said it was the perfect ending to the six week course of Gourmet Raw Food Chef Certification. She said she appreciated it even more since she had taken the classes and watching the Professional Chefs give demonstrations she was awe inspired and now knew that she could truly achieve her goals.
One joy of our dahlias was finding this very small frog. I measured it and it is smaller than my thumbnail!
Our pond is so restful to sit near. Even the birds do not pay any attention to us, but go about drinking the water and taking a bath.
I keep reading pieces about how high school and college aged kids, when asked to name their heroes, used to list such bastions of heroism as MLK, jr. and Gandhi, but now tend to just list off celebrities. I’m not surprised. We, as a collective consciousness, have become so cynical it’s no wonder our children find their safety and comfort in fads and fashion. There’s nothing to be done about it. When our kids are ready for heroes, they’ll find them and in the mean time we grown-ups have to try and live heroically. We have to try and be kind and respectful and honorable so that although their larger-than-life roll models may be consumerized plastic cut-outs, their local ones are real and true.
The staff here at Living Light has been pretty heroic these past few days. The Chef Showcase ended last night and it was super fun and filled with yummy treats, but also a ton of work. Vinnette Thompson is here for the Chef Showcase and she is definitely one of my heroes. First of all, she specializes in desserts while she’s here and I love desserts. (I swear I ate a third of a mudslide pie the other afternoon.) For the showcase, she presented a Coconut Custard Pie and Chantilly Lemon Bars. Both were absolutely delectable. That woman is a genius with textures. She’s definitely a celebrity, too. Besides being a guest instructor here at Living Light, she has her own raw business – Raw Food Underground (cool name, huh?) and she used to be the chef at the Hippocrates Institute. How cool is that? Check out her demos on-line as part of our encore package.
Of course, Living Light’s all the time heroe Cherie Soria did a fantastic job as hostess of the showcase. She was warm and engaging – she really kept things rolling and makes a fabulous television personality. She makes a fabulous heirloom tomato tart, too – another recipe you can check out on-line as part of our encore package. You can still sign up for it and see all these hot chefs do their thing. Heroes or celebrities? You decide.
(And locals – while your thinking about it, come into our cafe – we have dessert platters on sale for $2.95!)
Okay, I’ll confess…August has always been one of my least favorite months. Flowers start to look wilted and dusty, and I’m over summer (never my favorite season anyway; I’m a fall kind of girl). Also, there’s something about Saturn being in my first house in August….(not sure if I got that right, but there’s kind of a strange heavy feeling in the month of August that is sometimes hard to shake.)
As soon as September rolls around, though, I’m already feeling a new spring in my step—the air feels lighter and cleaner, and I just love the way the sun slants down differently than it does in summertime. It might be partly because I always enjoyed starting school when I was a kid. I liked my new fall clothes in my favorite color palettes, I loved meeting my new teacher and finding my way with classmates, and I really loved diving into books, projects and new things. I still adore fall, and find that even now I feel inspired and ready for adventures in learning.
I also like the long stretch of colorful leaves, brisk breezes, pumpkins and root vegetables, cozy evenings by the fire, and warm soups before winter begins.
At Living Light, it’s back to school again, too. Of course we have ongoing classes all year, but somehow the fall seems to attract even more students to the school. The months before December get really busy as our classes fill up with new, enthusiastic students. Speaking of new things to learn…anyone who missed the Living Light Chef Showcase can still watch by signing up for replays. Learn the tricks and tips of celebrity chefs no matter where you live—and catch the excitement of the event…it really is a great educational experience. Step by step demos, all the recipes, and lots of bonuses, too.
Register Now to see the 3rd BEST OF RAW Truly Raw Cacao Contest streaming live online beginning at 4:00 PM Today! Laura Fox is creating another rawsome off-the-charts fun contest that you can watch for free. Just click the link above to register and win free prizes while the judging is taking place!
Watch the judging of 16 brand new raw chocolate recipes made by chefs in three categories. This fabulous online event is the kick off to the Living Light Chef Showcase: Hot Chefs, Cool Kitchen beginning tomorrow! Join us for this deliciously sweet event you won’t want to miss!
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Attendees are arriving, and celebrity chefs will be on hand in the next two days. Speaking of chefs, I decided it would be a great idea to gather some words of wisdom from all of the wonderful, talented culinary artists who will be joining us for the event this weekend: teaching, creating, and inspiring everyone at the highest levels….they are all beautiful on the OUTSIDE and the INSIDE! Speaking of beautiful, we’d like to send our love to Chef Tina Jo, who took a tumble from her horse, and will not be able to join us after all. Vinnette Thompson and Sheree Clark will be making her recipes, and we know she’ll be watching from home! Get better soon Tina Jo—we love you and will miss you here at Living Light!
So here are a few choice morsels, top tips, and amazing insights from our celebrity chefs:
Low Glycemic Goddess Elaina Love
In order to find balance, first stop looking so hard. You have the answers within you. They’ve been there all along.
Mother of Gourmet Raw Vegan Cuisine, Cherie Soria
Infuse your food with love, and eat mindfully. Commune with your food when you buy or grow it, wash it, peel it, slice it, and of course, when you eat it!
“Mr Flavor” Super Chef Chad Sarno
‘Don’t fear getting in the kitchen and exploring your creativity, take the jump and let the quality of the ingredients guide your dish;
Raw Cacao Queen Colleen Cackowski
Food is information. The minerals and nutrients in food give your body and its DNA information to do its job perfectly. The more high quality information you give yourself, the more equipped your body is to perform at an optimal level.
World Traveling Adventurer Kirsten Gum
I love the moment when someone who’s never eaten raw has that very first taste and lights up from the inside out. It’s THAT moment when the transformation begins, the re-connecting between our energy source and our spiritual and physical self.
Top Teacher, Author, and Chef Jennifer Cornbleet
When making a new recipe, read twice, measure once, and enjoy ALWAYS!
Montreal Mega Star Athlete Martine Lussier
As an athlete from a young age, my view is that physical training and living foods make a perfect pair. And don’t forget rest! A body well rested performs much better, too.
The Raw Gourmet, Nomi Shannon
If you can’t be all raw, all the time, you can still be high raw most of the time, all raw some of the, time, and happy with it all of the time.
Bountiful Beauty Heather Haxo Phillips
Before traveling to third world countries—boost your probiotics w/ plenty of fresh, raw sauerkraut and kimchee. Grapefruit Seed Extract is alkalizing and contains beneficial bacteria to protect against waterbourne and food illnesses.
Green Smoothie Genie Victoria Boutenko
To get kids to drink green smoothies, start making smoothies that aren’t green, like strawberry –over time, add one green leaf, then two. Eventually kids understand that color never detracts from taste. Or, give the smoothie a creative name like ‘Power Blaster Drink’ or ‘Green Monster Slurper’
Dessert Diva Vinnette Thompson
Keep the Vitamix on high and have fun!
Archie’s birdhouse sold for almost $200.00 this past weekend at the Mendocino Botanical Gardens . They served wine, fresh veggies and other delicious snack foods. Another birdhouse was bought out right – no bidding – for $1,000.00. Wonderful!
I went up to the woman who bought it and congratulated her not only on her good taste, but also on being so generous to the gardens. She smiled and was pleased. Later I found out that her husband was the artist. I thought of purchasing Archie’s as I know the grandchildren would love it, but Archie frowned. Oh well, he can always make another for the children!
Yes, Fort Bragg can produce (pardon the pun) beauty.
If you can not make the Chef Showcase this coming weekend, be sure to sign up for the Live Streaming of our event. Some people are doing both: that way they can see and taste the food in person, and then watch the video for two months afterwards to fine tune their own chef abilities with that of the Showcase chefs.
The Living Light Chef Showcase is next week! When we get down to the home stretch everyone who works here musters up everything they’ve got to get it all done! There’s excitement—the thrill of the race to finish everything in time, and then VICTORY!
We get to see all of those happy faces enjoying every minute of the event—ooooing and ahhh ing about the food, mixing and mingling with chef celebrities, Living Light grads, and enthusiastic attendees…zowie! It’s fun, and definitely a reward after months of preparation.
So whether you’re making the road trip to be with us in Fort Bragg, and experience it in person
The Living Light Chef Showcase, Hot Chefs, Cool Kitchen starring your favorite raw food chefs! Tonight’s the night—you have until midnight PST before prices go up!
Be part of the smart set and save money to boot!
People say that the only thing in life we can really count on is change. It’s annoying. I want to count on cozier, more comforting things than change. Good old dependable change. I guess it’s true, though. I’m trying to think of things in my life upon which I can count that are static, and other than silly answers like “gravity”, I’m not coming up with much. I don’t mind big changes. I’m flexible and adaptable and I tend to land on my feet. But, pull my favorite TV show off the air or discontinue one of my favorite products and I’m sent into a tail-spin of disillusionment, anger and anxiety.
By the way, the price for the live streaming of the Chef Showcase – Hot Chefs, Cool Kitchen – is going to change. It’s going up from $157.00 to $197.00 at midnight on August 19th. So – you should purchase yours right now and avoid that bit of predictable discomfort. Or come see it – it’s next week and we still have a couple seats left in our studio audience. If you’re local you should give my super fantastic roommate Amanda a call and see if she has any spots left for volunteers. However you do it, you really shouldn’t miss this chance to see all these fabulous chefs presenting cutting edge recipes from the ever changing world of gourmet raw cuisine.
Okay. We can count on zucchini in August. We can count on school starting back up soon. We can count on fog in Fort Bragg, evidently. And hopefully we can count on ourselves. And if we can’t, we can change.
Our garden is truly taking off. Saturday Archie and I had a wrap for lunch. I learned about wraps during FUNdamentals: take lettuce and whatever you have in the kitchen and wrap the lettuce around it for a sandwich. I took a leaf of kale, spinach, red romaine, green romaine, red leaf lettuce, and kale again and layered it with leftovers in the refrigerator. I also put mini peppers (not from our garden) on the plate and a glass each of our cool well water. Heaven!
On Sunday we went wine tasting at Esterlina’s where they also provided a barbeque for the club members. The best salad was blueberries, strawberries and raspberries without a sauce of any kind. The shish kabobs were great with green and yellow squash, peppers and my favorite: red onions. The onions were so sweet!
We went to a couple of other wineries afterward. I wanted to go to Handley’s Winery as they had said our favorite white wine, Brightliner, would be offered this August. In September of 2001 Archie proposed to me with that wine in one of the glens on our property. We’ve always celebrated our anniversary with that wine. Three years ago they discontinued the wine. My friend Sandi – who also loves Brightliner – always complains about the lack of our favorite wine during the Whale Watch Festival. Last March we complained again and the woman – who recognized us of course – was so happy to tell us that it would be available again this August. Hooray! They had it! We bought ½ a case of it to have it on hand. Of course we gave a bottle to Sandi as well.
Speaking of celebrations, the Chef Showcase - Hot Chefs, Cool Kitchen - is next week! It’s sure to be a real celebration of raw culinary arts. There’s also a non- hosted dinner offered to our studio audience, presenters, etc., by Living Light and the Stanford Inn. The dinner will be at the Stanford’s Ravens’ Restaurant - recently featured in O Magazine. The menu looks delicious; featuring fresh, local produce it’s a vegan’s dream come true. And the atmosphere at Ravens’ is quite romantic. If you’re coming to the Chef Showcase, you really shouldn’t miss this special dinner.
You know vegetables are coming into their own when famed auction house Southeby’s decides to put some rare heirloom varieties on the block. Does this mean the world is waking up to the power and beauty of a vegetarian/vegan/raw lifestyle? The article, from The Wall Street Journal, no less, touts the benefits of organic vegetables, and organic farming. Not to give away too much, but I loved some of the names of these pedigreed vegetables:
Black Sea Man Tomatoes, Lady Godiva Squash, and the aforementioned Red Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce. One of the farms profiled sounded pretty interesting, too! Ornery Farm in the Catskills….aw, shucks…how can vegetables be ornery?
One of the great things about the Sotheby’s article, is that it can turn people on to the value of these very special heirloom varieties of vegetables. They are almost always tastier and more beautiful than their mass produced cousins. There are some great places to get heirloom seeds, including the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company (with a branch in nearby Petaluma)–stop for a visit of you are coming to the Chef Showcase! A couple of places I’ve always admired are Seeds of Change and Seed Savers Exchange, and they have the Lady Godiva squash seeds! As I was doing my research for this blog, I came upon a YouTube video about the Baker Creek seed company featuring none other than John Kohler, one of the finalists in our Hot Raw Chef Video Recipe Contest, and creator of the Raw Health Expo in Santa Rosa.
If your budget doesn’t permit a
bidding paddle at Sotheby’s, we’ve got some terrific prices for three days of non stop fabulous raw chefs creating incredible dishes to inspire you!
If you are viewing via he internet, we can guarantee it’s a bargain…dozens of demos with top chefs, a recipe book, The BEST OF RAW TRULY RAW CACAO CONTEST, and lots of bonus prizes. If you are coming to Fort Bragg, we can’t wait to see you–we have so much planned to share!
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- Field Report: The Evangelists for Heirloom Vegetables (nytimes.com)