Posts tagged ‘fort bragg’
Vinnette Thompson is an amazing teacher and a remarkable person who brings a smile to everyone’s face – and not just because she makes terrific desserts. She also makes creating the desserts a memorable experience. Students learn how to work with a variety of ingredients – Pastry Arts classes are a combination of theory, culinary demos, and practical hands-on training, from a master in the art. Learn how to use binders, thickeners, emulsifiers and gelling agents; how to choose the right sweeteners and fats for a variety of classic pastry recipes and discover the secrets of making exquisite raw desserts that taste even better than famous cooked desserts!
It’s definitely a thrilling class for people, because they’ve learned a lot of fundamental skills in our other classes, and they can now translate those skills into unbelievable confections. The Pastry Arts – Unbaked! course is definitely its own reward…mmmmm.
The good news is that Vinnette is going to be here for an entire month. She’ll be teaching during all of our advanced courses, including Ethnic Flavors in Recipe Development, Raw Fusion Gourmet Spa Cuisine, and Raw Event Catering and Elegant Entertaining. Her bright spirit is a wonderful tonic for everyone who meets her! Yay, Vinette – we’re glad you’re back! And if you are interested in a Pastry Arts Certification, you can start with FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods May 16 and stay through Pastry Arts – Unbaked! June 16- 19 – what fun! Call Mary Elizabeth or Amanda in enrollment for all the details: 707-964-2420
A classically trained chef, Vinnette earned her culinary arts degree from the Culinary Institute of America and is also a graduate of the Living Light Culinary Institute, where she now teaches a variety of classes. Vinnette has two culinary passions, vegetarian cuisine and culinary education. A chef for over 25 years, she caters privately and teaches culinary arts for the Palm Beach school district in Florida.
The weather is so nice here in Fort Bragg right now I can’t stand it. It’s sunny and bright and not windy – just lovely. It’s been like this for, like, twenty four hours and already I can’t remember what a pain it was to defrost my car window for about a million mornings in a row up until now. Everything’s beautiful today and that’s all that matters. Valentine’s Day was lovely, too, by the way – just as I suspected it would be. We had yummy, heart-themed treats here in the office and my sweet boyfriend took me out to a lovely vegan dinner at the Ravens Restaurant at the Stanford Inn in Mendocino. It’s funny how sometimes life seems rather dismal and then all of a sudden it seems shiny and full of potential. I know, I know – it’s me, not life that fluctuates like that. But still – I’m sure at least some of you can relate to what I mean. And I’m proud to say that I’m getting better at moving through the dismal times as quickly as possible in hopes of getting to shinier ones.
If you are feeling a little dismal, why don’t you go ahead and make that call to Living Light and sign up for our next Associate Chef and Instructor training today. We’re extending our deadline for all the super fabulous discounts we offer, so it’s not like it’s too late. Sometimes, the way to making our days shine is by getting into action. Procrastination is a sure-fire trick for prolonging the darkness. At least I know it is for me and so often, taking the necessary step isn’t half so scary as I thought it would be and the next thing I know – all is well. Try it! Embrace the light!
Last Friday, Living Light participated in the Fort Bragg Food Bank’s first annual soup and chili cook off. And guess what? We won!! Our Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder beat all others – quite the vegan victory, if you ask me. We were up against some local heavy hitters, too. I’m so proud of Joe and his whole kitchen/café crew, especially Living Light Gourmet Raw Food Chef grad, café employee and chef extraordinaire Elyse who made a most beautiful hostess at the Living Light table. I’m also proud of our own Amanda who planned the event and sits on the food bank’s board of directors. I got to witness this sweet victory from behind the bar, where my boyfriend and I served local beer and wine to the soup-hungry attendees. If you missed the event, you can come in and try this award winning treat in our café – just call ahead and see when we’ll have it available. But be sure and come next year. We’ll be defending our Golden Spoon against all comers and it’s for such a worthy cause – especially at this holiday time of year.
Speaking of the holidays, I think it’s time for fellow blog goddess Kristin and me to start rocking our holiday blogs for 2012. We like to use this time of year to reminisce and share holiday stories and ideas. It’s pretty quiet here at work as the school closes for a few weeks and the new year rush doesn’t usually kick in till after Christmas. It gives us a chance to highlight some of the more personal sides of Living Light and its employees. I bet we’ll have more examples of the role Living Light plays in the local community, too – more reasons to be proud. The Golden Spoon is a great start, though. I can’t wait to see how we’ll top it next year!
Dr. Dwayne W. Dyer says, “The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.” Well fine. I just hope he doesn’t pop over half an hour before we’re supposed to leave for school/work on any given morning. My kids started school yesterday. Another summer’s over. Back to hectic mornings of lunch boxes and three people to get ready to go instead of one. Back to homework and projects and band practice. Back to laundry, laundry, laundry. I think I’m dreading it much more than they are. And don’t get me wrong, mine are big kids now and get themselves ready and all that good stuff, and the only reason I make their lunches is because I like to. Anyhow, my daughter begins high school and my son’s going into sixth grade. It’s another milestone for them both and they are both facing it without any real dread which says something about their states of mind, don’t you think? In fact – bring it, Dr. Dyer – you are welcome at my house anytime!
What’s your state of mind at back to school time? Even now – twenty five years since I’ve matriculated anywhere I still get that “back to school” feeling sometimes. If you’re considering coming to Living Light this year, now’s the time to make up your mind. Our classes are filling up quickly but there’s still some room. We have lots of cool stuff to take this fall including a whole Science of Raw Food Nutrition series. We also have our very popular and very rarely offered Pastry Arts II. This recipe development class is open to Pastry I grads and is a great way to hone your dessert skills before the holidays. Yum! Set your mind on coming to Living Light and let your life reflect your purpose.
If I were at work today, I’d be a part of FUN Friday – so named for it being the Friday before FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods. FUNdamentals is the first class of all the certifications we offer at Living Light so we have students checking in from all over the world to begin their courses. And that makes FUN Friday actually fun because we finally get to put faces with names. We finally get to meet the people we’ve been working with; some for a long time. We get to see the end of their journey to Living Light and the beginning of their journey as a student. It’s very exciting and so rewarding. The students’ arrival is such a tangible reminder of why we do what we do.
But – I’m not there. I’m traveling across the country with my daughter. We’re in the southwest right now where it’s about a thousand times hotter than Fort Bragg. We’ve stopped in Vegas, the Grand Canyon and are now spending a few days with relatives in Corrales, New Mexico. So far the trip has been exciting, boring, lovely, ugly and very funny. Our ultimate destination is Massachusetts so there’ll be lots more adjectives before we’re done. As I’m writing this I’m actually feeling a little homesick – we won’t be back home for another month. But I’m also feeling excited. So far we’ve just been places I’ve been before. Once we leave here, it’s all new territory. Just like the new students coming to Living Light for the first time. I bet they feel just the way I do.
There’s nothing like early summer – my niece Stella’s favorite time of year. Here in California we’ve got lots of blooming plants already and my all time favorites are roses – might be because I hark from the City of Roses, Portland, Oregon. The ones in my yard (I moved last fall) have been neglected for a few years, so I’m carefully picking off all the leaves that have black spot and trying to get them to feel better. As beautiful as they are, roses aren’t the easiest to take care of, and yet they are kind of resilient at the same time. Like people, they respond to care and attention. I made a promise to myself to stop and smell the summer roses this year. We’re still plenty busy at Living Light, what with the Raw Food Revolution Tour heading East and Drs. Rick and Karin Dina beginning their Science of Raw Food Nutrition Tour in just a couple of weeks, but this is the first time in the seven years I’ve been at Living Light that we don’t have a MAJOR EVENT like a Vibrant Living Expo or a Chef Showcase at the end of August. I have a little more breathing room, and a bit more freedom to balance my life and remember that it’s important to enjoy the long days of summer. Mmmmmm – smell the roses! This weekend I’m going to the Mendocino Film Festival. What are you doing this summer?
When I lived in Oakland, California I used to make a conscious effort to connect to the part of the world on which I was living. It was pretty paved over and who knew if those weeds under the overpass were indigenous or not. The estuary was right across the freeway from my loft, but it was pretty industrialized, too. I used to make a point to remember the ground, the water, the sky all used to be wild and natural and we were living on a piece of the earth. Now I live in Fort Bragg, California and am ashamed to say I now have to make a conscious effort to pay attention to the beautiful, wild and natural setting I’m in today. The trees, the flowers, the powerful Pacific is all right there and sometimes I don’t even notice till bedtime when I take a moment to review what’s right with my life. Oh well – being conscious and appreciative and careful with the gifts we’ve been given is a full time job and I’ve already got one of those.
Wild Mendocino was appreciated by my daughter and lots of Living Light employees this past Sunday as our directors, Dan and Cherie, sponsored a mushroom lecture and hunt. The event was led by Ryan Snow, mushroom expert, who gave the talk and then led our intrepid seekers through the woods. My daughter went with my roommate (who also happens to be Living Light’s Student Services Manager) and they came back with tons of mushrooms and knowledge. And the fresh faced flush of a day out in the wild part of the world. My son and I spent the time shopping for valentines and playing air hockey, in case you were wondering. We came home all flushed with competition and consumerism and ready to eat the spoils of the hunt. Modern life doesn’t always mix with connection to one’s surroundings, but it sure tastes good to try.