Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 20

     It is such an overused phrase but oh how time flies!  It is hard to believe we have been in Los Angeles for a month.  I remember getting off the plane the first night with no luggage (lost in flight) and being dropped off in Venice with no sense of direction.  Walking to school the first day with day old clothes and hoping I could find the Academy.  I was able to find and in the process of being here, exploring LA thru and thru and feeling like Venice is home.  All 6 of us came from different directions and backgrounds.  We formed a bond with each other and the teachers that will last a lifetime.  An incredible journey with a new grasp on raw food and the culture.  Much love to all of you we have spent time with in Santa Monica!  I look forward to hearing of everyones adventures in the future!
    The last day started with us making a chocolate tart with a caramel and a chocolate sauce.  It was accompanied by banana rollup with cacao chips.  Yummmmy!  The last project of the day was a carrot and lemon preserve based soup.  We all displayed our mastery of brunoise cuts as it was the centerpiece of the soup.  Cristina was so proud of us with the symmetrical cuts we all gave her.  Yay!  We took a written exam which Im sure we all aced.  The graduation ceremony was next as one by one they critiqued the dishes from yesterday and handed us the graduation certificates.  Every one of us got rave reviews on the dishes.  I think we made the Academy very proud and hopefully all of us were equally proud of ourselves.  They told us they had never had  a class that performed so brilliantly!  Well done guys!  It was such a pleasure to be a part of this and meet all the great new friends and colleagues.  Such a special moment for all.  Thank you thank you to Raw& Juicy for all of you.  From the Airstream to Ms Jenifer Kuntz.  Thanks for working so hard in my absence!  Go Jese!  I can't wait to come back and share my newfound knowledge with all of you!  The year of the horse is going to be a great for our company.  I will miss you Los Angeles and all of the beautiful things you have shown me, culinarily and personally.  Have enjoyed writing the blog everyday and keeping you informed of the progress we made.  Love and miss you all.  Viva Los Angeles!  Santa Rosa Beach here we come…….

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 19

     The day we were all waiting for has came and passed.  What an amazing day with some unbelievably creative culinary treasures!  Everyones style is so different and unique.  The pad thai and tom kha soup turned out just as I had envisioned.  I also made a mango lassi really quick for dessert.  Hailey came through with the Southern comfort food of barbecue ribs, collards, corn bread and mac and cheese.  Her apple pie was quite spectacular!  Everyone was ready and plated by 12 and they began the taste test.  We all got rave reviews and even heard this was the most creative and beautiful Level 1 class.  Go Class!  It has been quite an adventure thru the culinary landscape of raw food.  We have met some amazing people and made some great friends along the way.  Mattin, Natalie, Marcella and Hailey much love!  It has been awesome to meet you guys and look forward to hearing your adventures in the future.  Raw & Juicy, we are ready to come back and get things rolling.  Thank you Jenifer for making all of this happen!  What an incredible culinary and personal development we have experienced.  Check out the pics……..

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day 18

     Tomorrow the moment arrives.  We finally get to present the dishes we have all worked so hard on. The whole schooling experience comes to fruition.  Get ready…you are going to see some pics of some lovely food!  We all worked independently again on our respective projects.  Here are some action photos of Hailey making some good ole cornbread!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 17

     Well guys, not much to say about today… was a day dedicated to final projects.  We all worked separately on the dishes we will be putting together on Thursday.  Spent the whole day experimenting and making components.  Stay tuned.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 16

     Here we go….the start of final project week!  We all came up with a menu to present our dishes.  We have to make two dishes and present them on Thursday.  Basically, the whole week is centered around are dish components and gives us the freedom to use our hours wisely.  Before we jumped into preparation, we made a chia seed pudding with a cashew chai sauce and fresh berries.  Very very tasty breakfast we enjoyed before making the plunge into the graduation dishes.  I am going to make a deconstructed Pad Thai with daikon as the noodles.  A peanut sauce and roasted jalapeño foam for the sauces.  My other dish is Tom Kha Gai soup, a traditional Thai soup with a veggie and coconut broth.  Started working on my components and I think it should be pretty awesome.  Hailey went in a completely opposite direction and is making a traditional Southern dish.  All I can say is that her barbecue sauce is the best I have tasted yet.  The flavor was helped out by a traditional Chinese tea.  I think it goes something like this…..barbecue ribs and collards.  Hmmmm….sounds yummy but tricky.  Her dessert is going to be an apple pie.  Stay tuned for the progress day to day.  Hopefully there are no setbacks and we all apply the knowledge we have learned this month and apply it to the yummiest dishes ever!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 15

     Here we go…..the countdown to final project starts.  Today was a relatively easy day in class.  We started off getting to eat the yogurt and granola that we made earlier in the week.  Very very good but really filling.  The next order of business was the much talked about cheese plates.  We were each assigned the task of putting together cheese plates for the class and some other guests to see and try.  I made a cheese of sun dried tomato powder and sun dried tomatoes.  The other cheese I made was a herbs de provence and cumin.  Hailey made a jalapeño cheddar and a basil thyme.  All four were terrific!  To go with the cheese plates, we made garlic bread a few days before.  We each had to design, make and present.  I made a fig jam, a berry compote and a sun dried tomato and olive tapenade.  I also included spiced almonds and dried pears.  Hailey made a strawberry compote with basil leaves.  The crowd liked all of our dishes.  It was interesting to see how everyones plating style has evolved.  The sauces and design show a little bit about each persons background and style.  Enjoy the pics!  See you on Monday….

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day 14

     Class began with granola making.  We had dried out some buckwheat days ago so that we could use in our granola.  The granola consists of buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, date paste and plethora of dried fruits.  We were given the liberty to add whatever fruit we wanted which meant we all loaded ours with apricots, gojis, cherries and sultans.  Looks very delicious and I can't wait to try it with our coconut yogurt tomorrow morning.  The next task at hand was a soup native to a town of Brazil called Bahia.  It was coconut milk based with avocado, tomato, scallion, parsley, cilantro and a host of spices.  Very good indeed!  The rest of the day consisted of making components for the portobello sliders.  We made the sesame bread yesterday for the sliders.  We made a macadamia ranch sauce with fresh herbs.  Two barbecue sauces were created with on being a coffee flavor and the other being a smoky chipotle flavor.  We made a spinach and shallot topping as well.  After constructing the complicated dish, we took a long lunch break and talked about the final project.  Some great ideas were thrown around and we should have some fantastic dishes.  The day concluded with ice cream tasting.  Tough life here.  We tried the blueberry lavender ice cream that Natalie and I made with blueberry lavender reduction and a blueberry vanilla reduction.  We also dressed the plate with candied lavender buds.  The other ice cream was a cacao chipotle with a blood orange reduction.  Both were super yummy!  Another unbelievably great day at the academy.  Cant wait til next week as we get to put together the final projects!