Kitchen Pursuits

Vegspiration
January 1, 2015
Food Philosophy
January 5, 2015

I haven’t always been a huge cook. I used to be the one that cleaned up the kitchen after my older brother would cook for me – it was a decent trade-off. Becoming vegetarian though has demanded creativity in the kitchen and I’ve embraced the abundance of options available. While Gordon Ramsay might scoff at my techniques and suggest refining my skills, I’m confident I can prepare healthy and delicious meals and teach others that it’s not as hard as it looks. In 2014, I was on a food journey to master and polish my skills, knowledge and experience in the kitchen during my free time off work. I enrolled in George Brown’s Culinary Arts program, taking classes in the evenings. I decided to take the regular program, not the vegetarian program, for complete awareness – so yes, this meant that I had to brave myself for learning how to properly truss a chicken and debone fish and meat. I also decided to work part-time on weekends in a restaurant to gain exposure on how to run a kitchen, which is never an easy feat. In April, I travelled to Gloucester, Massachusetts to complete a four-day intensive Raw Teacher Certification program. This program opened me up to the colorful world of raw. I never would have thought I’d be eating raw bagels more delicious than the real deal and the most mouthwatering raw chocolate cake with no eggs, dairy or added sugar. It was too good to be true! But eating completely raw is not easy yet – there aren’t many restaurants that are accommodating and you have to be prepared both mentally and physically to stick with it. After completing the Raw Teacher program, I decided to challenge myself by eating only raw food for 30 days. I was met with skeptical co-workers. “Aren’t you going to starve?” they asked. I kept it up by only eating fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, and sprouted grains/legumes during this time, as well as eliminated coffee. I’m not going to lie – I did cheat. I had to travel to Prince Edward Island for work and it was difficult to maintain while on the road. Otherwise, I persevered and felt the benefits of eating raw food – more energy, mental clarity and a sense of calm. There were times that I wasn’t prepared though. I didn’t make my meals in advance before work and didn’t have a wide range of groceries at home, so I didn’t end up eating the best. It took discipline and hard work to change my way of eating for a full 30 days but it became clear that the rewards of preparing raw plant-based foods are far too great to pass up. After finishing my 30-day raw challenge, I was surprised by how much I craved eating raw food. I found myself incorporating the raw lifestyle into my everyday routine more and more. Mark Bittman promotes ‘VB6’ (Vegan Before 6) but I’ve been living the ‘RB6’ (Raw Before 6). Up next in my food journey was a Culinary Nutrition Certification at Matthew Kenney Cuisine, the world’s first classically structured raw food culinary academy. Raw chef and founder Matthew Kenney is incredibly inspiring and it was a privilege to learn at his academy and further my journey in #craftingthefutureoffood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kc6sinnR1Y

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