Saturday, December 22, 2012

Myra Kornfeld and the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health

Watercress and green mango salad with peanut dressing
along with hot and sweet sesame nori fins.!  
Red Bhutan rice with roasted vegetables with lemongrass and
cilantro; yellow pepper coconut milk sauce; spinach Thai
basil sauce; baked tofu triangles; Indonesian sambal; and
crispy rice sticks.  Yum.
Mango lemongrass ice cream and lemon tuilles.
As part of my plan to promote food sustainability at Hofstra University in April for Earth Day month by going vegan for the month, I thought it would be appropriate to get educated about vegan cooking.  Thus, I took a course called "Southeast Asian Vegan Banquet" with noted chef and author, Myra Kornfeld, the author of The Voluptuous Vegan, at the Natural Gourmet Institute for food and health (located on 21st Street in Manhattan between 5th and 6th Avenues).

The experience at the institute was really top notch.  The concept is this: you cook the food at the instruction of the chef and then you eat it at the end of the 4-hour class.  There were 10 of us in attendance.  Plus, 4 assistants were assisting the chef, so essentially there was one person helping every two students.  Someone was always there to help you, to clean up after you, and to lend a hand or suggest improvements.  I would definitely take another class at the institute.  If you ever come to New York and are looking for a great activity for the evening, check out their class calendar.

The fun part about the class was learning some high-end cooking techniques --particularly the use of unusual Asian ingredients, cutting techniques, and seasoning.

Kornfeld was a gifted instructor.  At the end of the night, we all ate together with a nice bottle of wine.

The nice thing about this meal is that it was entirely filling, satisfying and flavorful.  It wasn't what most people would think of as vegan food and it definitely expanded my idea about veganism which should prove to be helpful in April.

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