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Archive for the ‘Creations’ Category

Catering for the Raw Food World Conference, Ecuador

All I can say is… fully present, in the moment and practicing a lot of just “be”. Oh yea, and I changed countries. I’ve been here in Ecuador for more or less 6 months and it has been an amazing journey in all sorts of aspects of my life.. mostly the areas I didn’t know existed or certain nooks which needed some cleaning out. This new peace and balance I’ve welcomed into my life has been paying off in a good karma way.. on a daily basis. I’m learning the power of manifestation and how to accutely tune in to my inner-self.. and to be aware of where emotions come from and accepting them as a new lesson.

Sharing a laugh with Jan!

Intention, manifestation and creation.. raw food creations. Ok, this may sounds a tad weird.. but my creations both planned and impulsive have been spot on – like I was somehow told the combination and proportions in the middle of the night. There are dozens of times in the past few weeks that I wake up at 5am and head right to the kitchen to try some random recipe floating in my head. I know in the past,  I usually mull or simmer some things for a couple days before trying them.. but, it’s like I can’t create fast enough!

I think it all started when I decided to get social and meet some others living in the

Eating straight from the garden - everything grows so well here

area. This is the type of place where (more…)

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Come to Ecuador - Raw Trips!!

I know this isn’t news to some of you.. but RAW FOOD IS A MOVEMENT HAPPENING ALL OVER THE WORLD!  The demand for new and accurate knowledge about healthy eating is at an all time high as people realize they’ve been lied to about what they are eating. That is why I’m trying to reach out everywhere and get the word out – raw food is a win/win situation – good for your body, good for your mind, good for your mouth! This isn’t about carrot sticks and celery… this is about creating delicious gourmet meals that are giving your body what it needs to function at optimum level!! Can you tell I’m super jacked this morning!!! Loving life, it’s beautiful to exist on this planet!

My mom I think is in constant amazement about where raw foods is taking me. I told her I was heading to Canada to teach with Jan and she was so surprised.. another country again Kirsten? Yep mom, I’ll go where ever people need me – I’m here to help spread the word to help people make some changes in their diet!

Jan and Kirsten in full action!

Jan is from Canada so heading to Calgary and Red Deer was a very good decision. Her friends had been begging her to come up and teach, so I flew from Ecuador and met Jan on a Thursday night. The plan was to prep as much as we could for both class on Saturday and Sunday. Of course when teaching, you have to expect the unexpected. Jan went shopping earlier in the day and was shell shocked! One thing we didn’t take into consideration (more…)

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A home with a view

Yes, it’s been a while since I found time to sit and catch you all up on my life. Whirlwind is a good description. I like staying busy, but it cracks me up when it comes in fully concentrated bursts of demands, schedules and projects!! Wonderful observations – no complaints!

So 2010 started off with a new home and new country for me. I’ve moved down to Ecuador to get me and my business partner’s raw food health retreat up and running. You must come check it out! The website is rawtrips.com – it’s not completely finished (because I’m doing it myself – first timer) but will soon be updated and spruced up. I’m absolutely thrilled with this opportunity to help heal.. and do it in a relaxed and blissful manner. Jan bought land in Ecuador many years ago with the dream of (more…)

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Celebrating with Miyumi

Shizouka is one of those cities off the beaten tourist track, but I’m not here to sight see – although I did take an afternoon to go stare at Mt. Fuji (see my “Au Naturel” blog kirstengum.com). I’m here to teach a class for my student and friend Miyumi. Miyumi has a food studio called “Anne Duex”

Food Studio, Shizouka, Japan

where she regularly teaches raw and vegetarian cooking courses. It’s named after her nickname “Anne” which I refused to call her and her cute little pup named “Duex”. Talk about a great facility, this woman has really put some time, effort and money into her studio. A commercial kitchen with two big stainless steal working tables and a cute little reception area. She’s also planning on opening up her own raw food restaurant in Shizouka some time in the spring.

I felt like I was in heaven. Truly I wish I owned a facility like this to teach classes in every week, no

Fantastic Studio to teach in!

more lugging all my ingredients to random places.. just bring the students here – it’s awesome and I’m completely jealous and happy for her at the same time. Miyumi and I decided not to do a dessert course but a recipe quick and easy – and of course healthy. She had a potluck party planned after my demonstration. When we arrived she had two assistants there to help me get prepped… what? help? I’m in heaven!! Students started arriving early so they could prep their own creations for the party.

I taught them (more…)

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The finished product with my friend Sachiko

Christmas is not a big holiday here in Japan. I mean the country is primarily those who believe in Buddism & Shinto,  so although they love the decorations of a tree, snowflakes, reindeer and such, everyone works on Christmas day, just like any other day. The 23rd is big – the Emperor’s Birthday (although it’s not really) and then New Years Day is huge. I fully admit that I forgot it was xmas until about 11 in the morning when my class started. They wished me all a Merry Christmas

Class in Kamakura on Christmas Day

then laughed at my surprise. It happens to me when I travel. I usually always know the date – especially if it is a travel day.. but hardly ever know the day of the week. It really doesn’t matter in my world, I work when I need to work, any place, any time, anywhere. That’s the beauty of being a freelance tv person and a raw food chef. Both really allow me to schedule as I please. To me, it was a no brainer choosing to come to Japan instead of staying home for the holidays. That’s another thing about me, I’m not a really huge holiday person either. I think that stems from always having to work on the holidays. That’s what happens when you are a tv reporter and trying to work your way up the ladder. You move constantly – pretty much every two years which means you are the lacky at the bottom of the totem pole.

Kirsten making Autumn Spiced Carrot Cake

Class was held in a traditional style Japanese meeting room, complete with low tables, cushions on the floor and sliding paper doors between the rooms. It was gorgeous and it really got me into the swing of things. The sun was shining, it was cold and windy outside and warm and cozy inside. If you are a teacher, this is the perfect scenario all you have to do is woo them with  a great dish. I decided to make my Autumn Carrot Cake again since it was such a big hit at the party in Tokyo. I had about 16 students who were on the edges of their seat. (more…)

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Raw Cranberry Mint Torte

Teaching raw dessert classes is one of my favorite classes to teach. Here you are – a raw food chef who’s made the choice to rely  on vegetables, fruits and seeds as nutrition – and now you get to say the magic words all your students wait for -“dessert, yes you can have it too. Learning how to make healthy choices and realizing you truly are what you eat can intimidate many people. What, give up what I love??? In actuality, eating raw is eating what you love in its’ most natural state, then adding flair. You’re not giving up anything, especially when you experience first hand how nice and balanced you’ll feel after a raw dessert, not jacked up on some sugar rush!

Dishing out secrets to making raw chocolate

I always find reward in those shocked faces who think if they have a sweet tooth, they can’t follow a healthy raw diet – again I echo, it’s all in the choice of ingredients. I like teaching raw desserts as one of my first classes because it seems like the easiest, logical, back door way to start into a life of raw foods. Guys like it, girls are glad they don’t have to abandon their indulgences and well, let’s face it, raw desserts, good ones, impress friends and bring smiles all around.

Japan is not the biggest chocolate consumers but I find myself yearning for something sweet after a plate of sashimi, so I thought, let’s

Proud of my raw creations!

teach how to make quick and easy chocolate truffles. The recipe is one a friend passed along, then a changes some ingredients to satisfy my taste buds. I happen to bring along just the right amount of

Happy Raw Food Students

molds so that each student could choose their shape and fillings inside. I really feel student involvement is a necessity in all raw classes – if you can’t feel, smell, taste and participate, you just won’t remember that clearly when you got to make it again. The chocolate recipe is so easy, you could teach it to a 5th grader. Just 5 main ingredients and a few tricks. The students went nuts with all the choices and were laughing and giggling on like little school girls… and there was a lot of licking extra helpings of chocolate off (more…)

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Cranberry Orange Breezer

It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for, game time here in Tokyo. Today is my 6 hour raw food demonstration where I

The Team

get to wow eager young students with new recipes, tricks and technology. For the menu today, a lovely cherry, apple ginger spritzer using a nut milk bag instead of a juicer (juicer is optimum but not available), Sweet and Sour Spinach Cilantro Soup (recipe by Elaine Love) a Apple-Pomegranate Salad (altered for Japanese ingredients) a yummy Mushroom/Almond Stuffing with Cranberry Relish and Raw Chocolate Truffles. These are my take on Elaina Love’s creations – she’s great magical soul. That’s how any type of “cooking” is, you take the basic recipe and then add your spin or pizazz – this includes presentation, focus flavors, textures, ingredients.

It takes 4 of us to get all the ingredients and equipment to the restaurant, I don’t ever think I’ve done this much

Teaching how to make a zesty relish

prep.. even for a catering gig. Even the simplest of techniques for us in the states are brand new for Japan, so I’ve gone over my list numerous times trying to highlight all that will wow and empower. True there are many obstacles teaching in a foreign country, or should I say challenges – and I always love a challenge. It has made me realize how very lucky we are in the states to have access to some ingredients which make raw food much more gourmet. For instance, you’d think I could get Young Thai Coconuts

Answering Questions during class

here in Japan, since Thailand is merely a hop, skip and a jump, but from what I think I understand importing them is not allowed. I can’t expand more than that at the moment, but I intend to find out more. So any dessert recipe with coconut was completely out the window. I mean it makes no sense to teach a course if they don’t have access to the ingredients. There are also only a few with Vita-mixes, food processors and dehydrators – which allows you to take raw to a whole new level. Mostly it’s because – no joke – they cost more than triple the price here – another item on my list to check.

Students digging raw food!

There are many familiar faces in my audience, students who (more…)

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