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Posts Tagged ‘culinary school’

I feel like I’ve been in a time machine, I swear I love the train system here. I can settle into my seat, pull out my computer, or book, or breakfast and just chill. I will never really understand why some people choose to drive to work when the train is right by them and is an easy commute. We US citizens get so attached to our vehicles. That’s why I purposely got rid of mine 1 ½ years ago. Lots think I’m crazy to live in the Los Angeles area without wheels. The truth is I do have wheels, and the motor are my two legs. I would rather ride my bike while running errands, or meeting friends. I know not everyone can do this, but I can and I choose to cut my impact on this world down any way I can. Guess that’s why public transportation in any city doesn’t scare me.

I arrive in Kyoto right on time. The plan is for another raw food teacher is going to meet me, I’ll check into my hotel, then hop another train south to the big

Sweetness in the train station!

city of Osaka to meet with students at Masako’s studio. I’m a bit bummed to finally get to the city I’ve heard so many good things about – then leave it again after 15 minutes… but I’m here to do a job and that job is very important to me. Raw foods is just getting started in Japan and there are lots of young women who are ready to go like gang busters in their country.

How cool - a juice bar in the train station too!

Masako speaks some English, but brought along a translator to make it easier on all of us.

During our train ride I mentioned that I hadn’t yet tried Soba for any of  my meals. I saw their eyes light up – they would introduce me. They took me to a typical Japanese lunch spot and we all ordered our Soba noodles hot (traditionally they should be eaten cold) but it was on the verge of raining and the in wind was blowing and damn it was chilly outside! I know I’m not supposed to be eating wheat.. but these are buckwheat noodles and one big bowl is not going to hurt, right? Yummy,

Hot Soba.. Yummy!

yummy, I did the happy dance in my chair.. I couldn’t help it, it tasted so good. A very light broth and lovely toppings.. one had fresh nori, one had green mountain vegetables, the other had tofu. I got to try all three. Now it is custom and actually expected to make a slurping sound when youeat

The Market

Soba. I know it sounds rude, like something your mom would slap you upside the head for doing, but it IS the way here in Japan… and its fun using all your suction to eat.

We hit the fresh market on the way to her studio and the first thing I noticed is how cheap the prices were. Masako told me it was because it was a neighborhood market and NOT in Tokyo. Plus, she’s lived here all her life and knows where to get the good deals.  We gobbled up (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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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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DSC_5823Ok, I just had a croissant. It’s been at least a year or so since I tasted the buttery, doughy goodness. It was fabulous. I couldn’t stop eating it. My plan was to only have half… but then it was melting in my mouth, my mind was yelling no, my devilish sweet tooth side was screaming “yes!!!”. I ate the whole thing. Do I beat myself up the rest of the day? Well, that remains to be seen. I’m pretty good at the guilt trip, especially when I’m in one of my “gotta get disciplined” mode. I think I will just counter act it and eat an apple now. Once it’s past your lips (more…)

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