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Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo’

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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Teaching Raw Food in Japan

It’s early, the morning after I arrived and I’ve got no time to adjust to the time change, there’s work to do. My first raw food class is tomorrow and I will be teaching a 5 course raw meal for the holidays, complete with table settings and such. If you know anything about raw food, there can be ample prep time involved, especially when you are teaching – which means you basically make some things twice so students can see the finished product (which at times takes days in the dehydrator). I gave Masae and Makiko the recipes for

Having a Raw Food Lunch in Tokyo

the meal ahead of time so they could buy ingredients. That was actually a chore because my original menu included some ingredients they simply can’t get here in Japan and I simply couldn’t bring over with me. I brought one entire suitcase filled with certain dried ingredients and equipment and other decorations… but as with anything, you need to adapt.. and quickly.

The apartment was already stocked with fresh fruits and greens for breakfast – you gotta love when you are coming to a new country and your (more…)

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