What: Stopping by the 10-Day Cuisine Vegan Fusion Cuisine Cooking Immersion by Chef Mark Reinfeld
When: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Where: Portland, OR
Why: A chance to meet a well-traveled and multi-talented chef
The Scoop: From romantic Paris to ancient and mysterious Machu Picchu to humble Portland, award-winning international chef and author Mark Reinfeld (founding chef of Blossoming Lotus Restaurant and winner of the VegNews Cookbook of the Year in 2005 for Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, co-authored with Bo Rinaldi), holds his Vegan Fusion 10-Day Cuisine Immersion course in alluring destinations the world over. When he opted for our rain-soaked city, I had the pleasure of finally meeting Mark when he invited me to come to one of his classes. As kind as he is talented, I watched in the background as he gently led his students through the culinary delights of the day, one of three days focused on raw food. When all was said and done, I dined like a queen indulging in sun-dried tomato herb flax crackers, raw un-stir fry with cauliflower rice, raw hot and sour soup, spicy cashews, and a jaw-dropping cashew cheese. Jamaican gingerade, the day's beverage, was a great accompaniment to the meal.
The amazing, totally raw meal!
Just when I thought it could not get any better, the students whipped up a decadent dessert of chocolate mousse (shh ... the secret ingredient is avocado!) topped with macadamia cream that put chocolate mousses I've enjoyed in the past to shame. Then there was the key lime ice cream with strawberry coulis topped with a walnut coconut date crumble. It took me to Nirvana and left me there.
As we were dining, the students spoke of why they took the course and their thoughts of the class that was ending the following day. All remarked how much they learned, how knowledgeable Mark is, and how this was some of the most delicious food experiences they had ever tasted. Some students were vegetarians and vegans, while others were totally new to this healthy and tasty world and excited about their new path. Students walked away not only with fond memories and world-class culinary skills, but also a personalized cookbook of everything prepared, a Vegan Fusion tote, apron, and a nice size professional portrait of Mark and all the students. They were sad their new little community was coming to an end, but excited about their future and looked forward to sharing their new dishes with friends and family.
Moi and Mark
I don’t know about you, but I am already packing my bags for Machu Pichu for the 2012 immersion course and am counting the days until I eat that chocolate mousse again, this time while perched atop a mountain in the Andes some 8,000 feet above sea level, bearing witness to times gone by.