You might be curious about my first photo, or maybe you’ve guessed; I’ll let you in on a tip shared by Mark Reinfeld, our awesome teacher chef, during my recent Vegan Fusion Miami-based cooking course….
Placing your smart phone into a jug amplifies your kitchen-time tunes!
It so happens that listening to good music, handling plant foods, feeling grateful and being conscious while preparing food also makes for an amplified taste experience! Along with this enjoyment one’s culinary interest and skills grow, which is what motivated me to join Mark’s 10-day plant-based cooking immersion!
I flew to Miami, USA from South Africa. Yes, no doubt a long way from home, yet it took only a warm welcome from Mark and my fellow students to know I’d feel quite at home in our gracious host’s kitchen.
Straight into the kitchen we got shown some impressive cutting techniques and jumped right into each morning’s menu preparation. While dicing, slicing, chopping, grating and muddling, Mark had his class technique, and timing, peeled!
Chef Mark’s eyes sparkle, his culinary passion is tangible and his desire to share his vast expertise seems limitless. With a whole host of books already written, and another in the making, Mark has perfected the art of making whole, plant-based meals diverse, delicious and many done in 30 minutes!
His unassuming calm disposition also allows for easy learning. Mark’s anecdotes are priceless and his jokes hearty. It’s no wonder he describes the enjoyment to vegan food preparation the antidote to life’s messier, less mindful choices and practises.
What made so much learning even more easily digestible was that each day focused on a certain ingredient or meal type. Soups were thoroughly covered, then grains & legumes, desserts, salads and dressings, then days focused on raw foods. A great way to give us students a thorough foundation to recipe templates and techniques.
That’s just it, while there might have been about 100 recipes made during our 10 days, we’re given the know-how to translate those templates into about 1000 recipes. Whether it’s allergies you need to cater for, a preferred global cuisine to achieve or simply serving up daily diversity, Mark has it covered.
At the end of our immersion we had a surprise knighting ceremony, done of course with a tofu lifter!
My mind is now a whirl of culinary choices. The best thing I know to do now, having got so much to work with, is to work it! Just as a writer needs to hone their skill by writing, a painter by painting, I will improve by cooking!
So I’m off to make Mark Reinfeld’s deliciously decadent baklava. Hope you’ll give an equally tasty recipe of his a try too!