Last week I returned from LA where I was intensely mastering chocolate and nut cheese making at Matthew Kenny Culinary Academy in Venice, CA. This is always a treat for me to be mentored by such a great wholesome vegan dietary chef. I was so impressed with his new restaurant Plant Food + Wine and Culinary school that he recently moved from Santa Monica.
Venice Beach, CA lately became trendy, hip neighborhood with plenty of coolest vibrant cafes, restaurants and shops to choose from. It’s a must visit destination.
I was so regaled to be preparing some delicious recipes and meeting new people at the class. We were a group of 10 and each one was assigned to their workstation equipped with essentials like cutting boards, Blendtec blenders, and mandolins and professional chefs aprons. We were given detailed program itinerary, shown a demo and were ready to put Blendtec, vivacious energy, imagination, and confidence into a good use. Our program started with preparing macadamia nut cheese, raw beet ravioli, pesto, macaroons, and chocolates.
What I loved most about the class was plate decorating using eatable colorful flowers, spreading and smearing flavored colorful sauces. It felt like being at the art class playing with textures, colors, seasoning, portion sizing while creating the most spectacular dishes. When we finished our first course of beet ravioli we were ready to lunch on a terrace and compare our creations. Everyone was so enthusiastic, and seriously focused on perfecting the house recipe. Eating it was the best part of that day.
The Plant Food & Wine restaurant is modern, cozy, with elegant composition of earth tones. There are multiple dining rooms with a beautiful white marble tables and gray cushions. The Culinary Academy is specious, modern and well organized accommodating 16 chefs. I adored the deco of fancy large communal white marble table, oversized windows and stepping out terrace overlooking the garden.
The Academy is located on the second floor just next door to the restaurant. Olive & Fig trees garden is the best feature of MK culinary empire. It felt so special preparing delicious meals upstairs and experiencing PF & W divine menu in the comfort of beautiful nature and tasteful surroundings.
Prior to my intense chocolate course I went with my girlfriend for lunch to Plant Food + Wine ordering almost everything on the menu. We couldn’t resist it was that delicious. I highly recommend turmeric chi latte that will turn your tongue funny yellow color, MK salad, and Brussels sprouts tacos. Everything is served on beautiful black oversized plates. For dessert we chose non-dairy banana split, which was to die for.
The menu is elegantly crafted from finest fresh organic ingredients.
I never knew that I could fall in love with cooking or talk about it so passionately. For the most part in the past I left it to my mom. She has spent endless hours in the kitchen crafting new recipes or exchanging them with her girlfriends and my aunts. I always had plenty of excuses when I was asked to help out. I think I got discouraged after few attempts of making a traditional cheesecake that completely flopped and ended in the trash. Since then I had grown keen on the idea of learning , trying, and striking the right balance between nourishing the body and mind simultaneously.
My love affair with cooking started while traveling to Paris. I wanted to indulge in tasting absolutely everything during my visit in the city of lights. I observed that eating quality food For French people was like obeying a religion. Cooking was definitely an art there, where precision of flavors and taste played a major factor in creating fine cuisine. This observing awaken healthy cooking passion in me that I currently share with my family and friends over home dinners. I wanted to learn from the best raw food chef’s new techniques, plate decorations, portion control, and course placement. There is still so much to learn and improve. Today I am exchanging recipes with my mom and girlfriends showing new ways of preparing healthy dishes while carefully selecting ingredients. Through my culinary journey I discovered that the best and fastest way through everyone’s heart is certainly through fine fresh organic ingredients & lots of chocolates.