Mastering raw cuisine with Matthew Kenny Culinary

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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.

KASIA

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Fashionably Fit At Any Temperature

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032+coats-with-christinaI had no idea just how cold the weather in New York had become until a few days ago when I noticed my heat had automatically turned on in my home. Yes, it may only be October, but winter coats have begun their annual takeover. And just yesterday as I peered through a coffee shop window while warming myself up with a nice, hot espresso, I began to shiver as I witnessed a runner casually walk by in his tank top and shorts.

I am here to tell you that as the temperature drops, you don’t have to freeze outside to get a good run in or sign your soul over to your local gym. Here are a few cold weather accessories to keep you fashionably fit all winter long.

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Headband.  If you’ve never really worn headbands when working out I suggest you give it a try. Not only can it help to keep the hair out of your face, but also if you go with a larger option you can keep your ears warm and your headphones secure.

Fingerless gloves. They have may have been in style for a few years now but they are more than just a trend. Keep your hands warm, yet still free enough to skip songs with a pair of fingerless gloves. Your best bet is a pair that has the mitten option to button back so you have the ability to cover your entire hand when the weather is at it’s worst.

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Vest. A good vest can last you years and seems to have become a winter wardrobe staple and we won’t complain. It can be hard to run or stretch in a full coat. Stay free and flexible by choosing a vest instead. You can opt for a long sleeve thermal to wear underneath to keep you feeling lighter but still warm enough to go the extra mile.

If you don’t already have one or all of these items don’t stress, here are a few other tips. Try warming up indoors. This way you will already be warm by the time you get going outside. Wear multiple thin layers. You will stay much warmer than you think and still have the ability to take off a layer if necessary. Or, carry a packet of hand warmers in your jacket pocket for those extra cold days. Either way, just know that you can continue your outdoor workout all winter long!

Outfits:

Dolce & Gabbana black corduroy dress

Roberto Cavalli burgundy scarf

Gucci duffle bag

Oscar de la Renta ear muffs

Viilebrequin down vest

KASIA

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Cool spots to visit when you are in Paris

 

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Pyramids of Louvre  

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Seine river

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24 Hours in Paris

Only have 24 hours to spend in Paris? No problem. Let me help you prepare in advance (because winging it just won’t cut it this time). Don’t miss your chance to visit some of the best spots in Paris. Follow my lead and you may just have the best 24 hours of your life.

Lets start with transportation. If you’ve ever taken a taxi in New York then you’ve probably heard of Uber, a chauffeur-like service that will pick you up and get you where you need to be without the hassle of hailing a cab or dealing with a shady driver (or should I say less shady?). Well Paris has something similar, but better, called Le Cab. This new white glove chauffeur service will pick you up in a Peugeot car and have you where you need to be at a fair price in the knick of time. Not only is it the best way to get around the city, but most of the drivers resemble a young George Clooney. Need I say more?

If you prefer to get some exercise in and walk everywhere, please keep in mind the streets of Paris resemble that of a labyrinth. So be sure you have cell service because you’re going to need your good old friend, Google Maps. And if you haven’t mastered French just yet, you can count on this handy friend to direct you in your native tongue. That’s reassuring.

Now we move on to lodging. Paris can be very tricky if you are on a tight budget. Hotels are either very expensive and offer minimal square footage or they’re affordable but absolute shit (pardon my French!). Luckily, I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot over the years, but regrettably I have to admit there isn’t much available in a decent price range. Because I want to help, let me let you in on my best-kept secret, Boutique Hotel Relais Saint Germain. At around 250-350 euros, you’ll receive quality service from a friendly staff, and a cosy beautiful room. And the best part, you ask? A delicious and memorable complimentary breakfast, perhaps the best in Paris. Just thinking of their freshly baked croissants, cafe au lait and assortment of breads and baguettes with homemade jams makes me drool. Their dinner menu is also incredible and if you are a hotel guest you will have no problem to get a table there. And the location is unbeatable. Stay at Hotel Relais and you’ll be walking distance from just about every popular St. Germain spot.

Now that we’ve covered breakfast, lets move on to lunch (because you’re really here to eat right?). Go all out and put your best attire to use. Show off your style, work that sweet charm of yours and live, even if only for a moment, like a celebrity. When you lunch at L’Avenue that is exactly what you’ll do and you might recognize quite a few special guests such as Kim Kardashian, Jean Dujardin and Beyoncé. But it’s not the crowd that makes this Parisian wonder, but their phenomenal menu. The fresh, spicy tomato juice is to die for. And the avocado tomato salad and steamed dumplings, again I’m drooling at the thought.

When you finish stuffing yourself with all of these delicatessens you may agree its time to burn off a few of those calories. What better way than a scenic stroll along the Seine River while admiring the breath taking views? And make it more than just a moment by stopping at the bridge and writing your initials or a special note on a lock. It will be a memory you never forget.

But your day isn’t over and there are still memories to make. Lets move on to french toast, shall we? No, I don’t mean its time for breakfast again (although I know I wouldn’t mind). I mean it is time for a champagne toast at the Bristol Hotel. Natalia Vodianova, the supermodel, is a frequent guest here and if you’re the type who likes to see and be seen then you’ll certainly enjoy happy hour at the Bristol.

After some champagne it is time to treat your body. If it’s rejuvenation you seek, then allow me to share the best spas around. At the Ambassade of Beauty of Biologique Research on Champs, Elysees will eliminate, smooth and lift all of your face wrinkles and imperfections without the use of a knife. Or ask for Marlene, who has golden hands, and after 90 minutes of pure ecstasy she will have reduced years off of your visage for only Euro 150.

And with perfect skin, comes perfect hair right? Head to the Leonor Grey hair spa at 15 Rue Tronchet, 75008 Paris, France +33 1 42 65 32 26. Their 60 minute hair treatment is the most relaxing and rejuvenating experience my hair has ever had and it was followed by a Mexican hair straightening treatment that did not overheat or damage my hair. Check it out and I promise 40 minutes later your hair will be shiny, straight and ready for your next Parisian adventure.

If you are in the mood for shopping, Le Bon Marche has a lot to offer. If it’s art you prefer, you must visit the Mona Lisa at Louvre. I must confess that after twenty years of visits to the city of lights I have yet to make the trip over there. I know, shame on me. But I promise to make that visit on my next trip. Maybe you can let me know how it is?

Moving on. My favorite thing to do in Paris is browse the local pharmacies. There I love to shop for shower gels, cotton balls (the softest you will ever find), wooden q-tips, the incredibly scented Soupline fabric softner, my favorite Caudaline Vigne perfume and so much more. But if you aren’t much of a shopper and find yourself hungry yet again, then you must visit Pierre Herme. They have incredible pastries, macaroons, hazelnut cake, millfoie, and lots and lots of chocolate. It can be pricy but the experience is so worth it.

To end your day, you’ll need the perfect dinner. I recommend La Societe or Hotel Costes where the most beautiful people come to wine and dine. No matter which you choose, I am sure you will be impressed with the menu, decor and surroundings offered at both places. And don’t stress out deciding between the two. Coincidently, it’s the same owner serving the same menu at both places, but you’ll find the experience to be completely different.

Lastly, don’t forget to take plenty of pictures of the Eiffel Tower to show your friends upon your return home. You’ll want evidence of your amazing day in Paris.

Bon Voyage!

 

 

KASIA

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What’s green juice got to do with fashion

DRINK YOURSELF TO HEALTH

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GREEN-JUICE-BLOG-1GREEN-JUICE-BLOG-2GREEN-JUICE-BLOG-5Ever since I was a young girl, my mother would always remind me to dress to impress. But in order to look good from the outside, you need to feel good in the inside. It takes more than just a good-looking body to rock a gorgeous Valentino gown, or accessorize with the newest Chanel bag. Beauty equals health, and if you are not healthy on the inside, every outfit you buy would be an artless disguise. The best way to start a healthy lifestyle is by drinking every morning a green detox juice. These rawlicious juices will help you kick start a healthy eating plan and cleanse your system.

When you know how to make delicious green juices at your home, your health will greatly improve, increase energy, appetite diminish, inflammation will be reduced. weight loss will occur, and gives a natural boost to your immune system. What else can you ask for? In a blink of an ye you will be wearing that Valentino gown we were talking about earlier with poise and confidence.

Rule number 1: the greener the better. The green color in the juices contains chlorophyll, that contains oxygen. This is vital you oxygenate your body. Chlorophyll oxygenates and detoxifies our cells in a very effective way, plus, it’s 100% natural and extremely healthy. Chlorophyll is even rejuvenating just like the second tip for a healthy lifestyle: gelatin.

Rule number 2: it wiggles and makes you giggle. If you are busy running around, and have no time to prepare your own juice then there are few options out there. JUICE GENERATION prepares them fresh and you can grab one to go. Otherwise brands like RAWPOTHECARY offer excellent bottled juices. For clean energy drinks I like RUNA

Green juice brings perfect balance between our inner and outer beauty. By following these easy and healthy tips, you are guaranteed to drink yourself to health!

Outfits:

Roberto Cavalli red dress

Biba red pantsuit

Giafranco Ferre red satchel bag

Charlotte Olympia animal print pumps

 

P.S. As always I would like to hear from you. Do you include green juice in your daily routine? If so which one is your favorite?

KASIA

KASIA

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