How to learn a craft? or What does it take to apprentice?

Funny title for a food related blog, you might think. I agree, yet it’s not that weird.

Why are you here reading this? Right, you want to learn, expand your horizon. You were maybe looking for that ONE recipe out there that finally tells you how to use fresh turmeric. You are willing to go out of your way for new knowledge that will improve the quality of your life.
If I’m wrong I probably lost you by now 😉

That’s however not the kind of learning I mean with ‘apprenticing’ or ‘apprenticeship’. These days online courses, webinars and home study courses are all the hype.
Why?
In my arrogant opinion: because they are easy to market and have a low commitment level from the student (both in terms of financial- and time- investment as well as showing up to the actual course).
Usually in the end, your online education provider will send you a certificate that you can display on your website or hand you a few e-book files that you are now allowed to sell with your name on.
There is:

  1. Active marketing and an initial sales process, usually with brilliant promises of ease and great gain
  2. You pay up front, once you have convinced yourself that this is what you really need and always desired
  3. You receive the information
  4. End of interaction for now
  5. You remain on their e-mail list to be continuously marketed to

What’s wrong with that? Nothing! I might do it myself one day 🙂

It has, however, NOTHING to do with learning a craft.

Have you ever started a new sports discipline?
How long did it take you to stand up on that surfboard, ride that horse/bicycle/motorbike…?
It took me 5 years in bicycle racing (started at age 10), 3 years in whitewater kayaking and 4 years on motorbikes to attain a level of unconscious competency. Same in my professional life: first mechanical engineering, then raw food chefing and teaching, network marketing, now traditional nutrient-dense foods. Coaching next.

A common progression for learning a new discipline in life is:

  1. Discover your Passion.
  2. Develop it.
  3. Practice, practice, practice – no shortcuts here.
  4. Realisation that you require more training and guidance
  5. Pick a Master in your field, who has accomplished what you strive for
  6. Apply with the Master
  7. Pass the Test and agree on the terms
  8. Apprentice. Study, train and work side by side your Master
  9. Teach others while you learn. It develops your own mastery.

Intl Raw Food Festival 2004

Basically, any learning evolves through 4 phases:

  1. Unconscious Incompetence. We don’t know that we don’t know and go on an ill-prepared kayak trip into a cyclone weather front.
  2. Conscious Incompetence. We now know that we don’t know. Ring the ‘Coastguard’, get rescued, become a member and apologise to our dear partner who knew all along that this was crazy 😉
  3. Conscious Competence. We learn study and practice and now know that we know. We have the right gear, are practicing our paddling and rescue skills and are gaining confidence.
  4. Unconscious Competence. We don’t even know that we know. Our subconscious mind has taken over. Think of driving your car now vs. when you first started driving!

In my experience, from teaching hundreds of people in sports as well as the culinary field, many of us operate in the first category: Unconscious Incompetence. We think we like something, attend a seminar, webinar, food demo and usually get some great entertainment out of it. Once back home we might give it a shot to do what we saw the lecturer do.
Now HERE is the chance for real learning! If we DON’T succeed, we might throw the towel in and call it ‘too hard‘, OR we get intrigued and switch into Conscious Incompetence with a keenness to learn and to find out how.
This state, B.T.W., is not automatically maintained! You can easily fool yourself and think: ‘Aah, now I know!’, ‘I could have done that myself.’
Trust me, until you are actually doing it yourself, you won’t!

For me this is usually the stage when I engage with a Master in my field of interest – by default when apprenticing as a machine builder in 1985 at the BWF in East Berlin; with Master Chef Chad Sarno in 2003 and lately with Sally Anderson.

Freefall Coach

Now what’s required at this point? – you might ask. First of all an empty glass. You might have heard the Bruce Lee story and how he prepared his students to teach his excellence in martial arts. Stop reading until you have watched this video below with John Kanary at least twice!

Have you ever had a small school kid lecturing you with incorrect facts about something you had attained mastery in? Funny isn’t it?! Yet a waste of your time trying to re-educate the little one – until he is willing to let go of what he thinks he knows.

So the first step in asking a Master to teach you is to let go of what you think you know. The next step will highly likely be a test. In my mechanical engineering apprenticeship it went like this:
Master: “Who wants to really get to know a turning lathe?”
Apprentices: “Me!”, “Me!”, “Please, can I?!”
Master: “Sure. There is a broom and shovel, rags are over there, and the dirty turning lathe is right here. Start cleaning it!”
Apprentices: “*@$%*#!!!”
– and we learned! 🙂
In kitchens it often involves peeling potatoes or chopping onions. Similar scenario, just more tears.

Why? Because the person teaching is extremely happy to share her/his knowledge with keen students. Yet, the way to test anyone on their keenness to learn is to test their commitment to excellence in an easy field first.

Do yourself a favour and order this book: ‘Don’t Try This At Home! Culinary Catastrophes from the World’s Greatest Chefs‘ by Kimberley Witherspoon and Andrew Friedman!
In there you will find a story of a young New York chef who had recently found herself a job at a Seattle restaurant. Her boss was a Master in French patisserie (correct me if I’m wrong!) and she was keen to be taught by him. Yet he refused to teach her his craft until she took sweeping the kitchen floors seriously. For how could he teach her excellence in a craft that required a very high skill level if she showed NO excellence whatsoever at a task that required no skills?!!!

So it is often at the bottom we start in any new craft. It is a test of our commitment to completion (Excellence). Once the Master sees that the student is willing to do what it takes to learn, then the next door opens. It is a rite of passage of some sort.

Think of it! It will have taken any Master in their field long years of practice, often disastrous mistakes, hard learning to accomplish their level of game – and they are still learning!
Would you be spilling out all your hard-learned experience to that school kid, trying to lecture you with incorrect facts?
Hell No! You are looking for an empty glass and a willing mind who treasures your wisdom.
What a Master is looking for in an apprentice is:

  • Commitment
  • Dedication to walking it out in their own life
  • Someone who will carry their Legacy forward
  • Someone they can TRUST their secrets and wisdom to

At this point the real apprenticeship starts. The terms will be clear. How long, how often, how much – most apprenticeships are free B.T.W. (but that’s another blog post :-)). Just know, Wisdom/Teaching is always a GIFT, regardless the price or fee.
Prove yourself to be worthy of receiving it!

I had a Master of mechanical engineering at the IWF of the TU Berlin, Reinhard Preiss, who took a long time to open his heart, but once I was in, I was considered family. We had a great relationship! I still look up to his level of excellence and attention to detail! Yet, our relationship was enriched by a great human interaction, a trust that had developed by me being diligent under his cautious eyes. I had earned it.

Now it is on the student to be a ‘sponge’, an ’empty vessel’, to absorb as much of the Master’s experience, knowledge and wisdom as possible. This is often not done by lecturing, but by working alongside each other, by sharing the space, solving a task together. It is the VIBRATION of Excellence that is taught!

Now, since we are on a culinary playing field… What does it take to work with a master here?
Travel! Volunteer! Work with the people who have gone before you! Approach them in a humble manner and ask if you can be of service and help them! Bring your own sharp knives and know how to use them.
Again, this does not have to cost you more than your travel and accommodation. That’s how I studied and worked with Chad Sarno from 2002-2005.

Fresh Festival 2005
When you are with your Master/Mentor these are the qualities most suited to acquiring what she/he has got and you want:

  • Courage to be open and let go
  • Trust
  • Patience
  • Commitment
  • Passion/Drive
  • Stamina and Staying Power
  • Vision
  • Humility
  • Reverence and Respect
  • Gratitude and Love for your Teacher/Master (that will come naturally)
  • Eagerness to learn
  • Faith
  • The application of what you learn in your own practice

If you come to an accomplished chef to learn new recipes you are wasting your time.
Get yourself a recipe book and start playing!
When you are with them you will learn a new way of being with food. That’s what is taught!

When back in your own kitchen you are now Consciously Competent and will have to PRACTICE, PLAY, CREATE and TEACH! Nothing will shortcut your 10000 hours to mastery and Unconscious Competence but doing it (read ‘Outliers, The Story of Success’ by Malcolm Gladwell!)!

It comes down to the question I first heard from Artemis Limpert:
“Are you willing to be bad for long enough to become good?” – Are you???

Just don’t rock up at a Master’s door not practicing in your own life what you came to learn here! Takeaways are just not an option when you want to become a chef. Sorry!
Work your field! Every day! Be in the kitchen, cater, teach, invite your friends for dinner! Again: 10000 hours.

In the traditional way of how a craft was passed on in the guilds of Europe an apprentice, once considered being skilled enough to have finished his/her apprenticeship, was given a task to prove his/her skill level (Gesellenstueck). Passing the test they were now considered a skilled worker (again the concept of Conscious Competence).
To achieve the title of ‘Master’ in that tradition requires to complete an even more complex task, to prove all one’s skills: the Master Piece.

Once you have reached that level of Mastery, you will highly likely have developed these essential qualities of a good Master and are fit to train others:

  • Excellence – the commitment to completion
  • Trust
  • Love
  • Patience
  • Vision and an understanding of your Legacy
  • Letting go
  • Respect
  • A commitment to your student’s success – a stance for their very own Greatness

Does that resonate? It has been on my heart for a while. I trust it will be understood on a heart level too.
What I have written here applies not so much to individual classes and workshops I offer, yet to the craft of ‘Culinary Arts and Education’. Should you consider to attend my Raw Chef Trainings to further your education I will however appreciate your understanding of the above.

With much Love,
René
Rene

2012 in Review and new Events Calendar for 2013

Happy New Year Everyone!
May it be a vibrantly healthy and peacefully conscious one for all of us!!!
Thank you for your loyal readership and support in 2012. Below a little statistic summary of the most popular posts from last year. I promise to keep it up in 2013. There is quite a bit in the pipeline 😉 Stay tuned!

My events calendar for the first part of 2013 is posted here. Have a look!
I will have a few dates available to facilitate demo classes and workshops on our way through Europe and Canada from June to August 2013. Please get in touch early so we can align our schedule.

Warm regards and my best wishes,
René
🙂
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 16,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Stir Raw recipe – a simple classic!

Sometimes it is just the brilliant colours of a picture that inspire me to share a recipes. I’m sure you understand. Forgive the mess and enjoy the aliveness! 🙂

This recipe is by my dear friend and raw food mentor, Master Chef Chad Sarno. Such a simple way to make a delicious warm raw meal!!!
If you don’t own a square dehydrator like the Excalibur or Sedona, just put the dish in your oven at about 50°-75°C with the door ajar. Stir it frequently and after 30min it should be ready to be served. Test the food temperature with your little finger!

We made this dish at last week’s ‘Warm Winter Raw Foods – Asian’ class. Very enthusiastically received! Make more of the sauce and keep it in the fridge as an addition to your salads, sprouts or boiled potatoes/kumara!

You can add some lemon grass and kaffir lime leaf if you feel adventurous.
Here it is:

Stir Raw

By Chad Sarno
Serves 4-6

¨      1 c broccoli florets
¨      1 c julienne red bell pepper
¨      1 c red cabbage shredded
¨      1 c carrots julienne thin
¨      1 c portabella mushrooms, cubed and marinated in 3 T olive oil and
2 T tamari sauce
¨      1 c Asian bean sprouts
¨      ½ c cilantro chopped
¨      ½ c basil, fresh and torn
¨      ½ c olive oil
¨      2/3 c orange juice
¨      3 T white miso
¨      2 T tamari sauce
¨      3 T ginger chopped
¨      T garlic minced
¨      ½ T natural sea salt
¨      t cayenne
  1. In large bowl toss the broccoli, bell pepper, cabbage, carrot, marinated portabella mushrooms, Asian bean sprouts, cilantro and basil. Set aside.
  2. In high speed blender, continue to blend the olive oil, orange juice, miso, ginger, garlic, tamari, sea salt and cayenne.
  3. Toss the sauce with the mixture of vegetables. Allow to marinate for about an hour.
  4. Spread on dehydrator sheets and continue to dehydrate at 105°F for 2-3hours. Serve warm.
    Stir Raw, fresh from the dehydrator

Enjoy!

René
🙂

Raw “Chef” or what?! Your Feedback requested!

Help!!!

at recent chef training with Anna

This is not a recipe post – for a change, and neither is it a class announcement. However, classes and teaching it is – my Passion!
My dear friend Sanjiv Deva of Total Business Solutions, after studying my business plan, pointed out to me that I’m sending mixed messages. Right he is!
Nowhere in my planning attempts was there talk about ‘real’ chef work. Coming out of mechanical engineering that might not surprise you. It did surprise me however when Sanjiv pointed it out.
What comes up a lot when describing my business and calling is: education, inspiration, teaching, raised consciousness, entertainment, health awareness, culinary education… You get my drift.

So, if there is no catering, cooking, baking, feeding people – means: no chefing, what is it???

Yes?

What does one call a person who enjoys inspiring others to explore unknown culinary territory, that comes with the side effects of increased energy, wellbeing and fun? …and puts the responsibility for peoples’ health and food choices back to where it belongs: to the people themselves.

Demo class at Wise Cicada

This is a serious request for your, dear readers’, input.

Initial attempts: raw food teacher, culinary educator, living foods consultant… all sound a bit klutzy.

Teaching at Green Expo

So with my main service being raw food demo classes and hands-on trainings and workshops for lovely mainstream people as well as freaks like you and me ;-), what shall I call myself, apart from René Archner???

The raw BBQ Man

The raw vegan BBQ Man?

There is plenty of space below ↓ for your constructive comments. Asking for ‘baptism by fire’…

With great anticipation and much Love,

René
🙂

Chef training lecture

Wheatgrass and Sprouting – vibrant Life Force home-grown! Recipe and Class

Ever thought of growing your own Greens without a garden? We have! – thought it and have a garden 😉

Infant Wheatgrass

Below a thorough description of how we grow wheatgrass without fuss and mess in planting pot trays in our house.

Let me just quickly announce our upcoming ‘Sprouting and Wheatgrass’ demo class on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012, from 7-9.30pm at the Wise Cicada in Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand.

Come and Learn:

  • How to grow different sprouts and micro greens both in jars and on soil.
  • How to most effectively grow your own wheatgrass and juice it.
  • What benefits do different sprouts and micro greens offer you.
  • How to grow alfalfa, red clover, fenugreek, buckwheat, radish, wheatgrass, sunflower greens, pea shoots…

Your investment only: NZD60 – just click the PayPal button below to book your seat.

PayPal Buy Now

Full recipe booklet and samples included.

You will learn how to confidently grow different kinds of sprouts year round and how to maximize the yield of your efforts.

And here the promised Wheatgrass ‘recipe’/growing instruction:

Wheatgrass

Yields one ø32cm tray or 240ml Wheatgrass juice

  • 1 cup (250ml) organic winter wheat (sprouting quality) or for a much more intense green flavour use organic barley
  • 1l ‘Agee’ jar
  • Sprouting lid or mesh cloth and rubber band to cover the jar opening
  • 2 big plastic flower pot trays ø32cm and approx. 3.5cm deep or something of similar size
  • Approx. 1.5l organic compost soil, make sure it is sterilised (as most of the stuff you buy in bags from garden centers is) to avoid weeds and undesired micro organisms.

1st day (front left in picture below)

Wheatgrass Instructions

Place wheat berries in jar and fill jar ¾ with water. Cover opening with sprouting lid or mesh cloth and rubber band. Leave to soak overnight.

2nd day (front centre in picture below)

Drain the water and rinse the wheat berries a few times until water runs clear. Place jar on an angle with the opening facing down so the remaining water can drain. Make sure the jar is not exposed to direct sunlight as it can get too hot for the sprouting grains.

Rinse once more in the evening and put back again to drain.

3rd day (front centre and right in picture below)

Rinse the now slightly sprouted grains and put jar back to keep them sprouting.

Once the wheat berries have developed small shoots and fine hairy roots it’s time to plant them.

Fill one of the trays evenly with organic compost soil, approx. 2cm high.

Carefully spread the sprouted wheat evenly over the whole soil-filled tray. Water the tray evenly with not more than 1 cup (250ml) filtered water. Cover the planted tray with the second one (upside down) and place in a warm (room temperature) spot out of direct sunlight.

5th or 6th day (back right in picture below)

Wheatgrass Instructions

The young plants have now probably grown strong muscles and lifted the lid. Take it off and place the tray with the young plants in a well ventilated and lit spot out of direct sun light.

Water evenly with approx. 0.5l filtered water.

6th or 7th day (back centre in picture below)

Water the young grass when the soil is getting dry.

When the greens are long enough and the roots have grown into a solid system, holding the soil together, you can carefully grab a fist full of greens close to the edge and lift the whole pad on one side. Now pour the water into the tray under the lifted roots. Do this equally all around the tray to make sure all plants get watered. Watering the grass this way keeps the space between the greens relatively dry which prevents mould from growing.

The plants will now tolerate a few hours daily of direct sunlight to develop their dark green colour.

8th day (back left in picture below)

Once the greens have reached 10-15cm in heights you can start harvesting them. The optimum harvesting time is just before each individual plant brings out its second leave. At this stage the wheatgrass has its highest nutrient content. However, you can still use it afterwards.

Wheatgrass Instructions

To harvest the grass, use a sharp 20cm long chef’s knife. Starting at the outer edge of the tray, grab a fistful of greens and cut them about 1cm above the soil, avoiding any mouldy spots. Depending on the heights of the grass and its moisture content, a quarter tray of grass yields approx. 40ml of wheatgrass juice.

Put the greens in your hand directly into your wheatgrass or Greenstar juicer.

Should you not own such a juicer, you can cut the harvested greens in approx. 0.5cm long pieces and put them into a blender. Add 0.5l filtered water and blend at highest speed until the greens are completely dissolved. Now pour the blender content through a cotton cloth into a bowl or jar. Squeeze out all the juice by tightly squeezing the cotton cloth.

Wheatgrass juice is best consumed fresh as the delicate active ingredients oxidise very easily.

Keep the juice in your mouth and squish it around for 2-5 minutes. That allows the absorption to begin through your mucus membranes in your mouth and under your tongue.

To mellow the very strong ‘green’ taste try juicing carrots, apples, lemon and ginger with the wheatgrass.

When you start to take wheatgrass juice, begin with 30ml full strength juice per day. You can increase the amount or frequency day by day. Juice you make with a blender is not as strong as the one made with a juicer. That means, you can take more of it.

Dr. Gabriel Cousens recommends the use of wheatgrass juice for enema’s too. Please refer to his books: Rainbow Green Life Food Cuisine. Anne Wigmore’s books are another great resource on the topic of wheatgrass and its many uses.

To juice a whole tray of wheatgrass daily you also need to start a new jar of wheat berries a day. For a continuous process you will require 4 jars with mesh cloths and 8 big flower pot trays as well as a steady supply of sterilised organic compost soil.

The harvested root mats with soil can be put upside down directly into the garden or the garden compost.

Cheers!

See you on Wednesday, May 9th, 7-9.30pm at the Wise Cicada.

Your investment only: NZD60

Spaces are limited and bookings essential!

So book yours by clicking the PayPal button below!

PayPal Buy Now

Best regards and see you on Wednesday!

René

🙂

Wheatgrass

Raw Food Chef Training – Level 1, a first in New Zealand!

Are you ready for this?
New Zealand’s first Raw Chef Training!

Magnificent Birthday Cake

After many requests for this kind of teaching we decided to offer a very involving hands-on workshop setting over a long weekend. If you are keen to embark on a committed journey into the culinary world of raw foods then this training is for you. This will be the first raw food chef training in New Zealand.

We will offer this training in several stages over long weekends, so even if you have to travel from the South Island or Australia it will be easy to fit it into your schedule. For our local students we also offer to participate in the catering of a five course raw gourmet meal to apply their newly learned skills shortly after the weekend training.

Chad's Red Radish and Microgreen Salad

Level 1 has been taught from

Friday May 25th to Sunday May 27th, 2012
at Eden Valley Lodge in Albany, Auckland, New Zealand.

Next one coming up now, click here!

These are the topics we will cover:

  • Fri pm: Basics of raw foods, the practice of simple and delicious meals for the whole family, kitchen setup and basic skills.
    Afternoon Tea and Dinner
    Cream of Zucchini Soup
  • Sat: menu planning, breakfasts, salads, lunch and dinners, simple desserts
    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    Rawdezvous Cafe display
  • Sun: ethnic cuisine, healing aspects of raw food, sprouting, juicing and fermented foods, dehydrated snacks
    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    Raw Food Sushi
  • One or two weeks after: A five-course dinner catered by you and other graduates for 20 guests at the Wise Cicada Café
    Raw Gourmet Fine Dining

Full recipe book, all meals and follow-up support included.

The next Raw Chef Training, Level 1 education is coming up on the first weekend in December 2012. For more information click here.

The seats at this hands-on training are limited to 12 students to assure the maximum learning for everyone. We are receiving bookings as you are reading this.
Get in touch to reserve your space!

You can either ring René on +64 (0)27 555 1622 or e-mail us through our ‘Contact’ page here.

I am looking forward to your booking and a great training.

Warm regards,

René
🙂

Dry it, you will like it! A comprehensive class on dehydrated raw foods.

Yes, we are teaching a

Dehydrated Foods Class
Wednesday, April 11th, 7 – 9.30pm,
Wise Cicada Cafe, 23 Crowhurst Street, Newmarket
Auckland, New Zealand

Join us and come along!

The investment is $60/person including all samples (I’m working on them :-)) and a comprehensive recipe booklet.

Selection of Dehydrated Raw Foods

Our menu for the night will include a basic flaxseed cracker recipe, breakfast granola and a lovely raw porridge, spiced nuts and seeds (great savoury snacks this time!), pizza crusts, wraps and an idea for trail bars. And what do you do with all that pulp from making almond milk??? Precisely! We’ll deal with that one too 😉

If you have a dehydrator and you want to use it more come along!

If you are thinking of getting one come along too! René will share some advice on what to look for in a good dehydrator.

Either way, you will come out of this class with more confidence and knowledge around dehydrated raw foods.

Spaces are limited to 20 people and bookings are essential.
Book your space today!

You can contact us directly to book your place, either by clicking here and leaving us a note or by ringing René directly on 0275551622.

We are looking forward to having some good fun together!

Happy Easter,

René

🙂

PS: More classes are coming up. Please see our Teaching page!

Superfoods 101 – an introductory class to exotic ingredients

Here comes a brilliant opportunity for you to figure out what all these weird named packages are: Superfoods!

A live food demonstration at the Wise Cicada, February 22, 2012, 6.30pm.

Wildharvested in the Pacific North West

  • What’s in them?
  • What are they good for?
  • How do they taste?
  • How can I use them to my best benefit and greatest taste?

Have you ever wondered how to use: Camu, Yacon, Macqui, Acai, Maca, Sancha Inchi, Chia (apart from Babak’s Chia Drink), Goji berries, Cat Claw, Stevia, Lucuma, Turmeric, Nopal, Noni, Cacao, Mangosteen, Mesquite, Beepollen, Yum, Spirulina, Hemp, Coconut oil, Barberries, Chlorella, Golden Berries, Mulberries, CMD, Pomegranate, and a few more…

I’ll have Ross J Sims from Living Foods Lifestyle assisting me with this class.

Let me introduce

Ross and his wife Michele La Chante are running a Superfoods focused business and are also the New Zealand representatives of Navitas – THE Superfoods company. Many of the Superfoods on the Wise Cicada‘s shelves are imported by Michele and Ross. Ross will be there to talk about the superfoods we present to you in this class and will also answer your questions about them.

I myself will be introducing some delicious ways of using the featured products in your daily nutritional routine and meals. Without giving too much away I can already promise you some ice cream, a few great tasting smoothie ideas, raw chocolate and a few others.

Super SmoothieYou will take a recipe booklet home and get to sample the superfoods we feature that night as well as everything I demo in front of the class.
All of this for an investment of NZD60.- only.

Due to the nature of this class and the amount of samples we will be giving out the space is limited to 20 students only.

Please book early by contacting us here or by ringing René directly on 0275551622. Alternatively you can book your place at the Wise Cicada.

We’ll see you on February 22, 2012 from 6.30pm – 9pm at the Wise Cicada Café in Newmarket – on a natural HIGH!

René

🙂

PS: As you can see above, the list of so-called superfoods is long, so expect more superfoods classes to follow this ‘101’ edition!

Chocolate body paintings available upon request only 😉

Raw Chococlate Body Painting

Prana, Raw Cheese Cakes and a word on Raw Food Blenders

Yep, the Prana New Year 2012 Festival is over. It was stunning! Despite the rain we had a Blast supplying the ‘One World Café’ with raw desserts. Jack and René arrived well ahead of the crowds and went straight to work making raw granola, our vegan chocolate müsli slice, chocolate walnuts, and raw cheese cakes. Jack truly refined the art of crust making during the festival. In the end we counted a total of 18 raw cheese cakes made and sold. By the time the festival started we had 16 in the freezer waiting to be served and just topped it up with two more in the end. The selection of flavours we had were: lemon, lemon vanilla, lime vanilla, goji apricot, chocolate peppermint, chocolate chai, spicy chai, passionfruit vanilla, goji chocolate, maple chocolate and layered as well as swirled combinations of the above.

Antioxidant powerLydia joined us a day later and put her loving energy into our Super Hero Bliss Balls as well as tied up all the loose ends around our raw food operation in the back kitchen as well as lovingly tending the front dessert counter.

We had an AMAZING crew volunteeOne World Caféring in the kitchen and helping us occasionally. The groovy music in our part of the kitchen seemed to help a bit 😉

raw chocolate

from top clockwise: peppermint choc, ginger cashew, goji cashew, plain choc and cashew, pure choc orange

Once the festival was under way we also supplied the nightly chocolate bar with a selection of our raw chocolate buttons in various flavours. Jack became great at making a vibrant-looking strawberry chocolate torte (which was a mission to cut :-)) and we also sent out the occasional Orgasmic Blueberry Pie.

Avocado Chocolate at its BEST!Overall we had a splendid time in the kitchen and at the festival. Having prepared so much in advance we had enough time to attend a few concerts and music happenings when the rain stopped 🙂 Jack was out networking and jamming with great enthusiasm. Lydia and I enjoyed ourselves at Caitlin and Sika‘s concerts, laughter yoga and a late night drumming circle in the large tipi – which was out of this world!!!

Yes, the Raw Food Blenders!

We had three different models in our prep zone: Jack’s late model Vitamix, Maya’s LexSun (replaced by OmniBlend brand nowadays – see below) and our trusted BlendTec Total Blender.

The LexSun full of cheese cake fillingThey all performed extremely well. Yet making raw cheese cakes in series production really showed the different models’ strengths. Guess, which one tolerated the most ‘abuse’/hard work?! Maya it was your darling LexSun blender! After the VitaMix and BlendTec had both requested a holiday in the freezer to reset their over heat fuse the LexSun completed the job without complaint. Very impressive!

The strategy René followed in the end to make the raw cheese cake filling was to blend the whole batch in the LexSun – somewhere between 1.2-1.5 liter of thick cashew mix. After everything had mixed well and the cashews were kind of finely broken down I split the batch and finished it in two parts in the BlendTec – which definitely achieved the smoothest texture – 750ml as optimum fill level.

Lively Swirls

The cool thing about this strategy was that it allowed for colourful swirly cakes with different flavours combined in one crust. The most popular one was the spicy chai and chocolate one.

These days the LexSun is replaced in New Zealand by the identical OmniBlend machines at a more reasonable price. Make sure you get the new jar with it – which is a larger copy of the BlendTec jar. Perfect combination! This on here.

For a generous 15% off the listed prices on the OmniBlend website with free shipping in NZ apply this discount code: RAFS2014

Oh, did I mention that we will be teaching a Raw Cheese Cake class?

See you there!

René

🙂

Dry it, you will like it!

Here it is, a raw food class fully dedicated to dehydrated foods!

The menu for the night contains a lot. I will make many things in advance so you can taste everything. As the dehydration process takes more than 12 hours we will not be able to sample what we make in the class. Yet we are going to prepare most of the dishes until they go into the dehydrator so you get a feel for the process and the flavours before dehydration.

Here is the menu:

  • Apple Spice Granola with Almond Milk
  • Chocolate Walnuts
  • Golden Linseed Crackers
  • Chilli Sunnies
  • Lydia’s Focaccio Bread
  • Buckwheaties
  • Zoom Burgers with condiments and caramelised onions
  • Almond Butter Cookies
  • Pizza Alive
  • Wraps and Turnovers

Phew! That will keep us busy and happily fed 🙂

We are truly looking forward to it. Why not join us?! There are still about 4 places left in this class. Get in touch with us to secure your space!
(Yes, check out the testimonials first! ;-))

We are going to play with our Excalibur dehydrator. They truly are the best on the market. They are available here in New Zealand from Pure Wellbeing. Of course, you can use what you have or what you can easily get.
Years ago when living in Norway I built one of these beauties: http://www.dryit.com/
Check it out!!! They work. I recommend you get the book and the heating element from them – in case you are planning on building your own dehydrator.

Here is a picture of the one I created in 2003

Alternative Fair Kongsberg, Norway 2003

My home made dehydrator to the left

René