Vibrant Earth Creations Ltd. is offering the first and only hands-on Raw Food Chef Training in Australasia. Next intake: 13-15th November 2015 at Bella Rakha Retreat in West Auckland!
Raw Food Chef Certificate Level 1
This is a full immersion course, unique in its hands-on style of teaching. Students will prepare all recipes, dishes and meals themselves under close supervision and mentorship of Chef René and his experienced team.
The curriculum will progress through the essential knowledge and skills of basic raw dishes to advanced raw gourmet cuisine. It will also touch on the healing aspects of raw plant-based foods.
Participants are expected to have ‘some’ kitchen experience but most of all a passion for food preparation, a willingness to learn and a commitment to excellence. This course is aimed to equip you as a student with the knowledge and skills to confidently prepare a great variety of living foods both at home or in commercial settings. Special emphasis is put on adapting recipes to seasonal or regional changes and availability/substitution of ingredients.
Besides teaching a basic understanding of the philosophy of plant-based living foods this course is mainly aimed at improving the culinary skills of private people as well as chefs working in the hospitality industry as well as restaurant/café operators who want to expand their portfolio. Passion for the benefits of vibrant foods is the common denominator.
This Level 1 certification course is followed by several opportunities to work with René at caterings, classes or workshops. The Level 2 certificate is, at this point, not bound to a set course.
The benefit of this training vs. short demo classes or workshops is not only its hands-on nature. The three days in a row allow the students to follow different basic raw food preparation techniques from scratch to finish. Examples for this are the making of dehydrated crackers and snacks, sauerkraut and other fermentation techniques.
We currently offer this training at Bella Rakha Retreat near Auckland, New Zealand. Inquire here about other locations, available dates and rates.
The next Level 1 Raw Chef Training is scheduled for November 2015, Fri, November 13- Sun, November 15.
The November 2015 training in Auckland, NZ, will be offered for NZD1600+gst/person.
Bella Rakha has basic on-site accommodation in twin share bedrooms with shared facilities down the hall. We have 10 beds/5 rooms available for our students from Thursday to Saturday night at no extra cost for the first ten bookings. If you travel from outside of Auckland we recommend you arrive on Thursday night to settle in before the course.
Payments can be made either via NZ bank transfer: ASB, Vibrant Earth Creations Ltd., 12-3059-0623134-00 or with credit card via PayPal below.
Before submitting your booking and payment please make sure you have read and understood this article!
A 30% deposit (NZD480+gst) is required upon booking. The remainder of the course fee is due by October 15th, 2015.
Please contact us if you wish to arrange a payment plan (course fee paid in full by November 13, 2015!). See also our Terms and Conditions.
An equipment list will be mailed out to all students one month before the course. Basic items, like a chef’s knife, paring knife, wooden cutting board, apron, tea towels and closed toe shoes are expected to be supplied by yourself. Other items are optional: food processor, blender, dehydrator; yet we recommend that you work with your own machines at the training to more comfortably integrate your learning when returning home after the course.
The curriculum for the three-day Level 1 course is outlined below. Changes to this outline might be made due to special requests by our clients:
Day 1, Friday
- Consciousness and Awareness with Food
- Wholesome nutrition:
- Detox vs. Sustenance
- Emotional aspects of food
- Food combining and Alkalinity
- Basic knowledge of ingredients and their preparation
- Sourcing of ingredients
- Flavour Balancing
- basic and in ethnic Cuisine
- Knife skills
- Food processor
- Blender – basics and advanced
- Sourcing of equipment
- types and styles
- Dressings, sauces, marinades
- Fermentation, Sauerkraut and nut cheeses
- Introduction to dehydrated foods
- Basic raw pies (desserts)
- Pre-prep for Saturday
Day 2, Saturday
- Drinks and Smoothies:
- Almond Milk
- Milk shakes
- Green Smoothie
- Almond milk based smoothies
- Fundamentals of raw desserts
- Moist cakes
- Avocado-based pies and cakes
- Raw chocolate (creams, cookies, cakes)
- Coconut creams
- Dehydrated Foods
- Spiced nuts and seeds
- Croutons/nut breads
- Basic raw Soups
- Marinades and condiments
- Pre-prep for Sunday
Day 3, Sunday
- Combining of basic techniques and food learned on Day 1 and 2 for stunning meals and catering ideas
- Satisfying Warm meals with different ethnic influences
- Spreads and condiments
- Use of nut cheeses
- Nut pates
- Exquisite raw Soups
- Wraps: savoury and sweet
- Menu planning
This outline will be backed up by around 78 real recipes, discussed first and then prepared by the students – to finally serve as part of our shared meals.
Here is what some of our May 2012 graduates had to say:
“The Raw Food Chef course was a great introduction to raw food preparation. It allowed me to “DO” instead of just watch. Recipes that looked a bit daunting turned out to be relatively simple. René was great and encouraged us and allowed us to go ahead, have a go and get stuck in! After my “hands On” I now have a much better idea on how to make delicious and practical raw food even in winter! This is a vital as it will make the difference in my life and my family to our longevity and health. Highly recommended. Don’t just think about it. DO IT!”
– Heather S., Auckland
“René’s raw chef training is very informative and enjoyable. There is a great balance between talking through the recipes and information and the hands-on training, which builds confidence and skill levels in all aspects of raw food meal preparation. It was a truly wonderful experience that I would thoroughly recommend to anyone considering doing it.”
Jenni M., Albany, Auckland
Raw Chef Training Level 1 gave me added skills in food preparation using raw foods for a variety of dishes.
Rene’s energy flows over to his easy manner and humour in his workshops and his products which delight the palate.
The dishes are presented with flair and skill to be visually appealing as well as deliver health and a sensationally delightful taste experience. Even foods I have never found appealing e.g. mushrooms take on a new persona under Rene’s expertise. I would definitely recommend Rene’s workshops to anyone seriously interested in raw food preparation or improving their health.
Many heartfelt thanks Rene, for a wonderfully informative weekend.
Best wishes for your future,
Laurel, Dec 2012
” If you want to learn more about raw food for health or for chef training then this is the course for you! Rene’s knowledge is vast and he shares this with love.. Rene makes things easy. He uses everyday language and gives you the how and the why. His energy is boundless and he is so attentive that even in a class you feel like you are getting the attention you need. Rene never rushes and is mindful of the learning pace of the class and works with that. He makes learning fun and has a great sense of humour. I learned a lot, ate a lot and laughed a lot. What more could you ask for?!”
Patti D., Dec 2012
Q: Why did you decide to come along?
A: It has always been a topic I am passionate about and this is the first/only (?) training available in Australia and NZ. And I came along because Rene is tops!
Q: What are the most important things you have learned in this training?
A: To be creative with ingredients. To incorporate fermented foods into the diet.
Q: What did you enjoy about the training?
A: The passion & knowledge of Chef Rene, the abundance of food, the flexibility of the course and the amount of knowledge. Also the relaxed, friendly and loving atmosphere.
“The Raw Chef training Level 1 is an enchanting, delicious and practical introduction to the realm of Raw Food and Wellbeing. Chef Rene delivers the training and teachings with professionalism, integrity, passion and knowledge. I would highly recommend this course to any person wishing to improve their own food awareness, health and wellbeing, and who would like to become more creative in the kitchen. A beautiful weekend full of fun, outstanding vibrant food and expert guidance from a truly inspiring teacher. Thank you!”
Poppy S., Dec 2012
And here Natalie’s glorious full-length account. Enjoy!
“If you had of said to me ‘Raw Food Diet’ a year ago, a monotony of cabbage and cucumber sticks would fill my mind. Not only would it be completely undoable, I thought it was the exclusive domain of extreme hippies and notorious dieters.
But I have had my mind and stomach opened to a whole new world of food that isn’t just dank veges. But a concept of eating that has changed my weight, mind clarity, digestion and – gasp – it is delicious.
Growing up with a health conscious mum, I had various brushes with spirulina drinks, wheatgrass, cabbage detoxes and green juices but a love of all things deep fried and salty won out every time. As a teen I was a tiny size four, but ate like a trucker. Suddenly my 20s hit and so did a bout of cellulite, gut troubles and yo-yo weight. I got bored of the gym, low-carb diets and limiting calories so the problems continued.
I was tired, overweight, plagued by fierce adult acne across my face, neck and chest, was bloated daily and I was getting sick of it. By default last year I began eating a more vegetable based diet thanks to my parent’s interest in a groundbreaking book called The China Study (written by T. Colin Campbell) that advocates a no animal product, vegetable laden diet. I started losing weight and was having less stomach troubles. I’m not going to lie, it was a vast lifestyle change. I went from having dinner plate sized steaks to vegetarian meals 60 per cent of the time. But I was seeing a change.
A few months ago my mum then heard about some Raw Food courses with internationally acclaimed raw chef, René Archner. I went to one class expecting to have to feign excitement about salads. Next thing, René was serving up a silky zucchini soup, studded with chilli laden sunflower seeds. Delicious! There was a vegetable fettuccini mixed in a creamy Alfredo sauce, an apple pie – all without cooking and all honestly tasting amazing. It’s hard to explain, but everything tasted more vibrant, fresher and sweeter. My interest was definitely piqued. How could raw food with no meat content be so good? I signed on to do the weekend level one chef training course to find out.
The weekend was hugely interesting and opened me up to a whole new area of food. And although I wasn’t expecting results in such a short time, I lost weight despite gorging myself silly on all the meals we prepared over the weekend. My skin, which was dry and acne-ridden thanks to the change in season, became more even toned and less Sahara desert. And I was worried because I wasn’t sleeping in even if my schedule allowed it – I didn’t need it. My energy was up and my digestion more settled.
I always thought by choosing healthy food you’d be choosing vitamins over taste. ‘Bland but beaming with health’ kind of thing. And for someone whose best friends are garlic and salt, simple tastes are not my thing. Not everything we made was labour effective – cutting a wad of celery to rice sized bits is the first thing that comes to mind – but the tastes were always amazing.
Take the heavenly minestrone soup we made. The finished result looked exactly like the cooked version but tasted fresher – not just a tomato and zucchini mash after it’s been cooked. Because not only the colours, enzymes, vitamins are boiled out when you cook, when it’s raw the subtle flavours are kept intact.
From knife skills, to super-foods, to dehydrating – René covers everything. As a former Mechanical engineer he is direct, specific and full of knowledge. Having worked with raw foods since 2001 and a former 100 percent raw foodist for five years, he knows his stuff. But what I liked about René – as well as his quick sense of humour – is he never judges. I thought I’d be maligned for being a meat eater at the chef training. But René, having spent a long time on a exclusively raw diet, now eats a small amount of cooked foods and meat to supplement his diet. And he’s honest about his journey. He credits raw food for providing a balance and clarity to his life not to mention plentiful heath benefits. But he also says a strict raw diet for prolonged periods places your body into a detox mode which he believes is excellent for small amounts of time, but for long periods can be trying socially, mentally and physically.
And with topics covered things like detox versus sustenance, fermented foods, emotional aspects of food and ethnic cuisines – René takes a fun and holistic approach to raw foods. Stand out meals created by the students over the course was a decadent chocolate mousse torte with fresh bananas and orange. Seriously good but sneakily created with avocados, organic cocoa powder, shredded coconut and dates so it’s actually good for you.
I was keenly surprised by sushi created with a blend of vegetables and seeds/nuts as a rice replacement that looked and tasted incredible. And crisp croquettes made from portabello mushrooms smothered in moorish coconut based sour cream. Another winner had to be a Thai Stir Non-Fry. Julienned fresh vegetables wrapped in a Thai-inspired sauce thick with ginger and lemongrass and dehydrated briefly to meld the flavours. This wasn’t a replacement for Thai curries; it was a health enhancing improvement.
I’m not going to chew on a carrot for every meal from now on, but the course and René’s teachings provided me a new direction and understanding for fresh foods and why they are so important. I have the confidence to know that seriously delicious meals can be created from your garden. And after eating them, you feel better and lighter.
I also have a stash of excellent recipes that René has used for catering swanky events round the world, and now I can wow my friends with fantastic dinner parties – made from raw ingredients. It’s made me more health conscious, relieved some of my stomach and skin issues and I have a new friend in Chef René. I recommend this course to anyone and I’m excited about the new path of discovery it’s created for me.”
Natalie Scarr, Auckland – Journalist and food writer