The first time I adventured myself into the raw food movement was after hearing about it on "Sex and the City" many years ago. Back then, I made a raw chocolate cake with nothing but dates, walnuts and cocoa powder. I though it was delicious; everyone else who tried it, not really.
Anyway, times have changed and it seems like a lot more people are opting for a healthier and tastier plant based, nutrient dense kind of diet. And speaking of nutrients, fermentation is something that keeps popping up in food related conversations.
What is fermentation?
Fermentation is a natural process in which natural bacteria convert sugars and starches in the food into lactic acid. This process not only helps preservation but also creates beneficial enzymes and probiotics. It lso give the food a very characteristic sour taste - think sourdough bread, yogurt and kimchi and you'll know the taste I'm talking about.
From what I've read and listened to, fermented foods play a very important role in keeping people healthy. All those good bacteria (probiotics) and enzymes promote the well being of the gut which then improves digestion and boosts the immune system. It makes even more sense to eat fermented foods if we realize that a lot of the food that a person eats is either pasteurised or cooked, and thus depleted of nutrients and living micro-organisms.
Why Matthew Kenney Culinary?
I don't remember when or exactly how I came across Matthew Kenney's culinary school, but it appealed to me right away. Although I'm not a vegan, nor on a gluten-free or raw diet, I must admit that all the creativity behind these lifestyle options fascinates me.
MK Culinary offers a series of vegan/raw food courses, with short or month-long durations and available either on site, Venice, Miami and Thailand, or online. I was very well impressed with my experience at MKC. The school is in the same building as Plant Food and Wine, Matthew Kenney's Venice restaurant. It's spacious and well equipped. Our instructor, Alice, was lively and funny. Because we were a small group, she let us experiment a bit more and get creative with the flavourings of our fermented nut cheeses. We also had a very detailed kombucha class, given by another instructor, Sean. He's an expert in kombucha making, knowledgable and passionate about this wonderful fermented drink, that apparently gives those who drink it a very special glow. Which I obviously needed after so many months living in a wintery, gloomy Scotland!
Here are some of the delicious and nutritious recipes we've made:
For more information about Matthew Kenney Culinary visit http://matthewkenneycuisine.com