Vegan Fusion Immersion

by Kristina Sloggett

in Gluten Free, Portland, Vegan

This month, I am doing something I have wanted to do for a long time.

My days are long, but also too short! The time in class flies by, and I am having so much fun. Fundamentally, we are learning techniques, recipes and all about how to turn real whole foods into vibrant dishes. On another level, we are having great conversations about benefits, ethics, and the impact of food.

The class is small, and made up of people as excited about food as I am. We begin each day by prepping the ingredients we will be using that day, then we break for a snack. While enjoying our snack we review the day before, and go through the exam.

We are in teams of two, and each team is assigned a recipe. We cook and learn and present our recipes to the rest of the class, and we all sit down to eat again! Then back in the kitchen for more recipes, followed by another meal time. We are well fed here.

We all sit together, chef included, talking and enjoying so much amazing food. We help with the cleanup and break for the day around 8:30 pm, where I stumble out with the biggest goofy grin on my face.

I have been following Mark Reinfeld for years, the founding chef of Blossoming Lotus Restaurant (first location in Hawaii, second location in Portland) and have wanted to take his classes for some time. I am giddy happy to now have this opportunity – incredibly lucky, really, and feeling a whole lot of gratitude.

These (phone) photos are from the last couple days of class – I will share more soon!


{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather (Where's the Beach) June 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Oh wow! That’s awesome my friend!!!! How exciting for you.


2 spabettie June 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Heather you would LOVE Mark’s recipes – you should look at his books. awesome flavors.


3 Heather @ Better With Veggies June 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm

That sounds awesome – what a great experience and I’m certainly a little jealous. Can’t wait to read all the details about your class!


4 Christina June 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Amazing! Can’t wait to see what’s to come. The class sounds like so much fun!


5 Abby June 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

How exciting! I can’t wait to live vicariously through you 😉


6 spabettie June 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I am beyond excited, Abby! exhausted, but so happy. :) I’ll share more soon!


7 Jess June 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

This sounds SO FUN!!!!


8 Tommy June 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm

time flies, I remember when you signed up! looks like he comes to the Midwest, I may have to take these! have fun!


9 spabettie June 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm



10 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) June 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Oh I wish I was your partner!!! That would be so much fun! I’m glad you found something fun to do right now. I know you need a brain break. xoxo


11 spabettie June 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm

oh Sarena I SO wish you were here with me!! you would love everything about this class, and we would have the best time! XXO


12 Averie @ Averie Cooks June 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

So excited for you and this must be a blast! Hard, long, but a blast!


13 Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) June 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm

How exciting, I can’t wait to see pics of your creations and read more about your experience. I have eaten at the Blossoming Lotus in Hawaii and it was an incredible experience. Enjoy!!!


14 spabettie June 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I wish I could have gotten to the original BL in Hawaii… but do I get to enjoy the Portland one whenever, so I cannot complain. :) it is one of my favorites.


15 Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm

how fun!! sounds like a great cooking class! and that food looks incredible! my mouth is watering! haha thanks for sharing!


16 dorry June 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm

what an awesome experience! I’m so glad you have this opportunity, and I would love to come in and be a taster. :) can’t wait to read more about it- enjoy!! xo


17 spabettie June 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm

there is always a great deal of food, I wish you COULD join us for enjoying it. :)


18 Shirley @ gfe June 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm

You’re amazing! Enjoy! :-)



19 spabettie June 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm

thank you, Shirley! you are too, you know! XO


20 Lou June 14, 2012 at 1:03 am

I am rather envious, I must admit – sounds incredible… good food, learning new skills, passionate people – that’s a whole lot of fun in a bucket if ever I did see one :)


21 spabettie June 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I know, I am excited every day! the class is small, we have a lot of fun, and WOW the food is all amazing!


22 JL goes Vegan June 14, 2012 at 3:19 am

I am so excited for you! Would you believe I had that exact class on my calendar for months! It was my plan to take it, too! But I opted for a vegan lifestyle coaching certification (next week) instead. Yay YOU! For doing this! Can’t wait to see what happens as a result! xo


23 spabettie June 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm

JL, of course I would believe it! :) I wish you were in this class WITH me – we’d have such fun! coaching certification definitely suits you, AND I think you should keep this class in mind for future plans, you’d love it! Mark is a great instructor and just lots of fun.


24 jobo June 14, 2012 at 6:07 am

This is SO COOL!!! What a fun experience and I am so glad you get to do this AND share more droolworthiness with us :-)


25 spabettie June 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I am so grateful to be able to do this right now! I am exhausted but also having SUCH a great time! 😀


26 Natasha June 14, 2012 at 8:55 am

Congrats Girlie! :)
I’m very proud of you! That is my kinda eating! – Things have been CA-RA-ZHEH…MUST, must must fill you in soon…
Hope Papa is fab…


27 spabettie June 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm

helllooooo my friend! I think of you often, I know we are both too busy for our own good. hope to catch up with you soon, and I hope all the crazy is GOOD crazy! XXO


28 Laurel June 14, 2012 at 10:51 am

What an amazing opportunity. Kudos.


29 Jenn@slim-shoppin June 14, 2012 at 11:14 am

So jealous! Looks like an amazing experience and delicious food!


30 Wendy June 15, 2012 at 6:27 am

So excited and wish I was there too! That looks like such an amazing experience – I can’t wait to see what you share from it!


31 spabettie June 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I wish you were too, Wendy – you would LOVE this. Tuesday was grain day – we made awesome things with quinoa!


32 Kath (My Funny Little Life) June 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Oh wow. I *love* that you’re doing this course now! I went to a vegetarian restaurant with two friends (both of them are vegans) a month or so ago. At that restaurant, they have a wonderful buffet with 30+ dishes to choose from (salads, casseroles, vegetable antipasti, stir-fries, …), and most of them are vegan. (“Vegetarian” is often qualified by “having a lot of cheese”, so I went for the vegan dishes only.) I was wonderfully surprised by the world of flavors the dishes provided, and by feeling perfectly satisfied after finishing off what was on my plate. You know I flirt with veganism, but 100 % veganism isn’t for me. However, I’ve again lost my appetite for meat, so for the past weeks, I’ve eaten fish and seafood and more legumes again (with veggies etc). I feel very well, because unlike before during my vegan experiments, I don’t try to reduce animal foods to a minimum at all costs. I also feel more satisfied since I’ve incorporated legumes on a regular basis. I won’t make this a topic on my blog right now, but when the tendency is stabilizing, I probably will.


33 spabettie June 19, 2012 at 9:16 am

thank you, Kath!! I am THRILLED to be able to do this, and will be continuing on with more (there is a teaching certification as well). I am so happy you “get” the phenomenon of flavor – vibrant awesome flavor – that you can achieve with plant based cooking. and YES – it absolutely is satisfying! :)

I am so happy to hear you are doing well – make up your own rules and do what is good for you, what you know works best for you. This way, your heart is happy (I know the feelings you have for animals) AND your stomach is happy too! I look forward to your update about it all. XXO much love to you, dear friend!


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