Vegan Fusion Immersion

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!



  1. Tommy says

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

    • spabettie says

      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

    • spabettie says

      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.

  2. says

    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

  3. says

    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 :)

    • spabettie says

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

  4. says

    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

    • spabettie says

      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.

    • spabettie says

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

  5. Natasha says

    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…

    • spabettie says

      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

  6. says

    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!

    • spabettie says

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

  7. says

    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.

    • spabettie says

      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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