Vegan Culinary Experiences

FOR SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, AND UNIVERSITIES

HomeCarrying Vegan to School

logoIntroducing the younger generation to vegan and vegetarian food drives my creativity in the kitchen. Meat-free cuisine is good for the eater and good for the earth. Young people, in particular, face difficult environmental and lifestyle challenges.

My vegan culinary program was specially designed to educate school- and college-aged students about how choosing a mostly meat- and dairy-free lifestyle can help the younger generation to live healthier while sustaining a healthier world.

Recently, I revamped the vegan menu for Harvard University Dining Services with my original recipes, and provided MIT’s dining services with catering for Meatless Mondays, twice a month.

2People tend to underestimate what you can do with vegan and vegetarian food; with the right techniques and ingredients, the possibilities are endless!

In the kitchen, you’re apt to find me grilling and sauteing. Fresh vegetables cooked on the grill take on an irresistible sweet and smoky flavor, robust enough to win over hard-core carnivores as well as vegans.

I also use numerous spices, especially Indian, to turn up the flavor of vegan and vegetarian foods. My favorite foods to work with are pulses (also known as legumes), which are common in Indian cuisine and come in a vast array of varieties.

I like to take advantage of the versatility of pulses, which can be used in soups, crepes, burgers, and pastries. They make it possible to create vegan and vegetarian dishes that are both flavorful and high in protein, fiber, and vitamins.

Including pulses in vegan and vegetarian cuisine helps reduce the extent to which a chef relies on processed protein substitutes like tofu, tempeh, and seitan. These processed foods are good options for those who don’t eat meat, but should be used sparingly.

THE PACKAGES

EXTENDED INVOLVEMENT RELATIONSHIP

$12,000–15,000
This package includes development and training of overall operations, menu planning, menu research, kitchen staff training, cooking demos, and more. Includes two flights. (Additional flights at the client’s expense.) If I am traveling out of state, my clients cover the cost of my accommodations. I will be on call five days a week for any questions, assistance, or emergencies.

GENERAL MENU PLANNING

$900 per day
This package includes maximizing menu elements, as well as their usage and versatility. I look at food life span and usage, and portions and presentation. I review the number of items for each category (i.e. soups, salads, appetizers, entrees, desserts, drinks, sides). I also investigate available ingredients and suppliers.

3THE PLAN

A typical visit entails a combination of the following:

INITIAL SITE VISIT

I will first tour the halls / kitchen to get a feel for the equipment and space.

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT

Working in partnership with campus dining service chefs, I propose recipes that meet menu goals and food cost needs, including vegetarian entrees (lunch or dinner) and approximate cost and size of portions. I also work with the culinary support team to refine vegetarian and vegan recipes for improved taste and texture, as well as developing vegan / vegetarian soups, appetizers, and entrees for large-scale production.

MENU ENGINEERING

Using the accurate recipe costing, I review the menu layout to drive profitability. I then lead the team in making smart decisions about the menu.

STAFF TRAINING / DEVELOPMENT

I work in partnership with chefs from the campus to help them better understand key tenets of vegetarian and vegan cooking, including handling of unique non-meat proteins such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, and beans / legumes. I host campus chefs and hold training sessions for the selected recipes.

VISITING CAMPUS

I lead a cooking instruction / demo of about 60 minutes with the community that highlights vegetarian cooking. This will be open to the broad campus community and will include a light lunch of demonstrated items to sample. I visit the campus on any weekday evening for dinner, demonstrate menu items, and talk to students.