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Bastyr University’s Culinary Arts & Nutrition Program

23 Jan

Bastyr

Saturday morning around 4 am, Pete and I packed the car and began our 3 hour journey north through the rain and snow to Bastyr University just outside of Seattle.

I realized recently that I needed to add a link for my future school (assuming I get in) to spread the word about their amazingly unique and all encompassing culinary program. For those of you interested in real food nutrition as well as culinary arts, this might be just the place to get started.

Bastyr University is one of the world’s leading academic centers for advancing and integrating knowledge in the natural health arts and sciences. Their mission is to transform the health and well being of the human community through an integrated approach to education, research and clinical service. The programs are all very heavy in the science department, which I think is essential when walking the fine line between conventional and non-conventional medicine. For a full list of the many programs offered, click here.

I love food, and I am fascinated by the ways in which it affects us both physically and mentally. I think that as a whole, we as a culture have been set up for failure in regards to making proper food choices for a healthy life. Sadly, what many of us believe to be healthy really isn’t; and on a more depressing note, some of us will never truly be able to relax and enjoy food, as we are told to meticulously count calories and feel guilt while consuming some of the best foods on the planet. I see it all the time waiting tables, and I have been there myself. It is no way to live, as life is too short and good food is way too good.

Many  nutrition programs in this country are sponsored by the big guys (think Kraft and Nabisco), meaning that folks going through these programs are told to promote items such as low fat dairy products and sugar free sweeteners as the healthy choice, rather than looking at food closest to it’s natural state. Many of these schools never even provide contact with actual food, let alone educate their students on the importance of understanding how to prepare a meal at home. How are you supposed to eat well if you don’t know how to make something taste good?

Bastyr however offers an alternative, and it really is one of the only accredited programs in the country dealing with real foods as well as educating its students from every angle; from the hard sciences to the kitchen. (The only other program that I have found that actually offers a degree is NYU’s Food Studies Program, which we will save for another day). And the best part is they offer a Culinary Arts and Nutrition Degree, meaning mastering nutrition with a focus on food preparation (meat and all the good stuff included).

For more specifics on the actual program, click here.

My goal in life is to one day play a role in the food movement that I believe to be happening here in America, and to help empower the general population to make smarter food choices, and more importantly in my eyes, how to have fun while doing it.

Thanks for staying tuned and hope you all are having a lovely winter.

Stay posted for more to come soon!

The Basque Culinary Center

17 Oct

I lived overseas when I was younger back and forth for about two years. When I first came back to the states, all I wanted to do was go back. Now, over five years later, I have really grown to love this country and all it has to offer, as well as the opportunities that are available to you living in your legal land. About a year ago I decided it was time to run away again, time for something new. After a few impulsive nights of searching for fitting options abroad however, I decided that what I have going is good and there is no need to run just yet. During my research I stumbled across news of the then future Basque Culinary Center. I love Spain, and have always dreamed of going back to live again, so I have since followed the schools progress thinking I would keep it in my “future file”. Last month this University level Culinary School in San Sebastian with an all-star crew at its lead (Ferran Adria and Rene Redzepi to name a few) opened its doors to the first class going through its bachelors and masters programs. The school also offers shorter term classes for professionals and culinary enthusiasts.  The BCC focuses on gastronomy, research and creation, as well as business/restaurant management. By checking out the website you will quickly see that this school will be so much more than just a place to learn how to cook, as they emphasize the worlds food issues, nutrition, food culture and so on.  And surprisingly it’s all at a much less expensive cost than you would think, racking up to only 8,000 Euros per year. I think that it is so awesome that Spain now has a top notch center of their own, as in my opinion and the opinion of many others, they are the top dogs in the future of food.

If you are into this kind of stuff check out the site. You can translate it into English on the top right, or if you are feeling like practicing that high school Spanish of yours, here is your chance.

http://bculinary.com/public_home/ctrl_home.php

If you know of any off the wall culinary programs, feel free to share them with the crowd.

 

Green Tea Ice Cream, With A Twist

21 Sep

So as I mentioned in an earlier post, I went to an alternative culinary school called Bauman College in Berkeley. At Bauman, myself and my 12 classmates spent 7 months learning to cook as you would at any old culinary school, but also learned extensively about alternative ingredients and therapeutic cooking, aka cooking for those with common illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, HIV, severe food allergies, thyroid issues and so on…

I, on paper, am lactose intolerant. I like to pretend like it’s not real these days, which works for me more and more as time goes by. When I was in school however, it was severe, so eating anything made of milk was definitely a really bad idea. That being said, one of my favorite recipes throughout the whole program was this one here for Cashew Green Tea Ice Cream. I am really not trying to be that person that truly believes fake ice cream can taste just as good as the real stuff, it just doesn’t. Nothing beats delicious, pure cream ice cream.  But this version with cashews is really great and pretty damn close as cashews have a very high fat content, so the ice cream is extremely rich and creamy.

You will need an ice cream maker for this recipe, which is totally worth the $50.

Here we go:

  • 2-cups cashews, soaked in water for 30 minutes, then drained.
  • 2-cups unsweetened coconut, oat or almond milk. The fattier the better. *Note coconut milk will give you a bit of a coconut taste.
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 2-Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1-large pinch sea salt
  • 3-Tbs green tea powder (matcha preferred), mixed with 4 Tbs hot water

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth. You may need to blend for 5-8 minutes to make it really creamy, scraping down the side with a spatula as you go. Taste and season if needed. Put mix into frozen ice cream maker bowl and freeze for at least an hour. From this point follow your ice cream makers instructions, usually to mix in the machine for 20 minutes or so. As you see from the picture above this ice should get pretty thick. If too frozen, thaw before serving for a few minutes. Above it is plated with homemade Nutella and Hazelnut Shortbread. Recipes to come.

I say serve plain or with a can of mandarin oranges and enjoy!

If you have 20,000 pounds and a year to spare…

17 Aug

http://www.schoolofartisanfood.org/

Check out this school in the UK, The School of Artisan Food, located outside of London in the Sherwood Forest. They offer a year diploma program in butchery, cheese making, chocolate, preserving and brewing. You get to choose one as a major & one as a minor and basically become a master of the craft. They also offer short term classes that range from introductory baking to artisan ice cream making and everything in between. Attending this place is definitely on the top of my dream/wish list.