Wednesday, September 8, 2010
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I eat just about anything, and willingly. After a while that gets to be a problem. So, for the last week my sisters ( Robin and Jodi) and I have been trying to diet. Yes, we are doing one of those weird fad-sounding things (Fat Smash if you must know) but since it seems pretty healthy, I thought ‘why not?’ Since it eliminates a whole range of foods I usually buy, cook and eat without thinking, it’s forced me to be more creative with a limited list of ingredients. I’m actually enjoying the challenge.
So, it was with great pleasure that I accepted an invitation to attend a raw vegan meal last night. While I’m only on this Fat Smash thing for a few weeks, I was really curious to see how someone could survive - and enjoy - eating only uncooked vegetables FOREVER! I mean, such a limited repertoire of not only of basic ingredients, but the fact that you can’t cook anything. Really?
Even though I was skeptical, I accepted the invitation since it was hosted by my friend Sienna, and she is usually pretty trustworthy on the food front. Her friend Boris was coming to town, and was planning a Gourmet Raw Food Vegan menu, with inspirations from Bali, where he had just spent some time cooking.
I first met Boris at a yoga class (which seems apt) and he has since left his regular job in Rome and moved to Berlin to devote himself to being a gourmet raw chef. And gourmet is the key word here. While there are a lot of raw devotees out there, Boris is trying to bring it to a new level. No cut up carrot sticks here. He uses every trick in the book to wrangle various fruits, nuts and vegetables into extraordinary gourmet menus.
As twenty of us gathered on Sienna’s terrace last night I could definitely feel the fear. It was mostly coming from the husbands, who were all grumbling about carrot sticks and tofu. And dinner hadn’t even begun yet. (not to mention that tofu has not place in the raw world.)
But cranky hubbies were soon quieted by small little rounds of cucumber topped by cashew ‘cheese’. The Jackfruit Kaffir Lime Lassi was a bit weird, but since we were all encouraged to byob, there was plenty of wine and beer.
Once seated, the show began. And I say ‘show’ since so much obvious effort had gone into the meal. Each dish was presented and plated beautifully, and Boris graciously explained the why and how behind each item.
For starters we had Chinese Style Dumplings, which included the only non-raw ingredient, rice paper wrappers. Stuffed with a mix of pureed cashews and spices, the little bundles were packed full of flavor and not only tasty but very filling. The grumbling hubbies began to relax.
The main dish was Boris’s take on Gado Gado, which involved preparing 12 different vegetables and condiments. I know he was up until 1 the night before at Sienna’s preparing this, since I could hear his industrial strength blender as I fell asleep. (Sienna is my neighbor) The plates looked gorgeous, all multi colored and a mix of different textures. Although at first it seemed like so much salad, in the end everyone admitted they were stuffed and many couldn’t even finish.
But somehow we all managed to find room for the dessert, a Cardamom Coconut Halva, with a Mango Coulis, which may have been my favorite course.
I would usually leave you all with a recipe at this point. But I think there should be a warming about not trying this at home. The meal was certainly delicious, impressive and filling. And I’d love to try it again. But replicate it on my own, at home? I don’t think so. It seems like way too much effort. I’ll leave that to the gourmet raw chefs for now. So Boris, I hope you come back again soon.
Posted by Elizabeth Minchilli at 11:51 AM