April 30, 2011
Julia Guthrie, contributing writer
On a recent weekend in April, I had the opportunity to meet with Mark Reinfeld who was in Portland to kick-off his new Vegan Fusion Teacher Training program. If youíre not familiar with Mark by name you are probably familiar with at least one of his popular vegan cookbooks (Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, The Complete Idiotís Guide to Eating Raw, The 30-Minute Vegan and The 30-Minute Veganís Taste of the East) or the restaurant he co-founded with Bo Rinaldi, The Blossoming Lotus.
After closing the original Blossoming Lotus location on Kauai (see the Business Partner Spotlight on Blossoming Lotus) Mark decided to combine his three lovesócooking, teaching, and travelingóand began offering a variety of vegan and raw food classes around the world. He also continues to expand his cookbook offerings, using the exotic locations of his workshops and retreats to inspire new titles, such as the upcoming The 30-Minute Veganís Taste of Europe.
Vegan Fusion classes offer students the opportunity to learn more about the health and environmental benefits of a vegan diet; great tips from a seasoned professional chef, including easier ways to plan and prep, and simple presentation methods that further enhance the delicious dishes; and a variety of delicious options for vegan cuisine in the home. At any particular course youíll find professional chefs expanding their repertoire, people new to a vegan diet, long-time vegans, and a group of people learning a lot, making good friends, and enjoying some delicious meals.
In 2011 Vegan Fusion is expanding their offerings to include more international destinations, with retreats and classes in Ibiza, Greece, and France (the Loire Valley and Paris). While many of the classes in the U.S. are strictly focused on cooking and preparation techniques, these international retreats will give participants more of a travel experience and include trips to local markets to shop for seasonal ingredients, gorgeous accommodations in picturesque settings and (depending on the trip) opportunities for side-trips and other activities.
If your schedule (or budget) doesnít allow for such extravagant plans this year, donít fret, you can still master the techniques and recipes offered in the workshops, but in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Thatís because Vegan Fusion has just launched their brand new web-based offering, Cooking Healthy Lessons. This program allows you to learn the recipes and techniques taught at the ten-day intensive course on your schedule and in your own kitchen. Itís a great affordable way to get cookiní immediately. And who knows? Maybe it will inspire you to save for that ten-day retreat in Peru in 2012.
For more information about Vegan Fusion workshops and retreats (and some great recipes) visit www.veganfusion.com. For information about the online course visit www.cookinghealthylessons.com.