I’m not usually one to brag but I have been up to some new and cool things lately and it’s time to tell you all about them.
First of all, I started a new job about a month ago and it’s amazing. It’s so amazing, in fact, that I’m still not used to the idea of how cool it actually is. The job is at a culinary school called Natural Gourmet Institute. Started by the famed Dr. Annemarie Colbin in the seventies, its focus is health-supportive cooking and it is one of the only institutions of its kind. The school offers both an accredited chef’s training program and recreational classes that are open to the public. It’s a fantastic place and I can honestly say that I love coming to work every morning.
It really is a one-of-a-kind place. Our students (who come from all over the world to attend, and range in age from 18 to 60) are passionate, and the instructors are open, nurturing, smart, and of course, very talented cooks. Although I don’t work in the kitchen, I do get to take as many cooking classes as my heart desires, which is the best possible job perk I could ask for. I’ve taken two classes so far – one on Indian crepes (dosas) and one on classic Sicilian cooking – and have already learned so much. Having previously taken some classes at the French Culinary Institute in SoHo, I have something to compare to, and I’ll tell you, the two are like night and day. FCI seemed strict and institutional and the instructors seemed bored, like they’d rather be elsewhere. But the atmosphere at NGI is fun and welcoming, and there’s a true sense of camaraderie. And I’m not just saying that because it is now the source of my livelihood – I’m saying it because I’ve really fallen in love with the place. I’ll recreate some of the recipes I learned in class soon and be sure to share them with you. If you live in New York, definitely check out the list of public classes and come see what I mean.
Another awesome thing about the school is the weekly Friday Night Dinner. The prix-fixe vegan/optional vegetarian, BYOB meal is prepared by the chefs-in-training and the chef instructors. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it the first time I went but ended up being thoroughly impressed. The classrooms get adorned with fresh flowers, candlelight and communal tables, and the whole event is flawlessly orchestrated by faculty and students. And the food… oh, the food. You won’t find pork belly or fois gras on those menus but the things that they’re able to accomplish with plant-based foods are so interesting that you won’t even miss the meat and dairy. The dinners are open to the public so I urge you New Yorkers to come on by.
Besides my day job, I’ve also started contributing to Millennial Type, a multi-author blog manned by Declan and Erica, formerly of Cooking in College. The blog explores different topics, ranging from food to style to career tips, and caters to the interests of, as you may have guessed, millennials. The site gives me the chance to write about topics that I don’t get to cover here so I’ve really been enjoying it so far. Check out my contributions so far.
Lastly, a few months ago the editor of Girls’ Life magazine reached out to me and asked me to contribute some healthy snack ideas for the magazine and it’s now published. Click here to check out the feature!
Your turn! Anything you want to brag about?