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Posts Tagged ‘weekend classes’

Over the next two months, Living Light will be taking its FUNdamentals class on the road. This class is the foundation of all our other classes – our flagship, as we like to call it. It’s absolutely packed with information about raw culinary arts and is designed to give anyone the base upon which to make a lifestyle change to whole, living, planet friendly foods. But is this base enough?

Most recently, we took FUNdamentals to San Diego where it was taught by two of our shining stars: Alicia Ojeda and Brenda Hinton. I spoke with one of our recent graduates, Kristen Johnson, about her experience both at the class in San Diego and how it led her to Living Light. Kristen grew up in San Diego, so she combined a trip to see her family with the opportunity to give Living Light a try. She and a friend attended the class and were impressed with both of the instructors’ knowledge and love for Living Light. Alicia brought the history to life while Brenda explained how the school works and what it can do for you. Both Kristen and her friend left the class with a kindled passion for raw foods – and Kristen with the intention to learn more.

Kristen is now a certified Associate Raw Food Chef and Instructor and Raw Pastry Chef. When she returned home to Brooklyn, New York after the FUNdamentals class, she got to work right away – putting her new knowledge into practice. But she knew she needed more. Her journey began at an “on the road” class, and in just a couple months’ time it included a Living Light certification. Fabulous!

Whether you’re as driven as Kristen or if you just want to get your feet wet, keep an eye on our website for a FUNdamentals class on a road near you. It’s a great way to get started and will send you home ready to do your own sprouting, juicing and more. And who knows – it may begin a raw culinary education that will change your life path forever.

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Lucky girl am I to have had the opportunity to take Living Light’s Food Styling for Photography class with Cristina Archila.  The class is unique because its primary focus is on gourmet raw cuisine.  It is the first Living Light class I have taken since graduating the Gourmet Culinary program in 2010.    And I feel it is the most awesomely creative class to have experienced here at Living Light.  Well, maybe it’s a close second to the recipe development classes of Ethnic and RawFusion Spa Cuisine.     Either way you learn a lot of the tricks and techniques of the Food styling trade.  The class covers the equipment a food stylist uses, plating skills, how to use sauces as paint, using props to describe a recipe, how to the direct the eye’s flow to the image in the photograph and so much more.  My favorite tip I learned involved a potato and toothpicks.   You have to take the class to get that one.

You look at food differently as a food stylist than as a chef but the process for me is very similar. You aren’t necessarily worried if the food will taste good, because believe me; you would not want to eat food styling food.   Think of denture cream holding a cherry tomato in place on a bowl of lettuce.  Not too appetizing, but very effective.

As a chef, I am a HUGE planner.  I scour through cooked recipes to find just the right one to create a raw version and I take numerous notes and write and rewrite a recipe before I gather my mise en place and begin testing (and re-testing) in the kitchen.  All before I have a completed dish.

I was able to use the skills I had a chef during the Food Styling for Photography hands-on portion of the class, we had the opportunity to wear the food stylist hat.  My process was similar to that of my chef‘s chapeau. 

Below was my development in styling a raw pasta dish.

1. Use a prep chart to design my dish.

2.  Gather the ingredients (zucchini pasta, red sauce, pesto,  top secret ingredients used to create a white sauce) and equipment. 

3.  Paint the pasta.

4.  Add the garnishes.

5.  Photograph the finished dish.

This rapid-fire, one-day course was informative, fun and definitively stretched my creative muscles to the max.

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So those of you who are regular followers of the Living Light blog may recognize my name.  I am Amber West.  I’ve done a variety of

Amber

things here at Living Light.  It all started when I moved to Fort Bragg with my partner Alex.  I had looked at going to school at Living Light a few years back, but didn’t have the money to do it then.  After we moved I found myself frequenting the Café more and more, you know to pick up a quick desert or try out a new yummy salad, and soon enough I was signed up for classes!  After I graduated from the Associate Chef and Instructor Program I was dedicated to get a job at Living Light.  Soon I was working as an Enrollment Specialist, guiding future students on what classes to take and how to get to Fort Bragg.  That’s how you may know me – I used to write in the Living Light blog! After awhile I started teaching weekend classes with the Pastry Chef, Meagan Ricks, who is a Gourmet Chef Graduate and with another Enrollment Specialist and Gourmet Chef Graduate, Mary Sandkamp.  We had a lot of fun teaching those 3 hour classes and making lots of new recipes; so much fun that after awhile there was a whole troop of us doing it!

Some of the Weekend Teaching Crew

Then Cherie approached me about doing an Internship in order to learn how to teach our introductory class, the FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods.  She was looking for a team of people to take it on the road to major cities around the globe.

Some of the FUNdamentals on the Road Crew

I was pretty excited about this opportunity, so then I became an Intern.  I have since completed all of the Science of Raw Food Nutrition classes and am working on the Gourmet classes.  In the summer of 2010 my partner and I were talking about moving a bit closer to family, so I sadly informed Living Light that I wasn’t going to be able to work in the front office anymore because we were planning to move back to the San Francisco Bay area. Once again Cherie contacted me, asking if I would be willing to do some work from home, so I became a second assistant to Cherie, helping to edit and write articles and curriculum for classes.  Then at the end of the year Cherie asked if I could train to teach the Associate Chef and Instructor class, for the times when either Jennifer Cornbleet or herself are not available to do it.  So now in 2011 I get to come back and visit everyone at Living Light nine times!  I have to say that I’m pretty excited that I just can’t seem to get away from this place!

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