Native Foods Cooking Demo

23 Oct

On Sunday morning, I woke up early to catch the bus to Westwood for my second Native Foods cooking demo. I attended one soon after my arrival in LA at the Culver City location, which you can read about here.

Anyway, I arrived about 15 minutes early and chose my antisocial seat hidden behind a poll, ’cause that’s what I do. Here’s what the cooking set-up looked like:

While we waited, I had two sample cups of their awesome chai:

And then the Hulk — I mean Chef Kendall — showed up:

Blammo. She was a hoot. Her manner was very engaging, which made the demo very exciting. We got to work trying our first samples: Mummy Meatloaf with Bloody Mary Sauce.

The meatloaf was seitan-based, and it tasted good, but it wasn’t terribly exciting. The sauce, however, was insanely good and really easy. I can see myself attempting a lentil/tempeh loaf and lathering it on, or using it as a tofu marinade, or making a twist on patatas bravas with it. So good!

Next we tried the Dragon’s Blood Punch:

Also tasty, though I’m not the world’s biggest fan of punch. It had cranberry, mixed fruit juice, and ginger ale.

And then we did dessert number 1 — Goblin “Sweet” Bread Ginger Pudding:

This was really tasty. I especially loved the addition of crystallized ginger. I did have to pick out/eat around the currants (raisins’ slightly less offensive but still reprehensible cousin), but I would definitely make this at home with leftover homemade sourdough and maybe chocolate chips instead of the ginger.

And dessert number 2 — Ghastly Gourd Parfaits:

This was tasty, too, but very hard to eat with a fork! It was a tofu-based pumpkin pudding with a spiced cookie crumble.

And then I won $10:

That’s me next to the Hulk

Technically, the people behind me won the $10 gift card. However, they left early — thank goodness, as they were some of the most annoying people I can remember encountering in a while — so I totally cannibalized their winnings. Bwah ha ha. No shame.

I had a good time at this demo, and while I thought Chef Kendall was an amazing host, I would have preferred a better balance of savory to sweet food. I felt pretty sugar-loaded by the time I left.

Since it was Sunday, my bus was only running every hour, so I spent about 55 minutes walking around Westwood. It was beautiful outside — 70s and overcast — so I did a little window shopping, logged two meandering miles, and stumbled across this lovely courtyard:

It was a great start to a Sunday.

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