Anyone might think you are crazy, but your friends and family will at least give you a chance. It feels good, if you exceed expectations then you have a loyal customer. This is just how it started. I chose Palm Springs; it was easy. It is at home from the womb. It was certainly a challenge, but I learned to do everything.
What fascinates you about creating gourmet vegan foods?
People always ask, âWhere do the ideas come from? I think it’s often a divine thing. This usually happens when I am gardening or doing something. But sometimes it can be as easy as listening to the radio and hearing a fast food commercial. Then I’m like, “I want to do this, what would I put in there?” I would like to give something new with something familiar to people. Some of my ideas came from traveling. This is where the basis of my first restaurant was born. I lived in Asia for a year. I have traveled all over Europe. I love South American influences. It’s just “Wow, what is this?”
What dishes will you prepare during your virtual demo?
I love Halloween. We start the demo with “Pumpkin Soup with Bat Eyes”. It’s just a great soup and makes people use the pumpkins for cooking. The main course will be “Transylvanian Ghoulash”. I always thought it was a little fun to make a parody of a meat dish sometimes. This is usually spelled goulash, but I spell it “Ghoulash”. Goulash is a Hungarian dish, but Transylvania is near and they also have goulash there. We’re going to have gourmet flavors that have fun names. I like to have fun with food. Halloween really inspired me with the name of the dessert. I call it “Route Kill Cobbler”. I’m going to mix apples and cherries because Halloween is about this dark side.
What do you like most about these dishes?
In goulash, I love sauerkraut. I put some in this dish and made the sauerkraut implement a lot of that flavor and umami balance that people often look for in meat. It’s just good. I like it, now it’s fall, all the yellow and orange veggies. Each season provides some kind of nutrition for our body to store.
What advice would you give to people who want to try eating healthier but don’t know where to start?
I suggest people try just one vegan or vegetarian meal per week. And don’t give up the first time. We don’t like everything we eat, even with meat, even if it’s not vegetarian. Sometimes there is a meal that you don’t like. Do not abandon. Try other choices. I also suggest not to try to convert right away, just try to have it once a week, twice a week. When you start to crave it naturally because it tastes delicious and you feel good about it, then let it sink in. Don’t be so hard on yourself. People are very hard on themselves. What did I eat? Why did I eat this? And is it good for me? And you can’t stress out when eating food. It is a joyous occasion.
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