Our November meeting wasn’t half-baked – it was raw! The Rocking Raw Chef Barbara Fernandez came to talk to the Belles about her culinary speciality: raw vegan food.
First things first, this chef certainly does rock! Barbara opened the evening with an impressive musical account of her discovery of raw food. But once she had decided to start eating this way, she hit a problem: many delicious dishes took too long to prepare, and quicker recipes just didn’t pass the taste test. That’s why she set out to create raw meals that were both fast AND tasty.
Barbara explained some of the principles of ‘cooking’ raw food – a surprising one was that she’s not limited to eating salads! According to Barbara, it still counts as raw if it’s warmed up, as long as it doesn’t get ‘hot’ (she just checks the temperature with her little finger). Many of her recipes use clever preparation techniques to mimic the texture of cooked food, but without any cooking. She showed us what she meant with a live demo – a raw spinach dip prepared in a blender has a really similar consistency to cooked spinach. All of Barbara’s dishes are vegan too, even the creamy chocolate and banana pudding that she made us for dessert. Her top tip here was to soak cashews in water then whip up in the blender for a vegan-friendly creamy texture.
The bakes from this month’s cake fairies were, however, not raw. These perfectly cooked treats were delicious as always, and made a great addition to our fabulously foodie meeting.