Tag Archive: chef


First of all – all credit to the name goes to Samuel Lee, my comi at bhuti.

It has again been a massively long and tiring week, and once cancelled pop up dinner was rescheduled for the last day of June, Thursday the 30th. My initial plans to go with a specific cuisine did not happen as I decided to go with something simple for me to prep, but good, and thus thought that as raw lasagna had been a winner at my last pop up dinner, people should have the chance to also try the raw pizza. As I had another event to do canapes for the same evening, it was non-stop indeed until it was 7.30pm – the estimated time for commencing the dinner service.

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There were very few people present, but most had booked days in advance, and only an addition of two came on the day making my life easier. Also everyone was able to have a chat with all the people present. Welcoming nibbles included battered vegetables, raw courgette hummus, and a beetroot-carrot-orange-lemon-ginger juice.

The first course was courgette rolls, two kinds, both filled with pesto, one with a cherry tomato, the other with carrot, pepper and sprouts. Pesto really works so well with courgette, it is a match made in heaven. And a little canape of candy and purple beetroot layered with cranberry cheese sauce and topped with sprouts. And SUMAC! I love sumac.

The second course was the raw pizza. I made a tomato-oregano raw base with base ingredients such as carrots, red onion, sunflower seeds and flax. The toppings included hand-pitted olives, sweetcorn, red peppers, walnut mince (tamari, agave, smoked paprika flavoured), crispy aubergine (marinated in tamari, EVO, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, chilli -> dehydrated), layered on top of sundried tomato marinara sauce, and topped with basic cashew cheese sauce and some oregano and sprouts. This is way more filling than one might perceive from its looks.

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Third course was a selection of desserts. I did a coconut-carob-chocolate tarts, essentially coconut butter with some coconut milk (from the canned coconut) and some coconut sugar for the base, a slice of banana, and topped with carob chocolate – coconut oil, maple syrup, and carob powder. I got this pack of carob at work which was of such a superior quality I digged the flavour so much I could not stop myself from making the carob chocolate. And also carob truffles. They are also the ‘bhuti balls’ at the time, truffles the tea room sells at all times with changing the recipe with each batch, this time containing sunflower seeds, coconut, cashews, carob, hemp seeds, hemp protein, and dates. I think this is the exhaustive list of ingredients… And the last pieces were fruit roll-ups. The rolls were something in between fruit leather and raw wraps, basically a fruit smoothie with very little of flax blended in, as it looked too liquidy for my liking, and then dehydrated. For the filling I did coconut cream (tinned coconut milk with agave and vanilla) and sliced strawberries. After it had stayed in the fridge for an hour, the ‘leather’ soaked in some of the moisture and yum with the intertwined and infused flavours! And then topped it with a chocolate swirl and edible flowers.

Fourth course, and may I add – respect for the guests to have made it so far – was cultured cream cheese – basic cashew cheese recipe with added probiotics, left to culture for a day in a warm place. I separated the yield in half and chopped a heck of a lot of chives and parsley in one. It was served with raw bread, which was a mixture of carrots, courgette, spinach, onion, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax, and herbs/spices. All this accompanied by a handful of grapes and pineapple.

Similar to last time, I decided to serve a hot drink to top it off, this time our Golden Elixir from the menu, which is essentially a spiced turmeric drink including cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and cardamom. Together with that I had a spur-of-the-moment idea and did some chocolate covered strawberries to put the cherry on top of the evening.

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From the feedback received, everyone seemed to enjoy all parts of the dinner, and it quite likely beat the option of fish and chips. I think the only part I still need to master is the amounts, for four courses, be as small as the nibbles are, is still rather filling. Me and Andrea, the newest chef addition at bhuti helping me out that evening, had a pizza for our dinner, and only that filled us up to the brim. Thank god for take-away options!

All in all, my ride at bhuti has been an educative one. I do not think I would have had the chance to start as a head chef so soon had it not been for a new startup such as this. And thanks to the steep learning curve I now can value my time and area of expertise much more, and am content with moving on from there to new challenges, and new chance to help up another start-up, this time just around the corner from where I am currently based. I would not have survived as long as I did without my dearest kitchen crew, and all the other colleagues who have lent me a shoulder to cry on and reasons to laugh until my eyes water.

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Kitchen’s angels. My kitchen team of Andrea, Sam, myself, and Junko there in our minds.

Thank you bhuti for offering me all the chances I had to improve myself and the business; and welcome to Rawligion, my new head chef challenge in the raw vegan world.

PS, last chance to catch me at bhuti next week Mon-Fri! After that you will find me on 3 Tottenham Street!

Gracefully yours,

Eli xx

Hello my dear readers and followers,

It has been a disgraceful few months since I last posted anything. In case you have not noticed – I am now also on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/nutrinformed) as well as twitter (https://twitter.com/Nutrinformed) with more frequent updates than here (as this is more recipe- and experiment-based).

So, I thought my big move to London deserves a new post! Also because I think my new job place deserves to be known a lot more than it is – to reach more and more vegans and people interested in such food. I actually moved already two weeks ago, but the first week has been really busy. Now I have internet on my laptop as well (yay!) and so can actually enjoy my new home and write this post 🙂

In a nutshell – I have managed to get my dream job for this decade of my life in a vegan kitchen as a chef (de partie). (I know I technically can’t be a chef, but hey, if the chef calls me chef, that’s chef enough for me). Together with three other vegans, the restaurant RAW at La Suite West hotel (https://www.facebook.com/LaSuiteWestHotel?fref=ts) offers a truly amazing vegan experience. We serve vegan afternoon tea, lunchtime buffet with salads and quiche, and a dinner menu with vegan and raw vegan options available. Changes are happening in the next few days so even if you’ve been there before – expect to see many new things upon your return.

I have to say – besides being utterly astonished and blown away I actually got the job – that the food is mindbogglingly amazing. I’ve had two friends come to the restaurant so far and they have not been disappointed, at all. My best friend in London has been there a few times and she has been thoroughly pleased with it each time. So, what I’m saying is – when in London, make your way to Bayswater and you will be fed, and fed extraordinary food. Not the kind of vegan chips and burger and muffin you can get from nearly every other vegan place, but a true vegan experiment. Don’t get me wrong – we do have some simple and common vegan foods there as well, like scones and a mushroom burger (currently, to be changed the beginning week), but also stuff you’ve possibly not tried out before (I surely hadn’t!) like cauliflower with kimchi mayo, or aubergine with sweet miso sauce. Lots of seaweed (get that iodine!) and funky Japanese foods. DELICIOUS!
We had a photoshoot for the new menus a week ago, but they’re still not made public, so you can check out the previous food photos from the webpage (http://www.lasuitewest.com/dining.html). All this praise is possible only thanks to the amazing head chef there – Nik Heartland (https://twitter.com/vegan_heartland), who has put his mind, heart, and life (near literally) in to making this place as great as it is. Besides having an awesome taste in music, a sarcastic sense of humour and proficiency in Brazilian Portuguese (yes, it’s important for me to mention it all), he has a very experimental mind with food and keeps the menus in the changing to make sure we’re on the move and never stagnating, keeping it always fresh 🙂

From a personal point of view, I literally could not be happier with where I ended up working at here in London. To be in a vegan kitchen with vegans as the other chefs with the ambition to lead the movement and get us out there, I feel right at home. Well, nearly, still a lot to learn, but that’s natural. Improvement in progress 🙂 You know that feeling in the morning when you wake up and look forward to getting ready to go to work? Well, I sure know this feeling, and I am utterly pleased I have it. I do acknowledge it’s only the end of my second week of living and working here, but I know this is what I want to do, this is where my passion and heart is, and I’m glad I have such great colleagues who share it with me. 🙂

Thus, as a conclusion, I would like to invite you all to come and have a taster of a magnificently different (raw) vegan food at RAW, to be convinced yourself of its uniqueness and amazing quality of food. I guarantee I will not have anyone leave the premises disappointed.

That’d be all from me just now. I will hopefully get on track with things and develop a food cupboard here so I can experiment at home as well and post some amazing recipes soon. ❤

Until then,

Eli x

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