Thursday, May 12, 2011

Advanced Raw Chef Level 1: Training and Certification


Well, the exciting news I was referring to in the previous post is that I completed my Level 1 training as an Advanced Raw Chef. I have dual certification, one through Creative Health Institute and also through Alissa Cohen.  Creative Health Institute is such an amazing place. I am so grateful that I was able to go there and meet these wonderful and loving people. Here is a bit from their site:

'The Wheatgrass Place'

Your Body Can Heal Itself..

  • Teaching wellness that works since 1973
  • We are the longest running hands on raw living foods program operating in the same location, for 37 years
  • Over 15,000 graduates
  • We are a learning facility
  • We sell no supplements and our focus is entirely on your learning the skills to live a raw/living food lifestyle

What you get at Creative Health Institute:

"Whether you are suffering from Cancer, Diabetes, Heart disease, or nearly any other ailment, or, you are healthy, and wish to stay that way, our program will provide you the tools to help your body heal itself, naturally! "
Need I say more? I think not.

Flowers that greeted us at the front door. Attention to detail--gotta love it!

So let's talk about their Raw Chef Training and Certification Program. I flew to Michigan and met my sister-in-law who drove up from Ohio. We shared a room at CHI and were on the same Training Station. So needless to say we had a load of fun together learning side-by-side and sharing this, as Cynthia says, "Life changing experience". And that is indeed what this experience was. The amount of love and healing that is given and goes on there is truly amazing. The out pouring of generosity and knowledge is beautiful. Each and every person I met was so special and so unique. I am so blessed to have been in their company.
Our check-in time was on Friday, April 29th from 2-4PM. Cynthia and I got un-packed and settled into our room. They are just like  hotel rooms but it felt more like a sorority to me. I felt like I was back in college at Michigan State, moving into Alpha Chi Omega all over again.  I went to MSU for my first two years and then I transferred to Ohio State University and spent 3 more years there. I graduated with two degrees, a BS in Dental Hygiene and the second, a BS in Education. (a little side note)
After we got settled we looked around the facility and met some of our fellow raw chefs and were given our (precious) notebooks. These held our intense training schedule and our recipes, guide to setting up a raw kitchen, sprouting charts, measurement equivalents, supplemental materials on food combining and seed and nut milks.

 A beautiful welcome reception was given for us.

We were served:
Apple Lemonade

Kale Chips--3 types
Corn Chips
Large Green Salad with Sprouts and Tomato
Mexican Almost Refined Bean Dip

Not So Cheese Sauce


Pepper Cheese Log
Zen Crackers
Mango Salsa
After our lovely reception we were given the overview of class and expectations by our Master Chef instructor and friend, Robert C. Morgan. He let us call him "Bobby".

 Talk about a spectacular man. Such love he has for every person that comes through their front door. He is a stickler for organization, cleanliness and exceptionally fresh, organic ingredients.  He is a wonderful teacher and a wonderful person. I am blessed to have met him and  share 3 days with him and all of the hard working Interns at CHI.
Next we had our introduction to training stations and appliances.

We then had a demo on proper knife skills. Safety comes first at CHI and we all learned a great deal from our instructors. It doesn't matter how long you have been preparing foods in a kitchen, there is always something new to learn.
Next we were split into Teams. We each got to name our teams and I came up with "The Sprouting Spartans". We jumped right into raw food prep. Each team was given a recipe and all of the ingredients needed. Our first food prep was called, "Pizza Party Preparation". Team 1 was Pizza Crust, Team 2 was Marinara Sauce, our team was Team 3- Pesto Sauce, and Team 4 was mozzarella Cheese.
Here is Bobby working with the Mozzarella team, demonstrating how to use a nut milk bag to make the fermented cheese.

 Our pesto ingredients were: soaked cashews, garlic, pine nuts, fresh basil, alfalfa sprouts, and lemon juice. I think it turned out spectacular!

Here is my sister-in-law having a blast playing with a Vitamix for the first time.

And here is my other teammate "T" and I seriously discussing the recipe. I am in the red apron and bandanna.
After all of the teams completed their recipes it was time for our Raw Pizza Party Dinner. The teams got to dress their own pizzas and then we all sat down to dinner.
Here is our dressed pizza.

 Several students commented that these were the best pizzas they have ever tasted. One man from Chicago, I think, liked them better that traditional cooked pizzas. Now that says a great deal!! All of the teams did a great job, everything tasted so good and looked so beautiful. We were also served another very large green salad loaded with sprouts and tomato.

The salad was served with Bobby's Sweet Onion and Poppy Seed Dressing. I made that this week and will be posting about it soon. It is sooooo delicious. I'll have to ask him if I can give out the recipe!
After dinner we had a demo on making raw chocolate syrup. Why would we need to make a raw chocolate syrup you ask, well because they treated us to a raw ice cream party that night. Bobby himself was on the juicers making our ice cream and teaching us as he went along--he never wastes one minute, he had us learning every minute of every day! Wonderful.

  We had fresh strawberries, bananas, pineapple, soaked nuts and the raw chocolate sauce for our toppings. They called them Dessert Banana Splits, I called them pure joy!
Here is my very large serving
Here are Allie and "Cheese Lady" making their raw banana splits. Can't you tell how happy they were?

Needless to say we all were completely exhausted after our first day that we didn't even watch the scheduled movie or go into the Banya sauna. That was fine with me, I needed time to just chill in the room with Cynthia and try to get some much needed sleep. But what a blast Day 1 was!! I will post Day 2 and Day 3 next. You won't believe all that we learned!! Be sure to come back and read all about our raw chef adventures!!
 I must say I was also recovering from the shock of going a whole day without changing a single diaper. Don't get me wrong, I missed my family dearly but this was a much needed escape for me. I am so blessed and thankful.
Want some great raw recipes???? Check this out!
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for the love given by strangers and the friendships that were created almost instantly upon introductions. XOXO CHI family!!!! I miss you all!


shannonmarie said...

I've always wanted to take a class. Although I've learned so much on my own, I just think it would be fun (you look like you're having a blast). I'd also like to get some kind of certification.

Cynthia said...

I had a blast too! I would love to go back again. But only with my BFFSIL (best friend forever sister in law)


kt said...

Oh my goodness, Elizabeth! Your post sounds like my dream come true. What a wonderful experience; to learn, create, and share. (And eat amazing food!) I can't wait to read more.

Living Ginko Tree said...

These pictures are awesome! I just re-lived Day 1 with your explanations.. I have been trying to recreate the ice cream with a blender since I don't have a champion juicer and I don't think my Jack LaLanne one would work. I need Bobby's and everyone's enthusiasm for pizza and ice cream if I am going to make these dishes, so I think I'm going to host a raw potluck at my house soon!

Elizabeth said...

Host the raw pot luck!! That would be so cool.
I actually make my raw icecream in my mini food processor. I put diced up frozen bananas and then begin flavoring it with what ever we are in the mood for. It turns out great. Just make sure your bananas are frozen roch hard.
Peace and Raw Health,

Elizabeth said...

meant to say rock hard not roch hard--too funny!!

rawkinmom said...

wow, Creative health Institute is just hours from me and I have always wanted to go there!!! It has been too pricey for me right now as a stay at home mom and only 1 income!!! BUT, I will go one day!!!

kelli said...

oh how i wish i were there!!!

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