Cooking with Celebrity Chef Tal Ronnen

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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This afternoon, I was invited to a cooking workshop with celebrity chef Tal Ronnen at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, MA.

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About Chef Tal

Chef Tal Ronnen is one of the most celebrated vegan chefs working today.

In the spring of 2008, he became known nationwide as the chef who prepared vegan meals for Oprah Winfrey’s 21-day vegan cleanse. He has since catapulted to fame, catering Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s vegan wedding, Arianna Huffington’s party at the Democratic National Convention, and the first vegan dinner at the U.S. Senate

In October 2009, Chef Tal released his new cookbook, the conscious cook; it is the first full color vegan cookbook to be published in North America. He appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on October 22, 2009 and made the New York Times Best Seller List. Additionally, epicurious.com and VegNews Magazine named the conscious cook a Top Cookbook in 2009.

A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, Chef Tal has worked at the top vegan restaurants in the United States, including Sublime in Fort Lauderdale, Madeleine Bistro in Los Angeles, and Candle 79 in New York City. He also assisted Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders in opening her restaurant, VegiTerranean in Akron, Ohio, in 2007.

Additionally, Chef Tal conducts master vegetarian workshops for students and staff at Le Cordon Bleu College campuses nationwide.

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At the workshop, Chef Ronnen discussed the benefits of cooking and eating plant-based foods and prepared three recipes from his new cookbook, the conscious cook:

  • Celery Root Soup with Granny Smith Apples
  • Artichoke Ricotta Tortellini with Saffron Cream Sauce
  • Gardein “Chick’n” Scaloppini with Shiitake Sake Sauce, Braised Pea Shoots, and Crispy Udon Noodle Cakes

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He also talked about various plant-based proteins for vegetarian menu options and grouped them into three main categories:

  • Traditional Soy Foods (tofu and tempeh)
  • Whole Grains and Legumes
  • Meat Analogs (alternatives to chicken, pork, and beef products)

Chef Ronnen explained that the biggest challenge to vegan cooking is finding appropriate protein substitutes. He doesn’t change his approach to cooking, but instead finds it fun to develop a vegan dish that no one else has ever created.

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I enjoyed everything about Chef Ronnen’s cooking demonstration, but really liked learning about the health benefits of nutritional yeast flakes (I want to buy some now!) and watching Chef Ronnen make his own Cashew Cream in a VitaMix.

Making the Cashew Cream was so simple. I may just have to try this recipe myself. I bet Cashew Cream would taste delicious in iced coffee! 😉

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Lunch

When I got home from the event, I whipped up a quick smoothie.

In the mix:

Now, I’m off to my sister’s house for puppy playtime and dinner.

See ya later! 😎

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47 Comments

  1. Wow that is so cool! Things like nutritional yeast flakes freak me out a little still, but I just tried protein powder for the first time today, so baby steps. What an awesome experience though! I’d love to go to a workshop like that.

  2. Nutritional yeast is awesome!!! i could be vegan in a second, and have tried it out on multiple occasions, but i love greek yogurt!!!

  3. Looks like a great event. Could you (or have you) go vegetarian or even vegan for a period of time? What are your thoughts on being a part-time vegetarian. Personally, I’m not a big meat eater so I’m sure there have been weeks that have gone by without me eating meat, but it wasn’t a conscious decision.

  4. What a fun workshop! Look forward to seeing some cashew cream experimentation on your blog 🙂

    Just wondering: are you doing a Lose the Dough check-in today?

  5. Cool! I just rented Tal’s book from the library (took forever because so many people had requested it). I have to say I was a little disappointed mainly because the meals looked more complicated than the kinds of things I usually make. I’m not vegan but I was hoping to find some vegan recipes to add to my collection. Sadly, I returned the book in a matter of days without trying any of them. I bet the cooking demo was awesome, though.

  6. I’ve only used nutritional yeast once but I keep meaning to get back to the bulk store and stock up! It’s soooo useful!

  7. I recently reviewed Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook, and I really enjoyed all the recipes! They’re all so innovative, plus the book introduced me to the wonders of Gardein:)

  8. Wow…what a great experience!!! I loved his book but and would have loved to be able to watch and learn how to make some of the recipes.

  9. Oh wow, those meals sounds heavenly! I’ll have to see if his book is available in Australia. But first, I desperately need to get myself a strong blender. I want your smoothie,a dn yoru frozen banana and almond joy ice creams!! 😀

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