Last week, I rocked up at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School to do ‘The Essential Vegan‘ cookery course.
So why vegan? If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve recently become a lot more curious about how I can make my own contribution to helping the environment – and going vegan would definitely be a good step – or eating more vegan food at least.
My other motivation is actually that I think it could be healthier – the more I read about the meat, fish and dairy industry, the more wary I am of what animals and fish are now eating (animals are fed antibiotics amongst other things and it sounds like all fish in the oceans are eating particles of plastic).
And my final reason is I’ve been increasingly inspired by the vegan food I’ve been eating lately. Having previously dismissed vegan food as dull and worthy, I’m enjoying the current explosion of exciting vegan restaurants, cookbooks and general noise around innovative vegan food. So I thought, why not give this cookery course a whirl and see if I can discover some interesting new food.
And as it turns out, my choice of cookery course was EXCELLENT!
Between 9.30am and 3.30pm we cooked 17 dishes. And not 17 versions of tofu and vegetable burger, but properly inspiring stuff: mayonnaise, meringues, meaty (but not meat of course) suet pudding, pizza, chocolate cake, paella, ackee and tofu stir fry, wonton dumpling soup, a vegetable pastry plait and a load of other stuff too.
Not only did everything we cooked taste delicious, but Alex, the chef and trainer, was such a font of knowledge and enthusiasm. We bombarded him with questions – about veganism and health (in particular vitamin B12!), about where to get ingredients, about the Vegetarian Society, and he generously shared his knowledge. He was a truly infectious teacher. And not only did we have a lovely snack break at midday (quesadillas, bruscetta, scrambled tofu and a crazy spicy tofu pate called Solomon Gundy), but we also got a second ‘full’ feast to dive into of everything else we cooked at 2.30pm. Eating all this food made me an extremely happy lady.
Whilst I don’t have any plans to go fully vegan, I’m very keen to try more vegan food, and this course has given me a confidence boost.