Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Learning Street Food At Native Foods

One of my favorite, completely free Vegan events is Native Food's monthly cooking demos. While I do not cook, I enjoy listening to Chef Tanya's lengthy speeches providing advice for Veganizing common comfort food items. I am sure this is extremely helpful to people who actually possess culinary skills. It is safe to say that I go more for the entertainment of feeling like I am part of a live cooking show and being able to sample the various dishes Chef Tanya makes.

This past Saturday, Chef Tanya held a cooking demo at the Culver City location, featuring Street food. I was excited to attend and made sure to bring a full appetite. Chef Tanya was charismatic as always and the food was flavorful and delicious.

The demo began with a sampling of chai tea.

The chai tea was so sweet and had a great spice to it. It had a hint of vanilla and was very creamy and milky.

Next, we had some Mexican Corn with Chipotle Mayo and Parmesan.

The corn was beautifully grilled and had a light charcoal flavor. It also was very salty. The chipotle mayo on top was very creamy with a subtle spiciness.

Next, we had some lavender lemonade.

The lemonade had a slight sweetness to it and was very refreshing. The taste of lavender was very dominant and calming.

Next, some Greek Gyros were passed around.

This was so delicious and well seasoned. It had a very savory taste, with pieces of chewy seitan and freshly cut vegetables. The tsatziki sauce added a slight sourness and was very creamy.

Next, we were given some watermelon drink to wash down the gyros.

This was very refreshing and had a slight cooling taste. It was very sweet and I love that there was a light  watermelon pulp.

Lastly, we were given Grilled Banana Satay.

This was my favorite and seemed like a hybrid entree-dessert. The grilled banana was very sweet, yet had a hint of spice and slight taste of charcoal. The taste of cinnamon was also very dominant and it was very sugary. The coconut sprinkling helped balance the flavor out, providing a slight saltiness.

Overall, I really enjoyed all the samples and the demo was very informative. I would love Native Foods to incorporate all or some of these dishes into their repertoire. Nevertheless, I look forward to trying more of their creations at the next demo.

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