Thursday, July 9, 2015

Event Announcement: Vegan Picnic Class at Whole Foods

Hey there! Tonight's post features a Memphis-centric announcement for my local and Mid-Southern readers.

I want to talk about an upcoming cooking class at our Whole Foods. Since the Whole Foods Salud cooking school has opened, the Poplar Avenue store has scheduled several vegan classes. But some have been canceled because they didn't get enough sign-ups! We can't let this happen! So I'm helping Whole Foods spread the word when they have vegan classes coming up.

There's a Vegan Picnic class on Wednesday, July 22nd from 6 to 9 p.m. It's $59, but that includes hands-on instruction in making a full menu (details below). If you're interested, you can register here. Or check out the full Salud Summer schedule here.

And if you want to learn more (and you know you do!), here's a little Q&A with one of the class's instructors Brianna Rogers. She and Amy Schiller will be helping class participants work their way through all of the recipes!

Bri and Amy leading a class at Salud

Vegan Crunk: What inspired the Vegan Picnic class?
Brianna: We always try to offer both vegetarian and vegan classes with each of our course schedules. With this being summer and the height of festivals and camp-outs, a vegan picnic class seemed like a great class idea. Plus, one participant in the class will receive a picnic basket with goodies to get them started!

Can you give a brief rundown of what you'll be making?
Menu for the class is Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad with Herbs and Avocado, 7-Layer Salad with Cashew Mayonnaise and “Faux” Bacon, Dilled Eggless Egg Salad Wraps and Curried Chicken-less Salad Wraps, Raw Date and Nut Truffles, Strawberry Lemonade.

Is there anything special, like a skill or an ingredient, that you're excited to share in this class?
Honestly, I am excited about the cashew mayo in the 7-layer salad. Nut creams are so tasty and add such a wonderful flavor to food, and I’m really excited to use them to add a sweet, nuttiness to the salad. Plus, this will help show this technique to others and help them branch out a bit instead of just using a storebought vegenaise.

The workshop is described as hands-on. Does that mean that class participants get to try making stuff?
Definitely! In our hands-on classes, we mean exactly that: hands-on. We have the recipes mise en placed (ingredients measured and prepped) but the students do the chopping, sautéing, mixing, baking, etc. We try to have them do as much hands-on as possible. With this class, we’ll work on all of the recipes together as a group – some classes we’ll ‘divide and conquer’ and have teams make different menu items, but that is more often due to time constraints with the recipes.

Should folks come with empty stomachs or should they eat a light meal first?
Definitely do not eat a huge meal before you come – because then you won’t be hungry when you sit down to enjoy the meal you created! We do have a snack ready for participants when they arrive but everyone gets to eat a meal – it’s not just a sampling of the food created. We try to have everyone seated and enjoying their meal (and wine!) by the 2:15 mark of a three hour class. For most of our evening classes this is around 8:15pm.

I've heard there's a prize for one participant. Can you give us a sneak peek?
Yes! With this class we are giving away a picnic basket loaded with tools that you need to set the perfect picnic table: reusable plates, cups, silverware and napkins for 4. Valued at over $35.00

What are your vegan picnic essentials?
I love to pack our roasted, unsalted, mixed nuts from the Bulk department here at Whole Foods Market – great variety and super delicious. A small cutting board and knife is perfect for cutting up whole fruits (apples, peaches, pears); and don’t forget the corkscrew for the bottle of wine! Try packing salads in jars with the dressing at the bottom – large mason jars are perfect for this. All you have to do is shake and serve!

What's your favorite place to picnic in Memphis?
I love the grounds at the Metal Museum. The tall, old trees provide great shade and the view of the river is spectacular. I’m a Midtowner so Overton Park and the concerts at the Levitt Shell are always a great place to show of your picnicking prowess.

Anything else you want to share?
Salud website: We're currently working on the Fall schedule, which should be posted in August.


Sarah said...

What a great event!! I'm so jealous I wish I could go! :) The menu looks so great, definitely all dishes I would love to make. I love the idea of this and the picnic theme is too cute!

TCV said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Bianca!

A & J