Like many vegans, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. And while I love trying new recipes and am an avid collector of cookbooks, sometimes it’s nice for someone to just show you how to do it.
That’s where the talented and charming Spork sisters come in. Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg, owners and operators of the Los Angeles-based gourmet vegan food company Spork Foods, have made it their mission to make “foodie” and “chef” titles everyone can achieve. During their weekend classes (just one part of their business which also includes healthy eating consultations, private cooking parties, corporate training, and menu development), the sisters teach groups of approximately 12 vegans and vegans-to-be to slice, dice, grate, and marinate, while working with organic, local, and seasonal cuisine for maximum flavor and nutrition.
I recently attended the Vietnamese cooking class, during which we made incredibly delicious lemongrass seitan skewers with sweet chili lime dipping sauce, sauteed pea shoots and shiitake mushrooms, peanut ginger jackfruit noodles with crispy shallots, and grilled sweet coconut cakes — the latter is my new favorite dessert.
The class was held in a beautiful space artfully decorated and with lots of natural light. All the guests sat on bar stools around the kitchen island during the demonstration — this intimate seating made us all feel like friends, though most of us were meeting for the first time.
The sisters instruct and banter with a playful senses of humor and pepper the recipe instructions with a healthy serving of trivia about each fruit, vegetable, bean, and grain — along with sharing the many benefits of choosing animal-free foods. They also offered knowledgeable answers to questions from the eager, mostly omnivorous audience (a testament to the sisters’ mainstream appeal). After the demonstration, we sat down together to eat and celebrate!
This class is a must for everyone from newbies to cooking aficionados. Even if one doesn’t love to cook, it’s worth it to attend for the show and meal.
Los Angelenos, review and book upcoming cooking classes at SporkFoods.com. Sporkie’s “Steak” House, Southern-Style Thanksgiving, and Easy Indian Cooking are just a few mouth-watering menus to which to look forward. Live in another city? You can purchase a Vegan Video Cookbook at SporkOnline.com!