Monday, November 24, 2008

Chef Certification with Betsy Catrett

On Sunday, I spent my afternoon in downtown Tulsa in the lovely high rise home of a treasured friend, member of the Real Food Tulsa Meetup Group and Alissa Cohen Instructor, Betsy Catrett. It was a pleasure to be in the company of Betsy, her gracious husband John Trey and about 10 others, as we completed our Level One Raw Food Chef Certification through Alissa Cohen's Education Program. As you can see from the photos, the setting for the class was beautifully festive, very well planned and organized. Betsy has been involved in the field of wellness, nutrition and relational health for many years, and has worked in varied capacities utilizing her diverse skill sets and talents, always fine tuning her approach as she selflessly works for the betterment of others. I've been blessed to have known Betsy for nearly 4 years and have been impacted by her gentle spirit and wisdom. Although Betsy's diet has always consisted of a high amount of raw and living foods, it has been a joy to watch her journey and transformation as she went 100% earlier this year.

Although Sunday's class was officially an Alissa Cohen curriculum, Betsy's personality and spirit came through in all of the attention she gave to detail and in the many ways she went above and beyond our expectations. In just 4 hours, we were able to cover all the basic topics that ranged from understanding why one would want to go raw all the way to the preparation of gourmet raw food meals that are both delicious and simple.

Our menu was impressive with such dishes as - Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Caps, Mock Salmon Pate, Cream of Tomato Soup, Philly Cheese Steak, Pasta with both Fettuccine Alfredo and Marinara and then an impressive finish, Date Nut Torte with Butter Cream Frosting. We received hands on instruction in the preparation of all of these dishes as well as a thorough lesson on working with all of the tools that can be so helpful in a raw kitchen. I appreciated Betsy's meticulous sanitation practices and explanation of the importance proper hygiene plays in our kitchens, both commercially and in our homes.

At the end of the class, Betsy and her tireless assistants had prepared a beautiful setting with an additional tasting of raw desserts that she had created as a holiday bonus. Treats like - fresh strawberries with a decadent chocolate sauce, Key Lime Tart with Coconut Crust, Almond Coconut Macaroons and Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies. Everything was expertly prepared and displayed. As we left, we also received all of the recipes and a Holiday Party Menu Planning Guide. It was a Sunday afternoon wonderfully spent and I went away freshly inspired with new direction along my own personal raw food journey. If you are in Tulsa, I highly encourage and recommend being part of one of Betsy's upcoming raw food preparation classes. You can find Betsy's contact information here.
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