Friday after leaving YouTube Google. Elizabeth and I drove to Miyokos Kitchen.
We met the Miyokos Kitchen team, and donned our hairnets and clogs to tour the kitchen and cheese aging room. The scent of real cheese was in the air, creating for me a somewhat surreal experience. After two decades of being vegan, aged cheese that is dairy-free is a relatively new phenomenon. I wasn’t hungry after the big veggie lunch at YouTube, but production manager Sheila was toasting bagels, the better for us to taste the brand new cream cheese. Kyle, shown above, also a production manager and the father of infant twins, developed this recipe which I hope will come to market soon. Had you been there, you’d have seen us eating this miraculous vegan cream cheese that tasted like my childhood, by the spoonful. I have only two recipes in Vegan Chocolate that use vegan cream cheese. With sweeteners and flavorings added, the cheeses work well. But now, all I could think of was CREAM CHEESE COOKBOOK. Then, as Miyoko is always a step ahead, out of the refrigerator came two – what else – New York Style Cheesecakes, chocolate and vanilla. Does anyone besides me remember the creamy yet heavy traditional NY cheesecakes? This is it. More tasting followed as we nibbled two special edition cheeses, Sweet Cream Strawberry – Fleurs de Mai and Napa Valley in a Brandy Cured Fig Leaf. Cheese heaven that just happens to be vegan is a fact. Both were excellent.
I stayed at Miyoko’s lovely home. She said dinner would be simple. I said – dinner? In the kitchen we seee on Vegan Mashup, I watched Miyoko make a silken soup and fresh green salad. We went to bed early, and in the morning, after some freshly ground coffee and homemade muesli, I got to work making chocolate cakes, ganache glaze, truffles and crostini for the next two events. Jill Nussinow, The Veggies Queen stopped by for a quick visit and stayed for lunch.
I brought Orange Sesame Truffles and Chocolate Crostini to Friday night’s San Francisco Vegetarian Society Benefit, and Chocolate Torte To Live For and Ganache to the Vegan Cheese and Chocolate Soiree held at VegNews on Saturday.
Friday Night: San Francisco Vegetarian Society Benefit. Do Bay Area Vegans have more fun?
This party was held at a beautiful apartment with an outdoor space. The Bay Area vegans are very active group that were warm and welcoming. They definitely know how to do a party. That’s LaVonne with the spirally glasses and Laura with the heart on hers. Such nice people!
Saturday Afternoon: Food Empowerment Project Birthday Party
Vegan Chocolate went to press before I knew about this organization, but I always point to Food Empowerment Project as the best resource for up to date information on slavery free chocolate and other ingredients. I had a chance to thank FEP founder Lauren Ornelas for her vision and work, meet some people I’d met only virtually before, as well as friends and colleagues who live in the Bay Area. The day was gorgeous and the food was plentiful and delicious and, of course, it was all vegan. Pictured are the two Colleens: Patrick Goudreau and Holland, and Theresa Perez of LoveBaked, the pastry artist who made the cake, and Lauren.
Saturday Night: The Relaunch of VegNews Magazine – The Cheese and Chocolate Soiree!
It was a real treat to see the actual office space of my favorite vegan lifestyle magazine. It is light and airy and even has a terrace. A lot happens behind the scenes at cooking classes and events, and while Miyoko and I set up with help from our assistants Elise, Olivia and chef Elizabeth, guests were treated to cocktails and vegan cheese nibbles. VegNews Publisher Colleen Holland knows how to throw a party!
Our guests went home goodie bags filled with treats from the following companies.
- Wholesome Sweetners
- Theo Chocolate
- Rescue Chocolate
- Go Max Go Foods
- Pacari Chocolate
- Bob’s Red Mill
- California Olive Ranch
- Miyokos Kitchen
After a very big day, we once again crossed the Golden Gate Bridge back to Miyoko’s home. I left for L.A. on Sunday morning. This last part of the trip would include a visit with my son and his family and later in the week, a Vegan Chocolate Demo at Google LA in Venice Beach, as well as a visit to the new Matthew Kinney Culinary Academy & Restaurant.
To be continued…