Tuesday, October 2, 2012

EqualEyez Retreat at Ronora

I love last minute opportunities, don't you?  Like a last minute invitation to be head chef at some meals and be assistant chef at some other meals for a weekend retreat. In Michigan at Ronora.  I get really excited when I have the opportunity to leave the city!  And cook for people!  Double awesome this time.  And so, after creating a lunch and dessert recipe for one of the days, I got picked up by Andrea of Edible Alchemy and we headed out.

I had worked with Andrea before when she and her husband Dietrich set up the kitchen for Burning Man and asked me to lead a meal for our camp during that event.  And I've also worked with them at Edible Alchemy for a short period, when I was helping coordinate with the local farmers to get produce orders in for the CSA-like service they offer.  That was fun!  We got to go to the farmer's market and pick up huge amounts of fresh fruits and veggies.

"EqualEyez is a three day festival/campout/retreat envisioned for community members to cultivate and expand their leadership talents. We will bring you on a journey that will deepen your creative and influential intensity so that you may transport this back to your home and guide those around you towards ascension into their highest Self"

Pretty awesome purpose.

I was only able to participate from Friday to Saturday evening because I was teaching a yoga class 9:30 am on Sunday and had to work the desk Sunday evening.  Though brief, I had a wonderful time!

Andrea and I stopped by a couple of farms that Edible Alchemy works with regularly on the way to pick up some produce. It was great to see the farms instead of just the stand at the market.  

We may have raided the grapes that were left on the wines.  Some of the tastiest grapes I've ever had.  Thicker skins, but sweeter insides!

One of the recipes I created for the event was a raw lasagna, which called for a fair amount of zucchini.  Our luck was that the farms were out.  It wasn't zucchini season anymore?  While constructing alternatives to the raw zucchini noodles I had been relying on, we drove by a HUGE field of GIANT zucchinis!

Apparently these not so tender guys don't sell well so they were just going to be left to rot in the field.  It looked like they had just been cut down, so we grabbed as many as was feasible and lugged them back to our car.

Not before thanking the zucchini gods and the universe for manifesting these fruits!

They were seriously huge!

The first night Andrea hosted with taco night.  Lots of fresh veggies!

Then I led a big breakfast featuring the most amazing vegan gluten-free pancakes ever!  I can't take credit for the recipe.

This is our amazing clean-up crew!  Couldn't do it without them!

We immediately began lunch prep after breakfast.  The raw lasagna had to be made with lots of hands and lots of love!

We spiralized and julienne peeled the giant zucchinis with the wonderful volunteers.

Toped with raw vegan parm and ready for service!

All the chefs together (pardon quality of photo)!

The weekend was a success!

I hitched a ride home with Adam, the resident Raw Chef and overall awesome guy in the middle of the above photo.  I was sad to leave the amazing kitchen and the mini-vacation but would go back in a heart beat!

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