Raw Vegan Birthday Lunch with Private Chef Tina Barrat
Thank you all for the birthday wishes! Yesterday I turned 41 and filled my day with, family, friends and food!
As well as a considerable amount of cake throughout the day, a friend organised a raw vegan lunch with the Chef Tina Barrat, previously from Maya Cafe who now dedicates herself to private events. One of the (many) highlights was this raw cacao “cheeze” cake above made of cashews and agar agar while infused with frankincense oil, possibly the number one essential oil in fighting cancer.
First up was a pumpkin soup and roasted ginger soup with cashew cream, dehydrated seed croutons and peppery nasturtium leaves known for their natural antibiotic properties and high levels of vitamin C, all highly appreciated as the flu season hits!
Following that was a tasting plate including faux fois gras, actually a porcini and cashew terrine but deceivingly meaty in flavour, a “caviar” made of nori, agar agar and soy sauce and a “tuna” composed of beetroot, all accompanied by gluten free toast, piquant pink peppercorn sauce and micro greens freshly picked from @commonfarms that morning.
A rainbow ceviche arrived, in fact devoid of fish but bursting with fresh vegetables, chilli, essential oil of lime and decorated with the uplifting colours of yellow and orange nasturtium leaves, literally sunshine on a plate and very gratefully received on such a day of bleak weather in Hong Kong!
The “cheeze” plate consisted of two fermented nut cheeses: a raw Brie and an aged macadamia nut cheese flavoured with curry leaves. Dehydrated sesame as well as rosemary and almond meal crackers provided crunch along with sunflower sprouts, earthy amaranth and red radish shoots with a light drizzle of truffle vinaigrette.
Not sure how we squeezed this in but there was seemingly still room for pudding in the form of this elegant raw cacao “cheeze” cake infused with frankincense oil and decorated with edible pansies, raspberries and dehydrated berry powder. Such a delicious, filling and diverse meal, it thoroughly showcased the talents of the Chef Tina Barrat. Each dish was the product of many time consuming and sophisticated culinary techniques including dehydration and fermentation. It was also a wonderful opportunity to learn more about micro greens. Those tiny leaves and sprouts may look pretty yet insignificant on a plate, but each one packs such a punch in flavour not to mention nutrition. And I loved tasting the different essential oils in many of the dishes, an increasing trend and yet another wonderful use of these potent, medicinal and flavoursome extracts. Just in case you think I spent my day eating raw vegan food, I polished off a lot of cake with friends throughout the day with a fondue finale at the Peninsula, getting my cheesy fix in case we don’t make it to the slopes this year! Thank you everyone for making it so special and delicious! Xxx