7 Tips you need to know before taking Raw Food Course
When all of a sudden you find yourself changing your eating habits and diet to something you never dreamed of, of course, the first things that comes to your mind is, I need to find out more about this. You want to do it the best way you can, you want to provide yourself with the best food, the best nutrients, and of course, the best recipes. Especially if you grew up believing that this kind of food was only a decoration on the plate.
I believe that if you have been reading my blog, by now you know that since my childhood I was never a veggie fan. I loved meat, bread, junk food, and I considered veggies and salad, a decoration on the plate. This was until I gained weight and decided I need to take some major actions in order to get back to my healthy path.
Changing habits was certainly one of the priorities and this included changing my diet. When I first told my family I was going for a raw food detox for twelve days, they laughed and said that there was no way I would survive. I was also doubtful so I wrote to Phuket Cleanse and asked them seriously if I would be able to survive. They replied to me: "We will make you love it!'' And they sure have.
That was the first time I heard of Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy. At that time it was a too big step for me to even think about doing a raw food course, as honestly, I wasn't really sure for how long I would prevail in this new venture. Day by day, step by step, we learned to do basic dishes, combine food, and what was surprising to me, it was all delicious. They really made me love it!
Three years later I decided it was time for me to set off on a new venture! Ever since that life changing detox holiday, I invested a lot of my free time and money into education and self-development, self-growth, and three years later, it was time that I got some official accreditation and knowledge. I searched and in the end I chose the best, Matthew Kenney Culinary.
I believe that when we are ready, the doors open, the teacher appears. So, I considered this as a sign and inquired about the curriculum and opportunities. I absolutely loved the program, and couldn't decide which one to do first, so I signed up for - not one, not two, not three - but six courses! Now, that wasn't really the most intelligent thing to do, as I wasn't really aware of what I was getting myself into.
If you ever wish to do a course of such sort, do have in mind to read and find out as much as possible. Don't be driven by the beautiful images and philosophy, try to actually figure out how and if it really suits you. What is your goal? What do you wish to achieve with this course? Does it fit your purpose? Is it really worth it?
This is something I haven't done. I read the program, I loved the idea around it, I felt the inner spark lit up. I got a great discount - this was probably because I am one of the rare silly people who actually enrolls into six courses at once without even knowing what they are getting into! Especially since the courses cost a real fortune even with the discount, and when making such a decision, I believe that people think twice before they jump into it! But, nope. I followed my spark and was so enthusiastic about it until the course began...
Things you should have in mind if doing Matthew Kenney Courses
My mistake was that I was doing a few things at the same time: my health coaching education, attending a cultural management program plus a few other things on the side that kept me pretty busy. To make it even more challenging, I started a course one week late due to some unforeseen circumstances. This was supposed to be a wonderful journey, an extraordinary learning experience but it turned out to be stressful and frustrating and not at all what I expected it to be. Why?
Here are some facts no one will point out to you but are very important when making a decision of such a big investment!
- Photography skills You must have photography skills! This was something no one told me and something I didn't have, which was the cause of my biggest frustration. All your assignmentsare mainly based on photos you submit of the dishes you prepared. Yes, there is a tiny bit of explanation but most of your work is graded by the photos you submit! I had no idea about this, and I was definitely not prepared for it. Imagine my surprise when I signed up for a cooking course and all of a sudden had to primarily deal with photography, lighting, taking pictures with my mobile phone, transferring them onto my computer and then uploading them.
- Technology skills You must know how to use your mobile phone, transfer your photos from your phone to your computer and then photo shop them! You need to work on them, especially if you have the problem that I had -no natural light. I live in a country where it gets dark early. My flat has no light anyway, let alone when it gets dark. So imagine my photos what they looked like. It was a nightmare for me. Not only that. I was submitting the assignments but they were not immediately graded. Some were graded immediately, for some it took time. So, somewhere half way through the course, I check my grades to discover that I had to re-submit half of the work I have done so far. The photos were not good enough. This meant, re-doing all those dishes again when I was already struggling with time management!
- Creativity for plating Matthew Kenney Culinary mission is crafting the future of food. It really is art and so much more than chopped veggies and fruits, therefore it is really not only about preparing the dishes but also about plating them. Oh my, did this put me through hell. First of all, there are certain rules we should follow, and that is OK, but to me, it seemed that however I would plate, it never looked as good as on the photos. Then even if it looked half as good, when I would take a picture of it, it would be a disaster. That happens when you have absolutely no experience in plating, no creativity and then finally, no photography skills. So, it's not only about the food, it's also how you present it. And for that, you must have an eye, some experience or otherwise you will end up frustrated and demotivated completely, for not being able to measure up to the set standards.
- It is pretty costly I mentioned that attending one course at this Academy is pretty costly, and attending six courses costs you a little fortune. I never regret investing into myself and education, especially when it is something as good as this Academy. It is really worth every penny. Value for money, certainly. But, once you pay the courses, don't think that it is it. You need to invest into your equipment, your stock and ingredients. If you are new to raw food, then the cost will be even higher as you will need to buy almost everything from the scratch. If you are already into it, let's assume you already have some stock and ingredients in your pantry, which will definitely save you some money. Now, every week, and it is a four week course, you need to go grocery shopping, as you need fresh fruits and vegetables. This is costly. Even though the portions you make are not too big, can serve one, possibly two, it is still a big investment. Also, I must mention that the cost rises even more if you are buying organic produce.
- Make sure you have available all the required ingredients in your country I had to pre-order as some ingredients I couldn't find in Qatar. It wouldn't have been a problem, if all the goods could be delivered to this country. But they are not, so I had to figure out different ways of how to either substitute them or get them.
My advice if you decide to do a Mattew Kenney Culinary Course
- Create your own studio I had to order a mini photo lab which could not be delivered to Qatar for some reason. So, I had to plan it in advance in order to have it ready once the course starts. If you don't have your mini lab, you can create your own with books, light and white paper, but still you need to learn, investigate and figure out how it works and what should be done about it.
- Get familiar with technology Get familiar with how your phone and computer work and if you can synchronize it, do it, so that you save your time. Once you click the dish, it is transferred directly to your computer. Unlike me. I would take photos for a few days and take a whole afternoon off only to transfer the photos to computer to upload them to the platform. Uh!
- Get familiar with photo editing You need to work on your photos before submitting them. So, it would be good if you could play with it before so that you know exactly what you are doing when the time comes. Photos are your grades, unfortunately. In this case, you need to a better photographer than a cook :)
- Practice your photography & plating skills
- Know WHY you want to do it!...Then the whole course will make more sense to you!
Would I recommend it?
Absolutely, YES! Instructors are amazing, experienced, skilled and always willing to help, share their knowledge and give you so many tips on how to improve and grow. You will learn a lot. But, before you do decide to set off onto this adventure, please have in mind these few tips, in order to make your Matthew Kenney journey a real extraordinary experience and to get the most of it!