F the East Coast

Hi everyone! Sorry for the hiatus, I was super busy with the end of school!

“Fuck the East Coast”
Grafitti in San Francisco’s Mission district

I am currently in sunny San Francisco for my month-long internship at Millennium Restaurant. This is my first time in the Golden State and I am loving it so far. I could definitely see myself living here some day.

I’m fortunate to be staying in a pretty swanky area of San Francisco. I knew nothing about the city before I came and lucked out booking such a nice place online. I get to wake up with sun pouring in the huge bedroom windows every morning… it is bliss.

I am also kept company by two cuddly kitties and a pint-sized pup. The Patron Saint of Cats looks over me as I sleep, befitting for a cat lady such as myself.

I just finished my first week interning at Millennium and I’m really enjoying it. Working in a restaurant is like Friday Night Dinner every night but with more than one dish per course. It’s intense, but I like intense. Chef Eric Tucker (who is also a NGI Grad!) is a lot less scary than I imagined him to be!

Millennium is definitely more relaxed about dress code than the Natural Gourmet. Tons of the staff have piercings and no one wears hats (which I am relieved about since my cap kept shrinking in the wash and was beginning to cut off the circulation to my brain). I also had to go out and buy black pants to wear since I looked like such a dweeb wearing my hounds tooth eyesores.

Last week I trailed at the pantry station (salads and desserts), worked the prep shift a couple times and accompanied the chef to a catering event. I’ll have more to say about it once I’m further into my internship!

The staff gets to order complimentary meals after their shift, which is a perk I did not know about beforehand! The food is so good, it really is the best vegan food I’ve ever tasted.

A raw salad with sea vegetables, avocado, miso dressing, wasabi sauce and spicy cashews. I have dreams about this salad it was so good!

A polenta dish with a Bolognese sauce, fava beans, sautéed greens and the best pesto of my life.

My favorite dish was the huitlacoche tamale, which I don’t have a picture for. I’ll have to order it again so I can show you guys!

I’ve had two days off, I’m excited to go back tomorrow! I wonder if I’ll always feel this way about work?

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Cool Beans

I LOVE BEANS.

I always end up buying canned beans because I could never get the hang of making dried beans on the stovetop. They always came out weird! After yesterday’s Bean Practicum I can honestly say that I don’t think cooking beans will ever be a problem for me again.

On Wednesday we had a bean “demo” so we have had two days of eating copious amounts of beans and my body is definitely feeling it. Before I started at NGI, I was less aware of how different foods made me feel but now that I am more educated about food in general I have been paying more attention to how my body reacts to the things I ingest. Beans are great and super healthy, but eating a lot of beans in the middle of the afternoon makes me feel very sluggish for the rest of the evening. Something about the complex carbs just makes me want to nap! I love my beans, but maybe from now on I will consume them in moderation.

For the bean practicum, our class was divided into three groups that each tackled the same five bean recipes using different beans as the main ingredient. For example, each group made a bean stew. My group (the “Lima Lions”) made a bean stew with lima beans while the other groups (the “Pinto Ponies” and the “Kidney Kings”) used pinto and kidney beans.

Since our group had five people we each were responsible for one recipe. I chose the lima bean stew recipe and it was the most delicious of all the stews (not that I’m biased or anything…). I definitely want to recreate this recipe at home, it was so easy and used only a few ingredients!

Stews are not the prettiest entrees but they sure are tasty. Our group also made a bean salad with a mustard dressing that is so good I want to drink it!

A lemony cannellini bean dip with parsley and paprika (with awesome curry spiced pita chips on the side!)

And two soups: red lentil and yellow split pea.

Another group’s kidney dip was too pretty not to photograph…

The spread was uh-mazing, I can’t wait to try making these recipes at home once my current bean coma has worn off!

One of my classmates, Gabe, brought homemade truffles for dessert that were honestly some of the best truffles I have ever eaten. He made three flavors: chipotle, rosemary (pictured) and plain.

Truffles seem like a very labor-intensive endeavor but I think they would make really cute homemade gifts for the holidays! I can’t believe it’s already the weekend, and a three day one at that. I have a busy yet fun-filled weekend of postponed Valentine’s Day activities ahead of me!