Meet Pastry Chef and MK Culinary student Lorena

Raised in Barcelona, Spain, Lorena is an engineer, math teacher and MK Culinary Level I graduate. She is committed to spreading her love for plant-based cuisine with the world and will be enrolling Level II, III and IV this Fall.

My name is Lorena and I’m a 31-year- old Spanish girl raised in the beautiful city of Barcelona. If I had to define myself I would say that I have a passion for food, am a sports junkie, and I love searching for new experiences, while learning different cultural approaches to gastronomy through travel.

Since I was a little girl my Dad taught me the importance of playing sports and healthy nutrition. From swimming to running half marathons, sport has always been an important part of my life. I haven’t always been the healthiest food person, but  three years ago after a wonderful trip in Peru I decided to move forward to a vegetarian diet. For both ethical and health reasons, I truly believe there is no reason to continue feeding cruel animal abuse. It has been a progressive evolution and now I’m proud to say I follow an entirely vegan diet.

Last year my life took a 180-degree turn when my partner and I decided to leave our country. We moved to Houston and it marked a radical change in my professional career. I decided to start a new journey doing what I always dreamed of and become a chef.

I’ve always been obsessed with sweets and desserts, and I was very iLorena profile pictureinterested in the science behind baking recipes. I decided to start a pastry and baking program. We all know traditional pastries are full of unhealthy ingredients, but it wasn’t until I was inside the program that I realized I wouldn’t eat a piece of cake again, at least not a traditional one. Now, as a Pastry Chef, I’m focused on transforming the idea of dessert from an unhealthy indulgence to a healthy pleasure everyone can enjoy.

Last year, in Costa Rica, I watched Matthew Kenney’s TED Talk. I decided to start Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine online while finishing my pastry degree. During those intense four weeks I discovered raw food is not just the healthiest cuisine, it’s also incredibly tasty and artistic. I truly think food is not just something you eat to feed yourself, it has to be an experience. As a professional I want to transform each dish into a piece of art.

Having this idea in mind, for my Level I final project I was inspired by the famous Spanish artist Joan Miró. I learned the huge benefits of superfoods, the multiple uses of coconuts and how to prepare the most delicious nut cheeses I’ve ever tasted. I’m grateful I had this great opportunity  to join this wonderful community. I’m learning from the best and I’m so lucky to have the chance to continue Level II and III in Maine this summer. I couldn’t be more excited to meet my new instructors and classmates and enjoy the inspiring environment of that unique location. This fall I will be joining the first ever Level IV class in New York City!

I can’t imagine what will come next, but I’ll keep sharing my passion for food and health around the world, help people eat better and keep crafting the future of food.

Rainbow ravioli (Final project dish)Follow Lorena on Instagram and Facebook

GUEST CHEF SERIES with TOM HALPIN

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Sydney-born Tom Halpin was sous-chef at Noma in Copenhagen for Four years. Since he’s left Copenhagen, he’s won Iron Chef while consulting at Ad Lib in Bangkok, Thailand. He then returned to Australia to open Silvereye Restaurant with fellow Noma alum Sam Miller. He’s currently traveling on a worlwide cooking tour, this year he’s been to Thailand, Moscow, London, Malaysia, Columbia and Mexico. Each menu differs greatly and shows off Toms appreciation for vegetables and exploring local techniques and flavors.
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Tom and Chef Scott Winegard met at Noma 5 years ago and maintained a friendship and always thought it would be great to cook together again.
When Tom let Scott know he was planning to pass through Los Angeles it only made sense for them to make this happen.
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Tom will be Joining us as Guest Chef at Plant Food + Wine on January 20th where he will be preparing a special 7 course dinner menu. We look forward to share Tom’s talents with you.
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To purchase tickets to the event click here