Friday, April 7, 2006


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It's going to take me a few entries to tell you all of my impressions of this event because I'm still digesting everything (if you'll pardon the unintentional pun!). It was a truly amazing event, highlighted by the outstanding generosity of the organizer, Chef Kevin Dunn, the Hospitality Education Program Director, Randy Sahajdack, and all of the staff and students. I just can't say enough about them! They showered us (the presenters) with gifts, good food, and all the help we needed. We had student volunteers as our assistants. I had 5 in my team, led by Ashley, a senior student who was so well-organized and competent that I forgot to be nervous!

They housed us at the truly magnificent Amway Grand Plaza Hotel (the bed was so nice, I actually got some sleep!).

I got to meet four of my Vegan Feast newsletter subscribers, plus some others who have corresponded with me, so that was super fun! I had breakfast a couple of times with Howard Lyman, the "Mad Cowboy"(a 4th generation cattle farmer turned vegan), who is coming to my area in June, so I hope to be able to cook a meal for him and his wife at that time! His speeches were so right on and funny and serious at the same time.

I only got to see one demo because I spent all of Monday preparing for and giving my demo. I chose to see Chef Ken Begeron, whom I greatly admire for his talent, and who is so kind and calm, whatever challenges he faces in the kitchen! His recipes were all about using sea vegetables for flavor. He prepared and served a Sea Vegetable Bisque, which was out of this world; Maple Glazed Kelp Carrots and Onions; Mesclun Mix with Smoked Dulse; Sea Czar Dressing; Fusion Tartar Sauce; and the two recipes below. I had never heard of smoked dulse before, and I don't know whether I can get it where I live, but I plan to try smoking dulse in my stovetop smoker!

“Prepared by participants at a vegan cooking workshop, this ‘accidental’ version of SeaCzar Dressing [from his book ‘Professional Vegetarian Cooking’] uses smoked dulse and a variety of red miso.”

1/2 cup eggless mayonnaise (Ken used Veganaise Original)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. red miso
1 Tbsp. smoked dulse, chopped finely (see photo above)
Pinch of sea salt
2 Tbsp. water

Whisk all ingredients together. If using a blender, add the dulse after all other ingredients, as over-mixing can discolor the dressing.

(This recipe has been cut down to serve 2-3)
From his book “Professional Vegetarian Cooking”.

These are sooooooo delicious! (Fortunately, I had tried them before, because I didn't get any! I got sidetracked chatting and they were all gone by the time I got out to the tasting area!) Ken says that he sometimes uses the same breading and method on round “plugs” of tofu (not frozen) that have been soaked in sea vegetable “juice” (I guess water in which sea vegetable has been simmered), to make “vegan fried scallops”. Have to try that!

5 oz. oyster mushrooms, rinsed and kept slightly moist
olive or peanut oil for frying

Flour Mix:
1 Tbsp. nori flakes, pulverized in a coffee grinder or blender
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. white flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt

Liquid Mix:
2 Tbsp. Flour Mix (above)
1/2 cup water

Bread Crumb Mix:
1 1/4 cups fresh bread crumbs (unseasoned)
2 Tbsp. dulse flakes
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Small pinch salt
Small pinch pepper

In separate bowls, thoroughly mix ingredients for each of the three mixes, in the order that they are given.

Cut or break the clusters of mushrooms to about 2” long by 1” wide. Cut large ones in half or leave small ones attached.

Just before beginning the breading, rinse off the mushrooms quickly and shake off excess moisture.

Heat the oil to 350°F. (Use a deep-fry thermometer or electric deep-fryer.)

Dredge the mushrooms first in Flour Mix and shake off excess. Dip mushrooms into the Liquid Mix and shake off excess. Dredge mushrooms in Bread Crumb Mix. Set aside on a pan until they are all done.

Fry the breaded mushrooms four to five at a time for about one minute, until golden brown,being careful that the breading doesn't get beyond golden. Drain mushrooms on a towel covered plate. Allow a minute between batches for oil to re-heat. Mushrooms may be kept warm in a 250°F oven.

Well, that's all I can write for today! Stay tuned for more!


Dori said...

When I first decided vegan was right for me (Thanks to Dr B..? - on a book about fiber and then Dr. McDougal's first book) ...... I found Veg TV, an internet site with movie type playable files. Howards Lyman was the first veg speaker I ever heard via internet.

Carrie™ said...

I grew up on the East Coast and wretched dulse is everywhere. They sell it at convenience stores. ICK! Never been a fan. The rest of my family eats it as a snack while watching TV - right out of the package. I don't think I have ever seen smoked dulse though. I must tell my Dad about it. That would be right up his alley.
I can't wait to hear about the rest of the conference. It sounds like it was a blast! Thank you for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

Ken Bergeron!! My favorite professional chef. Bryanna, you made a great choice! It's great to hear he is so calm in the kitchen; chefs always have such nasty reputations! Did he mention a new book anytime soon?

Glad you had a great time; looking forward to reading more.

julie hasson said...


It's so much fun to hear all about your experiences at the conference. I will have to check out the smoked dulse. The recipes look so good. By the way, did they give you a recipe for the horchata sorbet? That really caught my eye.


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Linda, he is great! I heard him referred to as the "Jack Nicholson" of chefs! He did mention another book, I think.

Julie, they didn't give us any of the recipes for what they served at meals, unfortunately. Here is a recipe, though.

julie hasson said...

Thanks Bryanna. I'll give it a try.

I can't wait to hear more about the event : )


spiceislandvegan said...

Hi Bryanna,

I would love Ken Bergeron's meals. Yum! I LOVE sea vegetables and 'sea' flavor. I have made Deep Fried Oyster Mushrooms several times, Chinese style, with Thai Basil, ginger, chilies, salt, and pepper. I have to try Ken's version with sea vegetables. Can't wait!

I have never heard of Smoked Dulse. Very interesting! Are you going to try the vegan 'scallops' with tofu 'plugs'? Interesting! Let me know and I am willing to try it. How exciting!