We woke up extra early on Friday and made our way downtown to tour NGI. I have to admit, it was quite a bit smaller than I expected but perfect enough to get the job done!
We toured the three kitchens and saw the students in action; one group was in the midst of a test and you could see their concentration as they chopped their veggies, mixed their ingredients and stood over the stove waiting for their creations to be ready. The place smelled amazing…they must have been doing SOMETHING right!
After our tour we did what any two women would do with 5 hours to kill before dinner in NYC…we shopped! You just can’t beat NYC shopping. (I bought a fedora at one point and am still rockin’ my city girl attitude…I’m not quite ready to take it off ). Needless to say it was time well wasted.
Anyway. We returned at 6:30 for the Friday Night Dinner that the students put on each week. It’s a three course, gourmet meal and the guests eat right in the NGI kitchens. My mom and I had a fun time talking to the people at our table. Oh, right…the food. It was AMAZING!
The first course was light and refreshing. The Chilled Pea Soup was sweet and perfectly seasoned and the Summer Vegetable Salad was delicious as well with a blend of summer squash, radishes and a light dressing.
Course two was hearty and satisfying. The base, we learned, was “forbidden rice.” I had never heard of it but it was delicious and really beautiful. The stack of veggies included zucchini, potato (some gorgeous purple ones too!), chard I think?, and beets. Don’t know what all was in it but it was wonderful!
Of course my favorite part was dessert. Anything with lemon and coconut these days and I’m in heaven! The crust was some type of nut based tart…no flour or anything if I remember correctly. And the coconut gelato was dairy free. It was absolutely delicious!
It was a real treat to get to attend the Friday Night Dinner and to visit The Natural Gourmet Institute and I’m so glad we got to go. After tasting the delicious food and seeing the school in action I’m more than certain that this is the place for me.
Now comes the hardest part…waiting for the next year to go by so I can go!!! Good things come to those who wait though, right?