I live in Santa Monica so I had the opportunity to eat at M.A.K.E many times. The food is always very beautiful, artistic and of course delicious. The restaurant is in The Market in Santa Monica Place. It’s in an airy dining room with natural wood and fabrics. There is also a terrace and a bar where you can eat or enjoy a juice or a smoothie. When you go to the restaurant, you walk next to the academy, where you can see the students learning and creating food. The academy is surrounded by glass windows so you can see inside. It’s very beautiful and modern.
I did my raw food chef certification a few years ago at Living Light in California but I’ve always been intrigued by Matthew Kenney’s work. His work is very unique and beautiful. And he is such a great person. I love to learn and try new experiences so I decided to enroll in one of his culinary classes. I took the raw advanced class because I was already pretty advanced in raw cuisine and wanted to learn something new. I was very excited to go!
The class was on a Sunday, and just like the other classes, it goes from 11 am to 4 pm. There were five girls in the class, all from different countries. Our teacher, Sean, was excellent. He was very passionate about what he does and he was also very funny. We began the class by presenting ourselves, and Sean explained what we were going to do during the class. Everything sounded so wonderful. I was so ready to start, haha! We each had our own station with our own equipment. They even have special equipment – such as a paco-jet, a sous-vide, and a smoking gun – which we had the chance to experiment with during the class.
The class was designed so that the teacher explained and demonstrated what we were going to make, and then, it was our turn to make it. Some of the recipes were made by all of us–such as dressings–but each of us made our own food. We chose our ingredients, did the food prep using the equipment necessary, and then did the plating. I brought my camera with me to take a few pictures of my creations. All the dishes we made could be eaten there, after the class, or taken home.
We made a lot of great dishes. We made a raw smoked tomato soup with a vegan crème fraiche, in where we learned to use the smoked gun. Then, we made an arugula salad with a black olive emulsion and a preserved lemon ranch dressing made from fermented lemons. For the main course, we made raw jicama carrot gnocchi and a pea-mint pesto to serve with the gnocchi. And for dessert, we made a stone fruit using the sous-vide appliance, and served it with almond gelato, oat crumble, and mint syrup.
By the end of the class, we were all very hungry so we tasted what we made. Everything was so delicious! It was a really great experience. I had so much fun! Matthew’s vision is exceptional and what he does is so unique. What you can make with plant foods is endless and truly fascinating, and this is what you can enjoy at their restaurant or learn at their academy.
I hope to go back again very soon. If you’re in the area, make sure you go! He also now has many other restaurants.