“Our little schoolhouse is the best kept secret in Boulder,” Julianaa Satie, President of International Academy of Natural Cookery, told me with a smile.
Having (what I might consider) a relatively good grasp on the food scene and happenings in Boulder, I knew this was something I would have to see for my own eyes.
Set just North of Iris and 28th in a neighborhood, which looks just like a home, sits the International Academy of Natural Cookery. Open since 1983, Julianaa has transformed her home into an expanded kitchen to teach students who come from around the world, to become a natural cook whether it’s through their professional school of natural cookery or their natural cook (home cook training) programs.
Where Culinary Art Meets Healing Whole Food:
It was founded on the belief that healthy ingredients contribute to the healing process when the person cooking brings the creative part of themselves into a dish. Our coherent curriculum teaches the relationship of food and cooking in a way that solidifies the internal “knowing” of each student. We do not use recipes. Instead, students learn the relationship between ingredients and cooking methods. This system is unique to the School of Natural Cookery and enables one to cook for all diets in any cuisine.
Whether you aspire to become a personal or commercial chef, desire to teach our unique system or develop your own product line, the teachers support every student’s natural potential.
Recently, on the commencement eve for the latest group of culinary students I attended their final Performance Dinner to share what they’ve learned and dishes they’ve careful imagined, planned, created and planned to serve to a small, intimate group.
Our meal was comprised of multiple courses and a different student, represented each course.
We started with a Crisp Nori Roll Trio that was comprised of a black rice and sweet and sour yam sushi, red rice and chickpea and chipotle sushi, and sushi rice with fava bean and preserved lemon sushi. This was paired with a crisp, cool Tozai Sake.
Next, a simple clean watercress soup with horseradish crème paired with a Jean Dumont vouvray.
Roasted asparagus salad with fresh tarragon, mint and blood orange also paired with vouvray.
Escalivada Millefeurille with roasted eggplant, red pepper tofu cheese and pesto, paired with a tres picos granacha. I could have had a whole plate of these!
Grilled seitan sausage with spicy tomato sauce, basmati rice with coconut lime dal and seasonal vegetables paired with a Columbia Winery Gewurztraminer.
Finally, a chocolate s’more brule with fresh strawberry and strawberry coulis. The entire dish was made from scratch and the ‘marshmallow’ was vegan. I recall licking the plate clean with this one.
The dishes were beautifully executed and as I peaked back at the students at work to prepare this exquisite dinner, I noticed no yelling, no stress, laughter and deep concentration.
I respect the way the teachers guide their students and instead of drawing upon stress (that can often be found in a kitchen) they’re pulling from love and joy, via the lessons this specific school offers.
I’ve always believed (and been taught by my family) when there is love and happiness coming from the kitchen and the cook that your food will represent that. Isn’t that why we all say no one comes close to my Grandmother/Mother’s cooking? It is after all, why we step into our kitchens, right? Because of the joy it brings.
In terms of this style, there are very few culinary schools in the country that offer this teaching. The teachers are world-class and you can tell, the output of these students is that of success, especially in the home cook realm.
I left the little school house after six courses that night, feeling light, not full. The food was clean, carefully prepared and good for you.
I thought to myself (bemusing other meals where I was bursting at the seams and waistline) this is the way we should eat.
Full disclosure: As I deeply support this school and mission and am therefore an affiliate of Natural School of Cookery. This comes from my own experience with the students, the school and wonderful owner of Natural School of Cookery.