Meet Sam, she’s on a roll in her new role! The Vegetarian Society Cookery School’s new manager!

Posted on the 19th February 2018

Back in January Sam Platt took charge as the manager of the Vegetarian Society Cookery School.  With her background in restaurants and catering management she has a keen eye for the current foodie trends. A keen weekend roller derby player, Sam’s already ‘on a roll’, boosting the school’s on-trend credentials with the launch of a brand new course packed with finger-licking indulgent The Junk Food Vegan.

The Vegetarian Society Cookery School’s new The Junk Food Vegan course is inspired by Sam’s flavour-packed visits to festivals. “There’s so much amazing veggie and vegan street food around now,” said Sam. “I had a mind blowing ‘bhaji buttie’ from a tiny vegan van, freshly cooked onion bhaji, a huge sprawling spider-like thing, battered right in front of you, with pickled cucumber strips, coriander yoghurt, super-hot minced chilli, all wrapped in a warm naan bread…heavenly vegan junk food!”

The Junk Food Vegan half-day experience will show you how to create street food in your own home. Sam said: “We’ll be using seitan and tofu to bring a good range of textures, and getting creative with vegetables to make our vegan alternatives to spicy nacho cheese sauce and mac and cheese.  Vegan eating no longer means you have to miss out on treats – with a little innovation and inspiration, anyone can produce them at home. The junk food course shows there’s a way to ‘veganise’ any food. It’s not all ‘worthy’ food – bring on the seitan ribs and fully-stacked burgers accompanied by loaded fries!”

Food, hospitality and helping people develop their skills are all Sam’s passions. “I understand different people learn in different ways, and at our school we look to help everyone gain skills in a way that works for them, while making sure all feel welcome and well looked after.”

Currently Sam’s go-to ingredients in the kitchen are tofu, kale, cauliflower and cashew nuts. She’s also a big fan of a Buddha bowl: “I love just throwing together all my favourite things in one big bowl of goodness! Some of my favourite dishes to go into a Buddha bowl are – roasted cauliflower with tahini and lemon dressing, chilli coriander chickpeas and spinach and garlic quinoa with kale and chestnut mushrooms. I’ll pop a couple of these in with some crunchy apple salad, top with a mixed seed sprinkle and job’s done!”

Showcasing key veggie/vegan ingredients is at the heart of some of the latest courses, such as the Tofu Guru course. Sam enthuses: “The Tofu Guru will teach you how to use tofu in many ways. Most vegetarians and vegans will have used tofu in curries and stir-fries, this course will show you all of the exciting ways you can use this versatile ingredient in scrambles, omelettes, sauces, mayo and desserts. We’ll also show you how to make your own tofu at home. The majority of people who say they’re not a fan have only tried tofu one way, in one dish; this course could open their minds to the wonders of this great ingredient.”

Like anyone lucky enough to combine their passion and work, Sam’s appetite for cooking doesn’t stop when she’s not running the school – she also loves cooking at home. “Bulk cooking is the way for me though,” says Sam. “I bulk cook several meals at one time, prep into portions or meal components, freeze some, make work lunch out of others, combine into bigger dishes. It’s a great way to still fit fresh food into my busy life. I have a 4-year-old son, so with work, sport and family all making demands on my time, I’ve got to be super organised!”

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