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Thursday, 9 March 2017 Offbeet

A few weeks ago, I attended an evening baking course. This was a course like no other. It was in fact an entirely gluten free and vegan baking course. No eggs, no milk and no flour. Where, why and how?

Firstly, let me tell you about the location. Nestled amongst the antique treasures and trinkets of Chesapeake Mill, Offbeet is a completely vegan and gluten free restaurant. A happy coincidence perhaps, that it is also within walking distance of my family home.

Offbeet has become one of our staple go to restaurants for a weekend lunch. The staff are so creative, knowledgeable and friendly; it is a pleasure to see such passion behind their food. We have now become a regular and have become friends with the staff.

Why vegan and gluten free? As mentioned in a previous post, I have become a little more stringent about my diet. It was quite refreshing to come across a restaurant where my options were not limited and also somewhere where both Ed and I can sincerely enjoy our meals (and not feel too guilty afterwards either!). We have even taken our most carnivorous of friends to Offbeet and they too, agree that Offbeet is something particularly special.

Although, the guilt does creep up when you choose a cakes and muffins. (Vegan does not always mean healthy!) But how can you resist? They are always so beautifully decorated, usually with edible flowers and made with fresh ingredients. When Offbeet started to offer evening baking classes, I jumped at the chance.

These classes held a maximum of 4-6 people, so the experience can be totally immersive and directly beneficial to your needs. Everything you needed was provided and we were guided by Mitch, Offbeet's chef. There were no eggs, milk or usual flour involved.

Mitch's story of how he turned his hand to veganism was particularly interesting, as he has a background in professional sports. Once a pro freerunner (like street gymnastics) Mitch used to experiment in creating yummy, but nutritional snacks.

As a local to Offbeet, he discovered the vegan restaurant in it's infancy and became a regular. So much so, he quickly became part of the Offbeet team! 

The more and more he worked with Offbeet, Mitch slowly transitioned from just vegetarianism to becoming a fully fledged vegan.Is there anything he misses? Well, no. What he makes is even better. He even says that his overall wellbeing has drastically improved: he has more energy, feels less sluggish and has quicker recovery.

Although I am not ready to give up honey and cheese, I can say that I am impressed with what Mitch and the team create at Offbeet. I have even made their famous shredded jackfruit recipe at home, and I can say that it is my most favourite meal. I cannot wait to recreate the muffins and brownies that I made during this course.

Would you like the recipe too? Either sign up to one of Mitch's upcoming classes or drop me a message. I can't share all of my secrets that easily!

I already have enquired about more classes (perhaps a main meal or dessert class?) and would love to attend one of their super special evening banquets. I absolutely love this place and cannot recommend it enough. Even if you are a complete carnivore, just go for the experience and introduction to new flavours. The staff will look after you and happily answer every question you throw at them. But be warned! Make sure you book ahead as the tables go super quick.

Hannah x

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