The following students have completed the Vegan Fusion Teacher training program and are certified to teach classes using the Vegan Fusion Method.
Private Vegan and Raw Chef and class instructor. Kristie Chijimatsu has trained extensively under Vegan Fusion’s co-founder Chef Mark Reinfeld. She is currently working towards completing his Vegan Fusion teacher training program. In addition, Kristie has completed an interactive raw foods training program with Chef Jennifer Cornbleet from Living Light Culinary Arts Institute and attends classes and lectures to stay current on her skills and knowledge within the vegan and raw foods world.
Kristie combines her extensive background in the field of art and education with her extreme passion for nutritious foods to teach energetic and dynamic vegan and raw food classes to those who are interested in learning more about plant-based cuisines and lifestyle. Kristie’s vegan and raw foods journey began over eight years ago, after being vegetarian for 13 years, based on her lifelong love for animals and passion for healthy foods and nutrition.
Kristie began studying under Chef Mark Reinfeld over two years ago after assisting him in a five day Vegan Fusion workshop. She has continued to assist him with a variety of Vegan Fusion and Teacher Training Workshops. Kristie’s experiences with Chef Reinfeld have given her extensive training in vegan and raw food preparation, nutrition and how to conduct cooking classes. Kristie thoroughly enjoys teaching others how to create and prepare healthy and delicious vegan and raw foods for themselves, family and friends. When she is not teaching or preparing amazing food for clients, Kristie can be found in her kitchen, cats at her feet, creating new and wonderful dishes.
My journey in plant based living began in 2010. I’m not really sure what first caused me to gravitate towards veganism, except to say that it was my natural evolution. I was vegetarian prior to being vegan. Prior to that there was a steady and consistent removal of animal products from my life. Foods that had been normal in my life simply became less appealing to me. I learned that this way of living actually had a name and I began to research veganism and learned how unhealthy animal products were for me. That was all the motivation I needed to make the change.
It wasn’t long afterwards that I became aware of the environmental impact animal agriculture has on our planet. That, along with the animal cruelty aspects and ethical concerns was enough to seal the deal for me. I was vegan and always would be. My only regret is that I didn’t transition sooner.
I’ve always loved spending time in the kitchen so it was natural for me to want to learn new vegan ways of preparing food. I came across a weekend workshop offered by Vegan Fusion and thought it would be a fun time and a great way to spend some quality time with my mom. We both loved the course and returned for a longer session. I have a passion for sharing the vegan lifestyle with others so the teachers’ training was an obvious next step. I can honestly say that stumbling upon an advertisement for a 2-day Vegan Fusion workshop kick started my developing business as a Vegan Food Instructor!
My hope is that I can help others become aware of the importance of embracing a plant based lifestyle and help in making their own journeys easier through delicious and nourishing foods.
Deb Kay is a trained instructor having over thirty years cooking experience, the last eight years concentrating on plant based cuisine. Deb has trained with award winning vegan chefs: Mark Reinfeld, owner of Vegan Fusion and author of four cookbooks including the 30-Minute Vegan Series, and Chef Al Chase, of the Institute of Culinary Awakening.
The primary reason I decided to change to a plant based lifestyle was to improve my health. I am one of five siblings, the only one without diabetes. I attribute that to my diet. I was not satisfied with veggie burgers and green salads. I decided that I was going to learn all I can and have fun with it. That I do! I do love to play with my food. Now, I’m sharing what I’ve learned with others.
I have had a love for baking and cooking since I was a child. Growing up with extreme exzema, and a family with severe asthma and allergies, has led me down a path of learning about the power of plants as teachers, medicine, food, and allies. I have been working with food and plants as a way to heal myself, my friends, and family for more than 30 years. Growing food, teaching about plants and helping others to learn about how to make beautiful, delicious healthy foods for themselves and their families are my passions.
My relationship with vegan foods began many years ago with the search for a delicious, satisfying, non-dairy, non chocolate, dessert that wasn’t just a bowl of fruit. In those days, chocolate gave me hives and dairy tends to add to problems with allergies and eczema so I was cutting them out of my diet but I found it a challenge to find good alternatives especially in the dessert department. I tried way too many tasteless, cardboard and sawdust textured commercial products that left me less than fulfilled. I experimented and developed some decent recipes of my own but my life was truly transformed when I encountered a little cafe in Kapa’a on the island of Kauai called The Blossoming Lotus where they had a whole menu full of delectable treats all without dairy or animal products of any kind. This was the beginning of a new journey for me one of working with passionate and like minded people, like Mark Reinfeld, who believe that how we eat is deeply intertwined with our health and all our relationships in the world.
I have been working with Mark for 10 years now. Through cafe to restaurant, through catering and cookbooks it has been an exciting journey of discovery, expansion and deliciousness from which I continue to learn everyday. I am very happy to be a part of taking Vegan Fusion’s vision out into the world by teaching and sharing the skills and information provided in these cooking classes. Aloha.
Alan Whykes runs a vegan food business called Otis Beanery located in Tasmania, Australia. He runs regular cooking classes often with ethnic vegan themes. Fermentation is another specialisation of Alan’s and he is an unreserved evangelist for traditional preparations like sauerkraut, tempeh, sourdough, water kefir and non-dairy ‘milk’ ferments. A keen gardener and forager, he also teaches about edible weeds and flowers as well as raw vegan cuisine. Alan has been working on a seasonal vegan cookbook due out in 2016 and has recently started a vegan tour business. He has completed Vegan Fusion Level II training and has also assisted Mark in teaching a 10-day intensive in Portland.
Alan has been a vegan for 9 years and is convinced of the health benefits of eating a clean and natural diet. Alan undertakes various activities to promote healthy eating and has appeared in this role in the Kids’ Kitchen at Taste, Tasmania’s premier food festival. Through his business he supports the development of local food networks that involve producers/suppliers, distributors, retailers and processors. He pioneered the Entreé mini-festival in his home town of Moonah in order to showcase the food culture of the area to a wider audience. He is very enthusiastic about promoting vegan cuisine and is looking to run private restaurant events in the future.
Jessica Olin has been in the health and wellness industry for 16 years. She is an esthetician, massage therapist, certified spin instructor, certified Pilates instructor, certified vegan chef through Vegan Fusion and most recently an Arbonne health coach for 30 days to healthy living. She is passionate about transforming lives through wellness, fitness and nutrition. She has been vegan for 5 years and she lives in San Diego, CA with her husband Eric, who has been vegan for 23 years. She has had two vegan pregnancies resulting in two 10lb babies! Oskar Matthew who is 3yrs old and Isabella Marie, who is 3 months old. Vegan Power!