REVIEW OF: Jason Andrew Wrobel, The Quadruple ‘D’ Dessert Salon
Quote from website www.mintcreativity.com: “Creating Vitality & Restoring Reality®.” 1
One of the hardest tasks for a food critic is to give an honest review of the food of a friend. Since meeting Jason, I have been impressed with his dedication to sharing the world of raw vegan food preparation, and the art of raw food with the world. But, after attending The Quadruple ‘D’ Dessert Salon held at Vardo Café in Venice, California, I can assure you that there is no problem with me giving a heartfelt and honest review of what I saw, tasted and experienced in a delicious and fun-filled evening.
I arrived at Vardo, located at 235 Main Street in Venice around 7:00 in the evening. The crowd was already gathering at this small restaurant. I was impressed with the setting for this function. It was quaint, but best of all, the kitchen area was visible to the guests, so everyone could see Jason preparing his desserts. His assistants for the night were his beautiful partner Stephanie Kuehn, the Manager of Vardo, and his culinary assistant Julian Weiss, who is a member of the famed performance troupe Lucent Dossier (see www.lucentdossier.com). They were serving Chocolate Almond Buttercup Brittle as a dessert appetizer and choices of teas. I chose the licorice mint, which was wonderful. I spoke to a few people who were sitting around and already eating their first course. The first course consisted of four (4) ice creams. We were served a small dip each of Green Tea Ice Cream with Candied Cardamom Pistachios, Pralines n’ Crème, Double Fudge Brownie Chunk and Banana Almond Buttercup. Among the women, the Double Fudge Brownie Chunk was the easy favorite, while the men were divided. Personally, I was very partial to the Pralines & Crème. The smooth texture of the ice cream was very pleasing, and the pralines were exquisite. By design, pralines should be made from nut kernels, which are then boiled in a rich sugary base until crisp and brown. Jason pulled this off, without using refined white sugar, nor did he “cook” the pralines. The feat paid off, as everyone was amazed by the crunchiness of the pralines.
Ryan, Anahata and Justin were sitting at a table outside, and I asked them about how they liked the ice cream. They all had great things to say. The comments were “amazing,” “delicious chocolate,” and “I am a pistachio nut and this is great.”
Then came the second course. The second course consisted of Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Pie, Vanilla Chai Spice L’Orange Cake, Pumpkin Thyme Cheesecake and Ayurvedic Mucuna Medicine Balls. Just like with the first course, everyone had great things to say. Again, “amazing” seemed to be the standard comment. Each one was smooth, creamy, sweet and delicious. I interviewed at least twenty (20) people, and no one had anything negative to say about any of the desserts served. My favorite of the second course was the Vanilla Chai Spice L’Orange Cake, which I will call Heavenly Orange for short. This cake was so amazingly delicious, that it could be served at the simplest of dinner parties or at the fanciest of weddings. The texture, taste and presentation was magnificent, and if you closed your eyes, you could imagine that you were sitting at a bistro table at a French diner on the Rive Gauche in Paris on the banks of the Seine.
After everyone was full of the superb desserts, a band began to play, and they were the hit of the entertainment for the night. Although I might have to say that eating Jason’s desserts was all of the entertainment that I needed. Each person left after giving Jason a hug and telling how wonderful everything was. Many, after finding out that I was a raw food critic, insisted on stopping me personally and telling me how delicious everything was. This was no surprise to me. Having had Jason’s ice cream, I know that he has a talent for combining raw ingredients in a fashion that creates scrumptious desserts to please the palate. This night was no exception.
I took a moment while the band was playing, to meet and interview Ava Carpentier. She and Farzad Kasrabod are the owners of Vardo, and her excitement about serving a variety of foods to the Venice community was infectious. She talked of preparing international dishes with the vegan flare. Her son Moksha, a bright young man, dressed in a fashionable Persian shirt and sandals, also entertained me. He seemed to like entertaining the crowd with his raps and storytelling. He will be an excellent addition to the Vardo staff in years to come
In the world of raw vegan dessert chefs, there will be many names, and near the top of every list, you will find the name of Jason Andrew Wrobel. Not only a dessert chef, Jason has been known to “whip up” a breakfast to satisfy even the finickiest eater. His raw vegan blueberry pancakes and mock-bacon are taste tantalizing, and sure to please. I invite everyone to check out his website at www.mintcreativity.com. I believe you will be happy with anything Jason is doing, whether it is cooking, singing, performing, emceeing or acting. Jason is a renaissance man of the 2000’s, and I know that we will see a lot of him in many, many venues.
Be sure to watch for Jason’s future tastings. In November, he will be doing “Night of 1,000 Noodles” and December will feature “Souptacular!” If these are as good as October, you will be in for a treat if you attend.
|The Raw Gourmand
|P.O. Box 520
Sardis, MS 38666-0520