Our graduation ceremony was a vibrant celebration complete with family, friends, music, love, and flowers. Above are the fantastic teachers in the Yoga By Sarah teacher training program; Amanda, Allison, Tony Murdock, Sarah, and Angela.
After the ceremony, we headed to Rise Above for our graduation dinner. I have written about Rise Above (the only vegan restaurant in Niagara) here on the blog before; since my last post, they have changed locations and expanded from a bakery to a larger restaurant.
Our second course was a fantastic Potato Ravioli with Onion and Smoked Pepper on Cashew Cream. These 'ravioli' were made out of pan-fried, thinly sliced potato, and I marveled in the unique creativity behind this dish.The cashew cream was a perfect compliment to the steamed greens and ravioli filling.
The third course was a raw Beet and Strawberries with Coriander and Lemon Maple Dressing; I had never thought to combine beets and berries in a salad like this before - a winning combination if you ask me (I love beets and berries!). The coriander was also a nice compliment to the subtle flavours in the lemon maple dressing.
The fourth course was a Spring Vegetable Ragout with White Bean Cassoulet and Parsley Salad; a hearty warmed dish that won everybody over. I was very impressed with the flavours and texture of the ragout and cassoulet together.
And finally, dessert. Here, we were treated to a Fig and Date Tart with Custard and Coconut Cream. This was a very tasty treat, but I had hoped for a little more creativity in the presentation. I really enjoyed the crust (interesting preparation - it was quite thin, almost like dried fruit leather) and coconut cream, but felt the banana filling and garnish could have been complimented better with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or sifted cacao powder on the plate - my only slight comment on an otherwise phenomenal meal.
Overall, this was one of the best dining experiences I have ever had, and our gathering at Rise Above was a beautiful way to end an already beautiful day. Some of us were sad to say goodbye, but were reminded of Sarah's quote from earlier in the day:
"Everything that has a beginning, has an ending. Make your peace with that, and all will be well" - Buddha.
Thank you again to everyone who enriched my life during the past few months in our teacher training program - I will never forget the time and transformations we shared together. Namaste my friends.