Food Sense

The Sisters Who Inspire Everyone to Cook Vegan

My Veg Life

imageSpork-Fed: Creamy Baked Mac n' Cheese

If you’ve ever taken a cooking class with these sisters, you know that Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg are incredibly inspiring, knowledgeable, and fun. Together, Jenny and Heather run Spork Foods, a Los Angeles-based gourmet vegan food company offering live cooking classes in Los Angeles, online vegan cooking classes, one-on-one in-home healthy pantry makeovers, and recipe development/trainings for chefs, food companies and colleges. Their cookbook, Spork-Fed, will be released in three short days, on October 1, with a foreword by fellow fans and sisters, Emily and Zooey Deschanel.

If you’re like me, you’ve always wondered what it’s like to live a day in the life of the Spork sisters. Let’s indulge ourselves together:

6:30 AM: We don’t live together but we both get up early to start our day. Jenny wakes up with her husband, Jeremy, and gets the organic fair trade coffee brewing. Meanwhile, Heather pops out of bed and immediately checks her phone for the early batch of pressing Sporkie e-mails, which she handles while getting a morning dose of vitey D – on her balcony in a bikini.

7:30 AM: Heather whips up her favorite vegan breakfast shake using her trusty Vitamix blender…and we do mean shake, not smoothie.  It’s a blend of almonds, banana, cinnamon, dates, almond or coconut milk, and ice. After her morning shower, she uses Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (yes, like the kind from the market - it has incredible healing properties and acts as a natural sunscreen!) as her morning lotion so she smells good for Jenny all day long.

8:30 AM: Jenny arrives at the Sporkie Headquarters, where Heather already has the yoga mats set out on the floor and 8-Minute Abs ready to roll on YouTube.  Depending on the day and what projects are ahead, we walk to a local farmer’s market to collect our “office supplies,” which consist of fresh fruits and veggies! We always try to pick up some fermented veggie broth from Dave’s Korean Foods stand, because we’re addicted to the stuff.

9:00 AM: By now, the day is in full swing. If we’re preparing for an upcoming cooking class, we turn the kitchen into a test kitchen, perfecting our vegan recipes that we’ll teach over the weekend. Our class themes vary from Jamaican to French, Gluten-Free Italian to Chinese, and more.

10:00 AM: E-mails start flying. Heather is on the phone, talking to Sporkonline members or booking private cooking lessons for the upcoming weeks. Jenny is either at the market, butting into peoples’ conversations about buying tofu, or typing up the recipes that will be used in class.

12:30 PM: Lunch time! In many offices, lunch means a dry sandwich or greasy take-out, but we are always in the midst of delicious experimentation.  If we’re not feeling too elaborate, we’ll make one huge salad with everything from seitan to cooked brown rice and radishes, and eat from the same big bowl. And, just like Seinfeld has Kramer, we have Kevin, our bestie friend and taste tester, who lives around the corner and is almost always thrilled to swing by, share a meal, and lend his expertise.

1:00 PM: It’s now time to answer “Food911” questions from our Sporkonline members. We get questions about which knife is best to use, or how to properly cut a pineapple. Some questions are best answered with a video, so our Sporkonline biz partners (who are talented vegan filmmakers) may stop by to film the answers. Depending on the day, this is also the time when we’ll film full-length cooking classes with special guests such as prominent animal activists, environmentalists, doctors, children, cooks, teachers, and more!  All the guests ask real questions that many cooks at home would have, and we do our best to provide useful and informative answers. This all goes into the filmed cooking classes for members to watch!

4:00 PM: With the arrival of our first cookbook, Spork-Fed, comes a lot of responsibility. Whether we’re coordinating interviews and photo shoots, or writing guest blogs, we are in full pitch mode!

5:00 PM: By early evening, we need to get out of the office for a little breaky-break, so we take a walk around the block to clear their minds.  And then, after a few more e-mails and perhaps a phone call or two, it’s off to get our nighttime plans started.

7:00 PM: Though we do spend almost every waking, working hour together, sometimes, we even have dinner plans. Jenny’s husband will often scoop us up to all go check out one of our favorite vegan restaurants, such as Shojin in little Tokyo. Heather is a bit of a socialite and night owl, so she’ll frequently meet up with friends and have a nightcap at the most wonderful, whimsical new rooftop bar in Downtown LA, Perch. If you go, arrive thirsty because the cocktails are amazing, and rumor has it that vegan food options are on the way!

Bedtime: Jenny’s husband always reminds her to floss with her vegan dental floss before bed. And Heather makes sure to wash her face with the most incredible-smelling face wash, made from sea minerals (and not tested on animals, of course!). Then we’re off to rest before the next day of cooking and working, our dreams filled with happy visions of food!

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