Two weeks ago I received this tweet from Chobani Australia.
Well of course I replied within three seconds. A Chobani workshop? Tell me where and when and I’m there.
Turns out I have got myself the name of ‘Chobaniac’ – someone who loves Chobani.
I was lucky to be invited to attend an exclusive culinary inspiration workshop led by
Lee Atkinson (Executive Chef of Culinary Academy Sofitel Melbourne)
Ivan Cook (Chobani’s resident Chef).
And boy oh boy, did I jump at the chance. My friend, dietitian-to-be and fellow chobaniac, Jenna (Cheering for nutrition) was invited also, so I was sure to get her on board promptly.
We arrived last night at the Sofitel Melbourne not really knowing what to expect, eagerly found our Chobani-eating location and soon ran into fellow breakfast enthusiasts Sarah (Slice of Sarah) and Mardi. Later I realised, I never introduced myself. It seems that Instagram has eliminated the need for formal introductions.
Ten lucky people were attending this event, where we were greeted with a glass of Champagne and the first culinary creation.
Chobani 2% Greek yoghurt with parmesan crisp, asparagus, quail egg and truffle oil.
We had the chance to mingle and taste more culinary creations.
Tempura Prawns with Chobani 2% plain & sweet chilli sauce.
Spring Rolls served with a dipping sauce of Chobani 2% plain, coriander and something else. I was too busy tasting it to remember the exact ingredients. But yum! Also, special thanks to Mardi for being a great hand model.
Jenna and I had the chance to catch up with our friend and biochemistry lab partner, Jelena. Together we suffered through three-hour biochemistry pracs and constantly discussed Dietetics prospects. Fast forward two years and Jelena is working for Chobani (how cool!) with a massive rock on her finger. Jenna is three days out from finally being a dietitian, and me now an unemployed graduate dietitian. It’s pretty great.
The plan for the night was to all cook and share a Chobani-inspired entree and main, and individually speak to the Chobani marketing team.
Before I was given a knife, I was interviewed. If this is how a dietetic interview plays out, I’ll be one happy dietitian.
I was asked questions around how I use Chobani, what do I love about it, how did I start eating it. I was also asked what they could do to make me eat more of it. Well at minimum two tubs per day; I don’t know if my bank account would really appreciate that. I discussed my concern about the low calcium content, but acknowledged that this results from the straining process (removing all the excess whey) which makes this yoghurt thick, creamy and higher in protein than other Greek yoghurts.
I was also asked to picture what Chobani would look like as a person if they turned up at a plus one at my dinner party. That was a hard one. I think I would just worship them.
In the Sofitel kitchen we observed Lee prepare the entree and the main, and then we attempted to do it ourselves.
For entree we were having Kingfish Sashimi with coriander & lime Chobani yoghurt foam, avocado cream, micro herb & lime segments.
Yoghurt foam. Oh my goodness, yum.
Jenna, being a raw fish disliker, made a tiny one.
Go Jenna, I’m so proud.
For main we prepared Chobani Yoghurt Marinated Lamb Backstraps, fire roasted peppers, eggplant chips, water cress & Pomegranate molasses dressing.
If you can’t tell, I’m pretty impressed with my efforts.
As we tasted and appreciated our culinary creations, we first discussed Chobani’s future as a group.
I bonded with my fellow Chobaniacs over breakfast in Melbourne and even made plans to catch up the following week. We discussed our careers, HECS debts and the cons of social media.
Then we were served dessert.
Warm Bitter chocolate fondant, Chobani ice cream & macerated berries.
I have no words.
It was the perfect way to finish off a perfect evening.
Actually no, being given two of Chobani’s famous glass bowls and chopping board was the perfect end to the most amazing, random evening ever.
So as I sit by my heater on this cold, winter Melbourne morning, enjoying my breakfast out of my new Chobani bowl, I would like to say a huge thank you to the team at Chobani for putting on such a great night . I learnt so much about how to use Chobani and I’m really looking forward to tasting some of the new products that will be on our shelves in the future. And please, if you ever need a taste tester, be sure to let me know.