Maui's Inside Scoop on Chef Mark Reinfeld of Blossoming Lotus Fame


Rising star and vegan fusion chef Mark Reinfeld of Kauai's beloved but closed Blossoming Lotus Restaurant (though still open in Portland, Oregon) has his heart set on a winter home and an identical restaurant on Maui! We don't know exactly when that will be, but he says there is a "preliminary discussion" going on right now.

Meanwhile, he has also been doing something totally different to expand his many kitchens in a way you might want to know about. First, Reinfeld has made them moveable by offering 2-, 5-, and 10-day "hands on" vegan workshops in Hawaii, Seattle and Oregon. There are also teacher training workshops and some very interesting upcoming international retreats to places like Belize, Spain, Greece and France.

Second, Reinfeld has perfected a kitchen and workshop atmosphere rarely seen from similarly high-ranked chefs. Attend any of his functions and you'll find that he would rather glide from stovetop to center island than stomp and slam his way around the kitchen. And as tensions rise, you'll also hear his mantra to "just breathe" and for everyone to appreciate the positive energy generated as an equally critical ingredient to any dish served.

As for Reinfeld's other numerous ingredients, surely the use of more natural foods such as arrowroot, chia seed, spelt, tempeh, and seitan sets him apart from any traditional chef. But the greater clincher is that he is putting a new understanding on the mysteries of dining vegan style and is someone you should take notice of now and follow wisely.

For him those mysteries unfolded at the age of 23 while on a Kibbutz in Israel where his eyes finally opened.

"I began to connect with animals like cows and chickens in the same way I connected with dogs and cats," Reinfeld explains. "I decided to treat them with the same love and respect."

From that point forward, Reinfeld re-dedicated himself to a life-long study of organic foods, its healthful benefits, and ways to promote a vegan lifestyle. He co-authored and published four cookbooks: Vegan World Fusion Cuisine (his first and still most popular award-winning recipe collection), The 30-Minute Vegan, The complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw and The Taste of the East. Lastly, his most recent cookbook "The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe" (think "faux gras") is expected out later this year.

Online, Reinfeld offers cooking lessons, issues a Vegan Fusion Newsletter and worthwhile RSS Feeds. He can also be contacted directly on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or through his Vegan Fusion web site.

In the end, the real difference in Reinfeld's many kitchens could be defined as a highly peaceful approach in uniting international dining traditions with vegan gourmet foods. But we're guessing it has more to do with his clear vision and truly passionate desire to change the way that we, as diners, love and respect the world through his trademark Vegan World Fusion Cuisine.

We wish Chef Reinfeld much success and are looking forward to a Blossoming Lotus on Maui! We hope you will too.

To contact Reinfeld or to get more information on his workshops, retreats and other information, go to: or


Submitted by Elaine Gallant, Jan, 2012