To help promote the launch of Febreze One, a new line of fabric and air mist, classically trained chef, journalist, and five-time best-selling author Candice Kumai highlighted the line’s focus on simplicity, health, and sustainability with a cooking class centered around these values.
As a 2 in 1 fabric and air mist, Febreze One streamlines the art of freshening and makes it ideal for use in the home or on the go. It gently cleans away odors without aerosols, dyes, or heavy perfumes and comes in a refillable bottle, reducing waste. The unique nozzle sprays in 360 degrees and provides a very light, fine mist that comes in three simple scents: bamboo, orchid, and mandarin.
Candice’s recipes for the event were inspired by these scents. To kick it off, Candice introduced a coconut infused water with a hint of basil as well as a touch of bamboo to tie in the theme of the bamboo scent. Like Febreze One, the coconut water is light and refreshing. Candice explained, “We wanted to really wow you with infused waters this season, because truly hydration is going to be key, and it’s key for staying gorgeous.”
As the theme of the day was simplification, the first recipe on the table was a quick, clean soba noodle salad in a mandarin orange vinaigrette, which tied in the mandarin scent. Like Febreze One, the recipe is very versatile. “You can take this recipe and make it any which way you want at home,” said Candice.
Her recipes are also health-conscious and inspired by Japanese culture. She emphasizes the balance of “salt, acid, fat, and sweet” in cooking. In this case, tamari shoyu, a wheat-free soy sauce, served as the salt. Candace notes that tamari is fermented, adding that “The japanese live long and wonderful lives because they eat lots of fermented food, so don’t forget to always cook with some miso and soy sauce because they’ll do you good.” Rice vinegar and sesame oil constitute the acid and fat. For the sweet, we used the juice of a fresh mandarin orange. We then added grated ginger to the mix. “You see this huge knob right here?” said Candice gesturing to a hunk of fresh ginger. “This can solve many problems in your life.”
Once the sauce was completed, we used our hands to mix in the soba, a versatile type of noodle made with buckwheat, which, according to Candice, has less calories than pasta and is full of nutrients like iron and fiber. Tofu, another Japanese staple, was the source of protein in this vegan recipe, though protein is also provided by the soba. “I would recommend plant protein at least 5 days out of the week,” said Candice, “because plant-based is key for a long, happy life.” We also tossed in arugula and snap peas, full of vitamins A, C, and K, into the soba. “Take your arugula and toss it into your soba really, really gently, because that’s how you get the best Instagram photo,” Candice instructed humorously. She added that “hand will forever be the best tool to use” in cooking, and that for the best presentation, one should twist the noodles to give them height.
She also gives some advice on food and staying healthy: “Cook real and cook to nourish yourself. If you think about food as fuel for your body, you wouldn’t put cheap gasoline in your car, so why aren’t you giving yourself the very best? It doesn’t take much longer or much more money to invest in the best.”
After the dish was completed, we packed it up in mason jars, in line with the sustainability theme. “We’re all about reusing here, and Febreze has inspired me to reuse, so as it is very trendy, you can put your noodles in your mason jar and top it off with extra tofu, mandarin oranges, and sesame seeds, and when you get home, use it for smoothies, use it for juices, use it for water,” suggested Candice.
The second recipe of the day was a dark chocolate almost truffle, decorated with hibiscus flowers to tie in the theme of the hibiscus scent. They were made with of a mix of unsweetened cocoa powder, which is full of antioxidants, as well as almond meal, which Candice explained was inspired by her childhood love of marzipan. They also contained almond butter, which Candice suggests keeping stocked as a pantry staple because it is an unsweetened, versatile source of protein that can be used in anything from desserts to sauces or marinades. The truffles were sweetened with malt syrup and dates, which double as a binding agent. “Note that these are pretty darn healthy for you,” said Candice. “They don’t have any chemicals or additives, they are really delicious, and they’ll impress a whole crowd.”
To close off the event, Candice shared that she became interested in food as a result of her love of people. “I love food and love making people feel good,” she stated, “and I think the easiest thing for me to realize since I was a kid was that food brought everybody together and made everybody feel good, so my job from here on out is to get you all in the kitchen, socializing, talking, in hopes that you live the longest, happiest lives, like, truly forever.”
Photos by Reyna Wang