Plant-Based Chef James Sant Our Renaissance Man

james-and-hannahA lifelong professional artist, we like to think of plant-based chef James Sant as kind of a “Renaissance man”. He has so many talents, and brings them all to the “plate” as a lead instructor here at Living Light. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, James has also lived in Salt Lake City, and in Bend, Oregon, where he was owner and resident artist at Blue Spruce Gallery and Pottery Studio, which showcased over 200 clay artists and created community with a high school apprentice program and workshops in clay art for the public. He’s worked in all sorts of media—clay, sculpture, painting, textiles, set design, film documentary, and photography. (And don't forget food, of course - his culinary artistry is remarkable. He takes many of the student photos of food that appear on our Living Light Culinary Institute Facebook page).

One of his proudest accomplishments is as founder in 2001 of the Empty Bowls Project, which to this day still raises $15,000 at their annual event to benefit the homeless.

James veg shotJust imagine someone with James’ range of talents and commitment to a better world, who applies that creativity and commitment to teaching raw vegan culinary arts and you’ll have an idea why we feel extremely fortunate to have him as part of our teaching staff. Although he’s been an advocate of fresh, wholesome food for decades, his intellectual curiosity and desire to research everything about a plant-based diet accelerated dramatically after a serious industrial accident, when he discovered the amazing power of healing through living foods.

ferment-ii-jamesTwo of his culinary passions are fermented foods and bread making. His heritage includes a long family history of bakers in Salt Lake City, Utah, and he has parlayed that heritage into making exquisite breads from sprouted grains and seeds. He even grinds his own flour from sprouted, dehydrated grains. At his home, you’ll see an ever-changing array of carefully labeled jars of all sorts of fermented foods. He loves to experiment with a wide variety of krauts, pickles, fermented drinks, and condiments, and of course, he enjoys teaching our students how to understand the fine art and science of fermentation. It’s an important skill to learn, since fermented and cultured foods are a vital part of a healthy living food lifestyle.

student with CertJames is an industrious person and will do anything to help people. Besides his work here at the school, he’s very devoted to his role as father of two, (he's pictured with his daughter, above), and has facilitated men’s retreats for decades. James loves the pottery wheel, the yoga studio, meditation, gardening, and teaching raw food cuisine at events like the Enchanted Forest and the upcoming Symbiosis Gathering in Northern California, where he will appear in the Speakshops and Luminaries Pavilion with Nourishment Lab. He’s also made healthy food for the masses at Burning Man, and loves teaching people how to create a plant-based diet that works for them. James is also a vital part of our student enrollment team. There’s nothing quite like speaking to a Living Light instructor about what goes on in the classes to gain insight about our curriculum and student culture, and everything you need to know before you enroll at Living Light. If you’d like to learn from James and the rest of our amazing teachers, and earn your certificate as a Living Light chef, call 707-964-2420, or LiveChat on our website