Community Dinner: Texas - Well Maybe Austin - Chili with Alternative Meat

This is a live, interactive, hands-on cooking class held online via Zoom. See our event policies at the bottom of this webpage.

Go big or stay home – a motto we can live by in the kitchen for sure.  Chef Mike at 18 Reasons was curious about the various “fake” meats, the plant-based meat alternatives.  Yes, they are highly processed foods, and outside our typical choices.  But there are undoubted advantages as well, so Chef Mike is taking some out for a road test.  Not just any test: we picked the most overwhelmingly beef-centered dish we could imagine. This month at Community Dinner, we bring you a dish from Mike’s heart and the heart of Texas: Real Texas Chili – no rice, no tomatoes, no beans, and this month, no beef either.  Maybe a dish "from the heart of Austin" might be more accurate! Complete with a traditional cornbread alongside, we are going to see what we can do with ingredients from Beyond!



Beyond Meat Texas Chili



Equipment and Ingredient List for this class will be linked here soon.

This menu contains the following common allergens: dairy, egg. If you have allergies or dietary restrictions that concern your ability to cook along, please e-mail before purchasing a ticket.


If you’re new to 18 Reasons Online, please read this guide: How to Take an Online Class at 18 Reasons. Five calendar days before class, 18 Reasons may decide to cancel this class if not enough tickets are sold. We will notify registrants by email about cancellations.


Born in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, Mike Weller grew up in suburbs of San Jose, where he discovered cooking as his first profession and lifetime passion. After wandering through typical teenage jobs at pizza joints and ice cream parlors, Mike’s first “restaurant” job was with Sambo’s Coffee Shops, slinging hash and cooking eggs for the bar rush and Sunday breakfast crowds.  He moved on to help open several restaurants, attend the California Culinary Academy, and study under European chefs with Michelin backgrounds. Later, Mike served as an executive chef for catering companies, wineries and country clubs.  When his son was born, Mike transitioned his career into teaching, returning to the CCA where he eventually became the Executive Chef and Director of Academics. Mike also returned to school for training in his new field, earning a Master’s Degree in Education. Having taught for Le Cordon Bleu North America in both online and brick and mortar schools, Mike is thrilled to return to teaching in a neighborhood-based community.  When he is not teaching he reaps the benefits of his backyard garden, kept in perfect order by his Master Gardener wife. 


Photo by ABHISHEK HAJARE on Unsplash