Top Chef Alex Reznik (from Bravo’s popular cooking show) invited me, a raw vegan chef, into the Top Chef kitchen to assist with a celebrity chef dinner made along side Top Chef Betty Fraser and Top Chef CJ Jacobson. This event was at the Test Kitchen here in Los Angeles, where I’ll be hosting a Raw Vegan Fine Dining experience on November 17 + 18, 2010 called Ani Phyo’s Gastrawnomique. I’ll be presenting molecular gastronomy inspired techniques, without the chemicals. All natural, of course! Please rsvp asap if you can join us for this ground breaking event.
Top Chef Betty Fraser was on Bravo’s hit show season 2. She has a cute restaurant in Hollywood called Grub.
Top Chef CJ Jacobson was on season 3, and Top Chef Alex Reznik season 7. TV may make these chefs seem mean, but they’re all super cool in real life. TV=drama.
Michelin-starred Chef Ricardo Zarate had to show me how to deep fry super thinly sliced leeks so they stay green in color. The night before, Chef Alex put me on deep fryer duty (me, a raw chef…it was my first time using a deep fryer!). I found out later the oil was too hot, so my leeks turned brown. But Chef Alex didn’t say anything about my burnt leeks garnishing his dishes because he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. What a sweetheart!
Chef Alex and I plating the dish he called Cow. It was made up of beef, bone marrow, liver, and tongue.
You can see the burnt leeks…oops! This dish was inspired by Chef Alex’s Russian heritage. At least he was using every part of the cow. Definitely tested my boundaries, but I grew tons….and Kanga my dog loved the way I smelled when I got home.
There was even a bit of vegan raw on the plate….me laying down a strand of cucumber with beautiful beet puree.
A few days prior to the Top Chef Test Kitchen event at Test Kitchen LA, I got to meet celebrity Top Chef Marcel Vigneron, who was on season 2 showing off his molecular gastronomy skills. What a cutie pie.
Test Kitchen is chock full of celebrity chefs. Here I am with Chef Walter Manzke.
I’m stoked for my raw vegan dinner on November 17 + 18th, 2010. So far, Top Chef Alex Reznik and Next Food Network Star Doreen Fang have confirmed they’ll be assisting me in my un-cook kitchen creating vegan raw foods for their first time. This will be a star studded event with a Green Carpet on the first night, and we’re going to have so much fun! Hope you’ll join us for 6-courses of raw food presented in a brand new way ($55 fixe prix). Make sure to rsvp for Ani Phyo’s Gastrawnomique soon because it’s filling up fast, and space is limited.
I was invited to the VitaMix headquarters in Cleveland, OH to shoot a 60-minute DVD that will be included in their latest VitaMix Turbo Blend Variable Speed blender. This was a huge honor for me, as you all know how much I love my VitaMix. My family had an early model in our kitchen from the 70s, so I’ve used the VitaMix my entire life.
The production was shot in a big stadium kitchen where the production crew and VitaMix employees including chefs, food scientists, marketing, and product development filled the stands. I think we shot about 14 or 16 segments in just 2 days! The owner of VitaMix is vegan, so all the recipes are free of dairy and animal products.
Bob Stefanov, the director, was a joy to work with. We had loads of fun and made sure to laugh a lot.
The wonderful team at VitaMix. I am so eager to watch the videos, haven’t seen them yet, and friends were telling me they watched it at the VitaMix booth at Expo West last weekend up on a big screen TV. We’re planning a big launch at Expo West, so make sure to look for me at the VitaMix booth in March in Anaheim, CA.
The new TurboBlend Variable Speed will be available at natural food stores including Whole Foods Markets. So excited to help launch this new product with VitaMix!!
I had the honor of leading Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals with founder Gene Baur in Santa Monica. You may remember I was invited during the summer to speak at the annual Hoe Down in Watkin’s Glenn, NY with China Study author Dr. Colin Campbell.
We kicked off the walk with talks by Gene and I. Kanga, my pooch, was happy to be a part of the Walk for Animals.
Tami Erin, who played Pipi Longstocking as a child, was our celebrity who came to show her support.
Gene, Tami, Kanga, and myself lead the walk. We covered about 3 miles north from City Hall through the 3rd street promenade. It was a beautiful sunny day, and tons of cars beeped to show their support as they were driving past.
The walk finished back at City Hall in Santa Monica, where Gene and I signed books. The lovely Jolia Allen and Moira Nordholt walked with us too. It was the largest turnout yet, with over 150 walkers.
It was Kanga’s 8th ‘birthday’ and also our anniversary on Labor Day. Each year, I make my darling pooch a heart shaped cake (you may have seen the photo from last year’s birthday on page 301 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials). This year, the cake was made with sunflower seeds and a few Medjool dates. Kanga was so eager to eat it, she got green birthday candle wax on the tip of her nose….so cute!
In a blink of an eye, the cake was gone! And, I wonder if you can guess who’s in the background with her ‘magic’ tatoos….hint….London and the UK.
For our birthday ladies’ luncheon, I made Jicama Rice, Mexican style by processing Jicama, then adding chopped red bell peppers, onion, corn kernels, cilantro, and a pinch of sea salt. Recipe below…. It was a lunch of British guests, one of whom is a celiac. That means she needs to avoid wheat gluten. I love that about the raw food diet, it’s free of wheat, gluten, refined sugar, dairy, and guilt!
I had made myself a beet, parsley, lemon, and cucumber juice earlier that morning, then mixed in the beet pulp with a sunflower pate. I used this pate to stuff poblano peppers, then dehydrated them for a few hours to soften. For a sauce, I blended a simple tahini with lemon juice, salt, splash of water.
This was the dessert my lovely friend Kate Magic made us for dessert! It was made with figs, cacao, coconut, and lucuma…and it was incredible! But this was one course poor Kanga didn’t get to try (dogs and cacao don’t mix well…chocolate).
Jicama Mexican Rice
Place jicama in food processor, process into small bits. Be careful not to over process. Scoop into mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients, toss to mix well.
Kanga’s Birthday Cake
Place sunflower seeds in food processor. Process into small pieces. Add pitted dates, and process. Sunflower will stick together and bind into a cake ‘dough’. Form dough into heart, and serve.
Note: Sweets should be served in moderation to dogs, as to humans as well.
If serving to humans or to mix up variations to this recipe, try adding in sea salt, vanilla, cacao / carob, and or goji berries.
I made several smoothies in San Diego on FOX TV including an Almond Buttered Banana Freeze.
Almond Buttered Banana Freeze + Açaí Recipe (adapted from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials) Makes 4 servings
Almonds provide calcium, protein, and vitamin E, bananas are loaded with potassium, and açaí is full of antioxidants and healthy omegas. This easy smoothie is a great post workout fuel – it helps increase circulation and blood flow to stressed muscles, while building lean tissue.
Combine the banana, almond butter, and organic Sambazon Açaí Juice in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Best served immediately, but will keep for a couple days in the fridge.
I was invited onto FOX in San Diego for a 6-minute segment on the benefits of the raw food diet and to talk about the Sambazon Warrior Up Campaign. I made host Raoul Martinez a few smoothies including a Banana Butter Breeze with Cacao. I planned to make him a Tomato Tarragon Bisque, but ran out of time.
Almond Buttered Banana Freeze + Açaí (adapted from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials)
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