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I was in NYC last week for my television appearance on NBC at Rockefeller Center and several events celebrating my newest book Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. I love how easy it is to get around NYC without a car by walking, taking a train, bus, or subway. I miss great public transportation when living in LA. It’s also surprisingly easy to be healthy and to enjoy raw foods in NYC. I felt super lucky to be invited by the lovely Mia Andres from Organic Avenue and raw model Anthony Andersen for dinner at Pure Food and Wine.

This was my first visit to NYC in 6 years, and my first visit to Pure. I was blown away by the food! It was super fresh, beautifully plated, and really delicious. We enjoyed the S+M salad, appetizers, ravioli, lasagna, but my favorite thing ever was the Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sundae! I finally got to meet the heart of Pure Food and Wine, Sarma Melngailis, who’s even more beautiful in person.


The next day, I was invited to Quintessence for lunch with my good friends Dhrumil Purohit and Philip McCluskey. Dhrumil is the amazing brainiac creator of the best raw food online community We Like it Raw, which Philip is now a part of too. These two are a real RAWkstar power team….handsome, young, super talented, and doing positive things in our world.

I had been to Quintessence my last visit to NYC 6 years ago. It was good then, and was really good this time around again. We enjoyed tacos, burgers, sundaes, but my favorite was the bagels and cream cheese! Wish I had been there on a weekend to enjoy their raw vegan brunch menu.

I was craving Pure’s Mint Chocolate Sundae, so had to make it back for one more dinner before heading back to Los Angeles. My friend Moby, a long time vegan, and my favorite electronic musician, met me in the garden for dinner along with a few friends and my cousin, Minnie Roh. We enjoyed pizza, ceviche, tamales, smoothies, drinks, lasagna, appetizers, chips and guacamole, but most importantly…a Mint Chocolate Sundae! Everyone was hooked.

To boost this blissful experience even further, Shania Twain, a friend of Moby’s, and Canada’s most popular musician, stopped by our table to catch up with Moby. What a way to finish up my NYC visit!

I was invited to visit 105degrees in Oklahoma City by owners Chef Matthew Kenney and the lovely Dara Prentice. I taught a public class on Tuesday evening July 13th to a packed room of ladies, spoke to the Academy students on the 14th, and then hosted a sold out RAWkstar Dinner event later that evening.

Here are 3 video clips from my class, created by Penni Shelton of Raw Food Rehab.

My class introduction where I speak about being raised on a raw food diet, and my reintroduction as an adult to the gourmet raw food diet for functionality, health, vitality, mental clarity, and focus.

Watch how fast, simple, and easy it is to make my raw food Tomato Chili, from page 145 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials.

Here I show the class how to make my South-of-the-Border Wraps, which are super fresh, healthy, raw food wraps filled with Cashew Chipotle Cheeze and drizzled with a decadent Chocolate Mole Sauce. From page 180 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials.

Penni also put together a 20-minute video of the sold out RAWkstar dinner event you can watch on her Vimeo channel here.

ani phyo 105degrees rawkstar dinner raw food oklahoma

It was an amazing trip, I love Oklahoma City. Everyone was super warm and inviting. And, I was even surprised by a delivery of a bouquet of balloons from 3 ladies the following day! The card read “Thank you for a thrilling evening last night”….which could potentially sound strange taken out of context. Ha haaa.

I’m so grateful to have amazing friends like Dara and Matthew who create so much good in our world! Thank you Dara and Matthew for all of your inspiration, love, and beauty! xoxo

ani phyo raw food essentials at book soup hollywood

Friday evening was the first stop along my book tour for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. Book Soup arranged a special and very early drop shipment of my books to be delivered 3 weeks early. Official sale date isn’t until June 1st. So, Book Soup is where I got to see my new book in person. It’s always super exciting to hold a copy in my hands. And the book looks great. Hard cover, 2 color with beautiful color food inserts taken by Tyler Golden.

Tyler brought me a gift! A large print of my Mandu Dumplings framed. I love it!

ani phyo raw food essentials at book soup hollywood

I talked about my goals for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, which is to strip away the misconception of raw or healthy being expensive or time consuming. I hope to make raw food preparations easy and accessible to everyone. I begin with stripped down BASIC recipes, then build up from there to create variations and different, new flavors.

ani phyo raw food essentials at book soup hollywood minah

Minah is a fellow Korean American who lives near Pasadena and goes to college in NYC. Check out her book on  my lap. It’s dog eared, marked up, and worn. I love this! A sign that Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen has been put to good use. Minah shared with me how my raw recipes feed her, gave her mental clarity and focus, and charged her through school. Bravo!

ani phyo raw food essentials at book soup hollywood

Belita, to the left in the above photo, is a mother who I had a discussion with about how her little girl gravitates to fresh fruit while her boy reaches for vegetables. It’s natural for kids to love whole, fresh fruits and vegetables. After all, candy colors are inspired by fruit and vegetables. In the center is Tyler Golden, food photographer, and then Minah.

To the right is Kurt, who I discovered works in South Los Angeles (which used to be called South Central LA) with kids. He lives in Venice, all the way West at the ocean, and takes public transit downtown daily to work and back. I’m very impressed! He found his way to Hollywood from downtown via public transit, and luckily got a ride back to the west side from Belita. It’s rare to meet people who don’t drive their own cars here in LA.

I’m now working with Community Services Unlimited in the same neighborhood as Kurt, so we’ll be seeing more of each other this summer through our gardening, cooking classes, and fund raising dinner events for kids and the community in South Los Angeles.

The lovely Thea took these photos for me, and unfortunately, we didn’t get a photo together.

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