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Last week’s dinner at the Test Kitchen was a chance for me to introduce my latest Raw Food 3.0, inspired by molecular gastronomy without the chemicals, vegan and raw. My 6 courses were presented to a main stream foodie audience in a fine dining atmosphere. And it RAWked!

Truffle Flan
black sesame tuile / calamata / pomegranate / golden & goji berries
I dehydrated the olives, then ground them into powder to intensify the flavor. The berries were soaked in a palm sugar syrup. And the Tuffle Flan’s smooth, light texture comes from Irish Sea Moss. The green are shards of perrilla, aka shiso or sesame leaf.

Smoked Anaheim Chili
cacao mole / avocado / chipotle cucumber / kalahari salt / omega chips
Anaheim chilis were stuffed with a cold-smoked cashew cheeze. Using a vaporizer, apple and cedar chips fed smoke into a bag filled with cashews. Avocado marble was made using a cryovac, which sucks out all the air in a plastic bag to preserve and seal. Cucumbers were compressed in the cryovac with chipotle oil. The cryovac pressed the liquid oil flavor into the cucumbers.

Lapsang Souschong Wild Mushroom
fresh corn polenta / hemp maqui berry / kale chip / english pea dust
Mixed wild mushrooms were infused with a smoked black tea for a rich, earthy flavor and used to top a fresh corn polenta. English peas were freeze dried, then crushed into dust. And my mayonnaise was made with hemp oil for nutty flavor and maqui berry for beautiful purple full of antioxidants.

Fauxlafel
lemon mousseline / cilantro gelee / red earth acai / yuzu garden
Fauxlafel was seasoned with fresh dill and made with carrot pulp from juicing 150 pounds of organic carrots. Luckily, I didn’t have to juice all those carrots myself, and instead just picked up the pulp from Beverly Juice Club. It sat on a mousseline kream of lemon and cashews. Cilantro was juiced and mixed with Irish Sea Moss to create a bright green, intensely flavored gelee. Micro greens and baby orchids were tossed in yuzu juice.

Molten Cookie Dough
lucuma yacon gelato / tart cherry / persimmon gastrique
Cacao cookie dough tartlet was filled with liquid, warm cacao sauce. Served with lucuma gelato sweetened with yacon syrup, flavored with fresh vanilla beans. Topped with freeze fried cherries and dried persimmon slice. Served on a sauce of persimmon and tart vinegar.

Pumpkin Gelee
strawberry leather / candied rosemary & cacao nibs / sweet corn / mango shards
Pumpkin was blended with fresh vanilla and Irish Sea Moss, then placed on a crust of dates and cashews. Strawberries and mangos were each blended and dehydrated into leathers. Rosemary and cacao nibs were candied with palm sugar, then dehydrated. Corn was freeze dried for a sweet, light, crisp texture.

It was so much fun to get to feed everyone my new style of Gastrawnomique cuisine in such a beautiful setting with amazing staff. It was a packed house both nights. Celebrities who came to dine included Frances Fisher, John SalleyJarad Butler, and Diane Warren.

In the kitchen were some of the most amazing chefs assisting me and making sure my dinners were successful both nights including Bravo Top Chef Alex Reznik and Next Food Network Stars Doreen Fang and DAS. I’ll post up more behind the scenes and kitchen photos next….

Generous sponsors included Excalibur Dehydrators, Earth Circle Organic, Big Tree Farms, Sunfood, Gold Mine Natural Foods, and Sambazon.

These photos were all taken by Maria Loewenstein, except for the Lapsang Souschong Wild Mushroom which was taken by Rogelio Marhx.

Today was Day 3 of food prep at the Test Kitchen. My GastRAWnomique molecular gastronomy inspired dinner is just days away. Chris Ochs and Josh from SunFood personally delivered a ton of superfoods. Diane Paylor and I were elbow deep in cacao. And Top Chef Alex Reznik was cold smoking my cashews for me.

To cold smoke, Alex uses a smoking gun packed with chips to push smoke into a sealed container of raw cashews. The cashews absorb the aroma of the smoke, but stay raw. Pretty cool. No pun intended.

Restaurant Mo-Chica’s Ricardo Zarate and I making Cheddar Kale Chips.

Richi helping me set up 8 Excalibur Dehydrators. These are my favorite dehydrators, and they come with Paraflexx reusable non-stick sheets. Thanks for sending them over to me Excalibur! So much love from the community, sponsors have been super generous and include: Excalibur, Sambazon, Earth Circle Organics, Sunfood, Gold Mine Natural Food, Frontier Natural Products Co-Op, Big Tree Farms.

Chef Seth Greenburg at the Huntley Hotel Penthouse Restaurant invited me into his kitchen where he shared with me some of his favorite molecular gastronomy techniques.

Chef Seth and I compressed melons and cucumbers, and put chemicals into water and fruit puree to create popular spheres or ‘caviar’. We even made ‘noodles’. See what could be done using chemicals got my creative juices flowing thinking about ways to create similar effects without chemicals, and instead 100% natural and raw.

Test Kitchen brings together the best Chefs in LA, and has become much like a think tank where Chefs share their creativity, ideas, and time. Great energy in this space! Chef Christian Page, a locavore sourcing his ingredients locally and seasonally, is to the left of the photo, and is about to open Daily Dose Restaurant in downtown LA in mid Dec.

A super easy salad to make, this is my go to when traveling. Made by massaging avocado into torn leaves of kale and then adding a squeeze of lemon to soften the leaves, and then tossing in sprouts.

Full of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and antioxidants to combat travel stress (including time zone changes, sitting on airplanes, and living in hotel rooms) while boosting my immune system. I carried this yummy creation onto my last flight from NJ to LA, and took it with me to Las Vegas for my raw food debut at ACAM’s medical conference at the Paris Hotel last week, where they served up 5 of my raw food vegan recipes to over 500 doctors!

Kale, Avocado, Sprouts
Makes 2 servings

  • 1/2 bunch of kale, de-stem, and tear leaves into bite sized pieces
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lemon’s juice
  • 1 container of sprouts, any type
  • sea salt, to taste

Into large mixing bowl, place kale and massage with avocado. Squeeze lemon juice, and massage. Add sprouts and salt, if using. Massage and toss to mix well.

Will keep for several hours at room temperature. Store in fridge for a day or 2.

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!!

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
makes 4 servings

  • 4 cups jicama, peel, dice
  • 1/2 cup onion, yellow, chop
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, dice
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chop
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, chop, to taste (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive or hemp oil, optional

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
1 serving

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted

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 was invited to Rockefeller Center for a guest appearance on LX New York with hosts Janice Huff and Jane Hanson. I talk about 4 key ingredients in the raw food diet, and made 3 recipes using ‘secret’ ingredients: Marinara Pasta, Strawberry Tartlets, and Chocolate Pudding “slash” Frosting.

(this video’s audio is totally out of synch, and I’m trying to get my hands on a better copy of the segment, which I’ll upload later)

I was a guest on San Diego Living with host Erin Mikael’s Green Scene segments on June 24, 2010, and then again on June 27th. We make Cashew Kream with Fresh Red White and Blue Berry Parfaits and Fruit Tartlets.

I gave my digestion a break today by skipping solid food and drank Energy Soup (inspired by Ann Wigmore) all day. So, I decided to feed my hair instead with an Indian Head Massage.

Our climate’s dry here in Los Angeles (a dessert), and the sun’s been bright this summer, reeking havoc on my locks. My hair felt dry and my ends brittle. So, I took my bottle of organic, extra-virgin, cold pressed olive oil into the bathroom, and poured a heaping tablespoon into the palm of my hand. I massaged the oil into my scalp and hair, and worked it through to the ends. Note to self: next time, pour the oil directly onto scalp…I have a lot of hair.

Our skin is our largest organ, and you know I like to avoid putting things on my skin that I can’t drink since it absorbs into my blood stream. Well, did you know our scalp is one of the most absorbent areas of our skin? Mine drank up more than a 1/4 cup of olive oil, and was happy for the increased blood flow and circulation from the massage.

I first discovered this massage, also known as Indian Head Massage, at a spa in Portland, OR. It alleviates stress and tension, increases blood flow and circulation, and promotes hair growth. Supposedly, this treatment done in the evening before bed helps alleviate sleeping issues, so I’m hoping it will cure the insomnia I’ve been suffering from all week long.

Choose almond, coconut, sesame, and/or olive oil since they moisturize, condition our hair, stimulate hair growth, and have a neutral scent. After your massage, wash your hair, and dry. I always choose to air dry.

Try this trick:
Wash with your conditioner first, working it from roots to the ends. Rinse. Then, wash with your shampoo, again working it from roots to ends. Rinse. You won’t need to condition again. And it’s better for your hair to reverse your conditioning and shampooing. That’s how I rinsed out my olive oil.

My NYC tour kicked off last Monday at Rockefeller Center on the set of LX New York at NBC studios. I chat about the benefits of a raw food diet with hosts Janice Huff and Jane Hanson. You can watch my segment here, though it’s stretched out horizontally and the audio is out of synch. (As soon as I get my own copy of the segment, I’ll repost)

Tuesday evening, I had a food demo, talk, and book signing at Bonobo’s Restaurant. The room was packed with folks eager to learn more about raw food nutrition and recipes. I demonstrated how fast and easy it is to make my Simple Rosemary Oregano Noodle Salad with zucchini, tomato, avocado, and herbs.

Pictured above is Rose Voisk of the World Olympians Association. She was a gymnast in the 1948 London Olympics. She looks great, is vibrant, and strong. A testament for eating well.

Wednesday evening, I was hosted by the lovely Hyacinth Mills of New Life Journeys and her Montclair Raw Food Meetup Group. I demoed my Super Cacao-Coconut Energizer smoothie recipe from page 39 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. Hyacinth’s group is full of vibrant folks excited about raw foods. Her husband and 2 boys are handsome as can be, and Hyacinth has a natural glow of beauty. A great spokes model family.

I had randomly bumped into Hyacinth at Port Authority late on Monday night, 2 evenings before our event, as we were both catching our buses back to NJ that night. What’s the chances of that? It’s magic!

Thursday night I was at Organic Avenue for a workshop hosted by Mia Santos Andres. Above are my lovely assistants Sara, Sam, and Lee who helped to prep my recipes and samples, and then helped me set up before my workshop. They all had that glow of inner health and beauty. What angels!

In my workshop, I demoed my Tomato and Tarragon Bisque, page 137, Pad Thai Kelp Noodles, page 227, and Strawberry Kream Pie, page 266 from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. It was another packed house with great audience participation, questions, and book signing.

Thanks Mia for a great event, and for my goodie bag full of green juice in the cute Organic Avenue bottle, and BlackBird Truffles, handmade by raw model Anthony Andersen. Yum!

Mia is so pretty, I look shiny. Ha haaaa. I can’t wait to get back to NYC before another 6 years passes….

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