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Labor Day marks the weekend my Rhodesian Ridgeback, Kanga, and I rescued one another….9-years ago! How time flies. (and yes, I cake sunblock on my face, as you can see).

Kanga had been at the Humane Society for over 2 weeks, and no one adopted her. Surprising, since she is a beautiful specimen of this breed. Plus, she came fully trained, so someone had spent a lot of time and energy with her. She was skin and bone, and 50+ pounds underweight with kennel cough and dusty fur. Poor baby.

Luckily, a truck intercepted 20 dogs on their way to get euthanized, and brought them back to a no-kill shelter in Portland, OR called Family Dogs NW. This was where I found Kanga early the very next morning. I applied the same raw food principles to Kanga as I do for human healing, and over the next month or two she gained 50 pounds and regained radiant health on a Raw Food diet. You can read more about her journey in Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, where Kanga has her own dog food chapter.

My brother Max saw this photo of Kanga and said she looks like she’s “mugging”. I had to ask him what the heck that means. Max said “mugging = posing, like rappers do for pics”. Hahaa. Yup, Kanga is a superstar, and very popular too. Folks always stop us to pet her, especially young children.

Kanga’s from Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe Rhodesia, and the Sahara so she loves the sun, warmth, and sand. She hates water, but it was so hot out that Kanga got her paws wet. I love dog beach because here she can roam off-leash, and run free to play with other dogs.

Kanga and I love laying in the sand and soaking up the sun. It’s never hot enough for us, and soaking up sun is one of our favorite past times. I’m happy I got to take Kanga to Huntington Dog Beach yesterday on the final hot day of the summer (it was 90 F) to celebrate her 9-year Bday and Dogversary with me. Thank you Kanga for being my family, love, and for hanging out with me for the past 9-years! I love you.

 

I was honored to have been invited to speak on a panel with superstars (from left to right above) Rachelle Carson Begley (married to Ed Begley), Sophie Uliano (NYTimes best selling author), Izabella Miko (actress), Carly Harrill (blogger ghost writer), Karen Stewart Brown (fashion designer), Kris Willey (host of WotGG), and Alexandra Spunt (author).

The focus of this panel was how we came into our careers. I explained how I used to work in a corporate environment that was not recycling, was wasting energy, and was using styrofoam cups for one 4 ounce shot of water. I realized my raw food catering and the weekly events I was hosting (to feed myself good food) was a successful business. So, I decided to leave corporate America to focus 100% on my prepared packaged foods, catering, and events. I followed my bliss because I believed raw foods helped people feel better and healthier. It also helps us tread lightly on our Planet.

This event was held in Culver City, Los Angeles, CA on Saturday May 14, 2011. These beautiful photos are courtesy of photosbyKailas.com. Thanks Kailas!

The 1st stop along my book tour for Ani’s Raw Food Asia was at Santa Monica Place at Artisanal LA on April 16, 2011. Here are 4 short videos from my talk, Q+A, and book signing:

1) Ani’s Raw Food Asia – I love organic, local, seasonal foods

2) Ani’s Raw Food Asia – Probiotics, Happiness, Longevity

3) Ani’s Raw Food Asia – Easy ways to add more raw to any diet!

4) Ani’s Raw Food Asia – Recipe inspirations and sources for protein.

I had so much fun celebrating the pre-launch of Ani’s Raw Food Asia at Artisanal LA in Santa Monica.

All of these beautiful photos were taken by the amazing Sherman Lee. Thanks Sherman!!

It was a weekend full of local and seasonal gourmet foods (though way too much bacon! – what’s up with bacon these days?) and great expert panels and talks.

I love this fish eye photo, it was a full crowd with great people old and new to raw foods and the raw food diet and lifestyle. Thanks to the wonder woman organizer Shawna Dawson for all her support, for announcing my talk over the loud speaker, and for putting me and Ani’s Raw Food Asia in their printed program.

Q+A is my favorite part of my appearances because I get to listen and interact with my new friends.

It’s always so nice to have my brother Max and my family with me at my events.

This lovely lady kept asking me about how to learn to make raw food. I say if you’re interested in making food, you have to learn how to make all foods first. Then you can translate it into raw food prep.

Libby drove all the way up from San Diego with her friends just to grab an early copy of Ani’s Raw Food Asia.

Please check my homepage and also my calendar of events for upcoming events and stops along my book tour. Hope to see you all very soon. xoxo

ani phyo raw food essentials expo west vitamix

Vitamix invited me to sign books for 2-hours at their booth on Day 2 of Expo West. We had a line that was so long the other vendors complained our fans were blocking their booths. Hum…I would have thought they’d be stoked to have a captive audience to sell to.

ani phyo raw food essentials vitamix expo west vegan vegetarian raw

Even the fire marshall was called in because our line was too long. A good problem to have! I signed 200+ books in 2-hours! (Plus, I signed another 100+ at our reception later that eve.) Thank you Vitamix for generously gifting these books to our friends and fans.

vitamix ani phyo raw food essentials expo west

This is the amazing Vitamix team that made this all happen. You can see the video of my 60-minute DVD they’re including with the TurboBlend-VS playing in the background.

vegnews magazine vegan raw food ani phyo elizabeth castoria

I love Expo West because I get to connect with old friends I haven’t seen for a while. Here’s Elizabeth Castoria from VegNews Magazine. Their booth was just down the isle from Vitamix.

ani phyo koya webb

I found the beautiful fitness model Koya Webb. I love how ripped this girl is…so pretty.

ani phyo go raw raw food vegan

This was the most brilliant display at the Expo. GoRaw simply hydrated their bar, and set it to sprout over time. Perfect demonstration of why raw….raw generates more life. Now, try that with processed cooked food.

eric botner raw food ani phyo earth circle organics

Eric Botner is an amazing man helping make superfoods available to the mainstream. Earth Circle Organics was one of the generous sponsors for my Gastrawnomique dinner event last November. And, they have a cacao and cashew crunch that is sweetened with coconut syrup (the latest in low glycemic sweeteners) that is to live for!

chris ochs sunfood ani phyo raw food superfood vegan

Chris Ochs at Sunfood was another generous sponsor for Gastrawnomique.

ani phyo airheads raw food expo west oxygen bar

After a day of being inside a huge convention center under fluorescent lights, I needed an oxygen infusion. Luckily, I found an oxygen bar, AirHeads, at the Seventh Generation booth, and plugged in for several minutes to recharge.

I ran into many, many other friends including Ryan and Jeremy Black from Sambazon, Frederick from Big Tree Farms, Jane Kim from Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles, my friends at Sequel, ….but unfortunately didn’t get photos with them.

Next…photos from the Vitamix Mix + Mingle with moi later that evening.

BBC Good Food interviewed me for a feature on Raw Foods in their Feb 2011 issue. Very cool, take a peek!

Audra Lowe, the beautiful host of Better TV, invited me to talk about some of the benefits of raw foods. I had so much fun shooting 2 segments in her Connecticut studio back in November. Autumn on the East Coast is so pretty with the changing colors of the leaves. These segments aired nationally on January 12th, 2011.

  1. 1) Watch this first segment on the Better TV website where I show you an easy, immune boosting Acai smoothie using my favorite VitaMix blender and Sambazon Acai juice. I also make easy fruit and nut cookies and cobbler.

  2. 2) Watch this second segment on the Better TV website where we debunk common myths about the raw food diet.

  3. 3) Watch this third segment on the Better TV website for teasers for the week.



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.

The weekend before Halloween, Tami Erin and I went to Monster Massive in downtown LA. It’s a huge 40,000 person rave. I think it was probably the hugest party I’ve attended, and it was packed. I won’t bother posting up photos of the crowd, just imagine a sea of people dancing up a storm inside a huge sports arena.

You won’t normally find me at such a high energy event, but since Moby personally invited me, I wasn’t about to miss it. I have to admit, I had a great time. I love dancing, it’s one of my favorite pastimes, great exercise, and Moby rocked the house. I’ve never seen a DJ jump up onto the speakers to dance while spinning records. He had so much energy, a testament to his healthy vegan, whole food, and heavily raw food diet. Moby had the crowd going nuts, they loved him, as we all do.

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