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
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 Salley, Jarad 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.
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.
We launched FoodStuff LA with a big celebration at the Pedal Patch Community offices in downtown LA. Above is founder Jason Boarde and Rebecca McQuigg Rigal who works through GOOD with the Pepsi Refresh Project as the Arts & Culture Ambassador.
My RAWvolution event is on September 19th, where we’ll be harvesting from the PPC local community and rooftop gardens, then preparing a delicious raw food meal. Hope you’ll join me for this fun event.
Christian Page is a locavore, sourcing the finest organic ingredients from our local community. He made all the food happen for this event, including delicious black mission figs, which I ate by the pint! Christian’s Living La Vida Local event is in October.
LA Green Girl Siel was at our event, and it was lovely to finally meet her in person…a fellow Korean American!
I made it to San Diego Tuesday for the launch of Sambazon’s Warrior Up campaign… and to see my new billboard in person. I found it at 30th and Adams, in the Hillcrest area of town, supposedly where all the hipsters hang out. Kato and I screamed and giggled when we first spotted it. What a feeling!
Sambazon is helping to promote organizations that give back to our communities and to the world, and Pedal Patch Community in downtown LA is the non-profit I’m working with. Jason Eugene Boarde is the Director of PPC, and is pictured to the right above at one of the community gardens.
PPC is a community supported social enterprise advocating innovative, community-based solutions to hunger, food insecurity and sustainability. PPC works with at-risk youth and develops edible landscapes and garden communities that focus on positive land use, eco-literacy, food system sustainability, food security matters and community involvement. We’re launching a series of talks and events called Food Stuff LA on August 21st, 2010 designed around a panel of experts providing a healthy dose of wellness, good food, and ardent discussion to raise awareness around healthy sustainable food options and food security and safety issues.
Now, on to the PARTY!…later that evening, we headed to downtown San Diego for the launch and press event. It was in a warehouse with beautiful exposed brick walls. The 11 warrior images were posted on opposing walls, and the space was transformed into a hip art gallery.
I felt so honored to be in a line up with Jack Rose and free surfer celebrity Jon Rose. They both work to make clean drinking water available to those in the world who need it most through their non-profits Rain Catcher and Waves for Water. Currently, they’re traveling into Haiti every other week with ceramic water filters and buckets to set up water filtration systems to save lives. I’m in awe of this father and son team. They both have beautiful spirits, fiery passion and drive, and amazing stories.
To the right is master surfer Rob Machado who’s non-profit, Rob Machado Foundation, funds educational programs to help kids better understand their contribution towards a healthy planet. Programs include community gardens on school grounds.
Hans Rey, the pioneer in trails mountain biking and all time legend, provides bikes for people in developing countries in need of transportation to get to work or school through his non-profit Wheels 4 Life. We’ve had mutual friends in common for a couple years, and it’s always awesome to finally meet in person.
Kassia Meador is a real beauty. Kassia is a pro surfer, Roxy swimsuit model, and is a spokeswoman for Keep a Breast. Keep A Breast is a non-profit organization that exposes young people to methods of prevention, early detection, and support through development of habits that will benefit their long term health and well-being. Kassia and I share the same ideas for preventative care, eating right, and decreasing toxic load on the body.
Jeremy Black is one of the founding brothers of Sambazon.
And, Ryan Black is the other brother. Both are super handsome, smart, sweet, and doing really great things on the planet like making anti-oxidant rich Acai available for us here in the U.S.A. while giving back by creating sustainable projects in the Amazon.
Here’s the man behind the camera, responsible for all the beautiful photos in this campaign…JP Greenwood. He was laying low all evening, and I needed help finding him in the crowd..he’s super talented, and so modest!
And, here’s 2 of the magic makers at Sambazon….Kaia, to the left, and Alana, to the right. They’re the dynamic duo. Kato Banks has been a very good friend for many years from back in my San Francisco days.
This was a hugely successful event and launch of an amazing new campaign, which is no surprise since everything Sambazon does rocks!
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….
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!