Sunday, May 30, 2010

A RAWyal Gala Dinner in Paris: "Live," from a Kitchen near you

I went to a dinner on Saturday night and the chefs didn’t cook! The food was delicious though.
The “no cook” dinner in question was in fact a “raw food” dinner, held at Bob’s Kitchen in Paris. Guest chef from the US Adam Graham joined Paris’ resident raw food queen Arletty Abady for a “Raw Gastro dinner.” While “raw food” and “French cuisine” appear to be mutually exclusive terms, Graham and Abady proved that “no cook” doesn’t necessarily mean “no flavor.”

The Italian-inspired meal started off with a fennel and orange salad and stuffed marinated mushrooms with olive tapenade, continued with a wild harvested garlic pesto “pasta” and an eggplant parmesan with aged cashew cheese and sundried tomato then finished off with a chocolate cheese and vanilla parfait with raspberry coulis and chocolate. Guests were able to choose from a cocktails menu of raspberry limeaid with agave syrup, a “pinapple snazzle” with mint or a banana and cacao mix.

This anti-steak frites meal was surprisingly delicious. Every bite had so much flavor and we all left feeling great. Raw food in Paris is an excellent idea – most Parisian apartments don’t have an oven, or have a very tiny one, so who needs it? Plus, your electricity bills will thank you.

Unfortunately, Graham headed back to the states after the meal. The vegan live food chef and educator worked as a chef at The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Arizona for over a year and is now based in Atlantic Beach, Florida. If you’re thinking “what on earth does raw food mean?” or “do these people eat only lettuce leaves and raw vegetables?” (don't worry, I was definitely thinking that before last night) then check out Graham's “Live food experience” on his interactive website Graham has also written a book (available free online) called “Zen & the Art of Gadgeting,” a mélange of memoirs, philosophy and vegan live food recipes like banana oat groats, a coconut vanilla smoothie or raw carbonara or pesto sauces. Surprisingly, Graham’s recipes don’t involve long lists of esoteric ingredients like many health food recipes – they are easily, accessible and – after last night’s meal I can confirm – delicious.

While a raw foodism lifestyle sounds hard to maintain in the land of foie gras and French fries we call Paris, France, Arletty Abady remains the exception to the rule. Abady remains the “raw-yal” queen of Paris and offers special meals and classes throughout the year with her Kitchen Cru.

So, a big merci beaucoup to Graham, Abady and bien sur “Bob” of Kitchen fame for a memorable evening. Keep it raw. Namaste to all.

Xoxo Raw-becca

Saturday, May 01, 2010

“I feel like Kitchen tonight, like Kitchen tonight…”

Craving a futomaki or some quinoa with some acai and a side of goji berries ? Or do you have absolutely no idea what language that last sentence was in ? Either way, you’ll love Bob’s Kitchen, I promise. The sister spot to Bob’s Juice Bar in the 10th, Kitchen is on the rue des Gravilliers in French hipster town. Bob, aka Marc Grossman, a fellow New Yorker in Paris, serves up healthy yet hearty fare that’s mostly vegan, with a little vegetarian action thrown in on occasion. His smoothies and juices are the best in Paris (yes I know, that isn’t saying much, but they really are of a superb quality), not to mention affordable. Everything is made fresh on the premises that day, and the menu options change daily. (check out Bob’s Juice Bar facebook page for the updates every morning) My personal favorites include the “futomaki” rolls, a sort of Asian burrito if you will, filled with brown rice, avocado, cucumber, and usually mango or tofu, courtesy of the nearby Rice & Fish. It’s my official new “I have a screening at 1 pm” lunch – filling, delicious and incredibly easy to eat, with no sound emitted whatsoever from first to last bite – incredible. There’s always a salad du jour (think: quinoa with avocado and pineapple, pad thai or penne with salsa verde), a sandwich du jour and Kitchen’s famous “veggie stew,” a hearty bowl featuring some type of grain, cooked or raw veggies and an ethnic theme like “Indian,” “Italian” or “Mexican.” Not to mention the soup of the day (think tomato cashew or thai) plus the always changing juice and smoothie options made fresh in front of your eyes. Or not, since your eyes may be busy perusing the different cookbooks and magazines (American ones!! How exciting) circulating while you wait. For those of you early risers in Paris (I may just be talking to myself here), Kitchen is open from 8 am and offers great breakfast options in addition to smoothies like muesli bowls or teas with agave or jasmin and, on weekends, pancakes of the vegan or gluten free variety. Get there early to avoid the crowds (of French hipster regulars aching for Bob’s unique healthy fare). So put on your aprons – or more like American Apparel gear and skinny jeans if you want to fit in – and head into the Kitchen!
Bob’s Kitchen 74 Rue des Gravilliers 75003 Paris 09 52 55 11 66