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 www.livefoodexperience.com. 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.