Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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EatBeat: Raw Kitchen Opens in West Palm Beach – and Raw Food 101

November 1st, 2010 · No Comments

The Raw Food Kitchen opened last week on Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach, and fans of foods served by Iris and Gigi Garcia from the GreenMarket were ready.

The sisters Garcia, managers, along with chef Brenda Kunkler, have created a comfortable cafe, with dark-wood tables and floors and sage green walls, lit by yellow glass pendant lights. Outdoor seating is available.

Even non-raw food diners will find something on the menu here among the many vegetables, salads, and pizzas (those are made with buckwheat sprout crusts, and topped with fresh vegetables and herbs, and a nut cheese – made in-house).

Unique dishes include the “Mac daddy” – macadamia nut salad, with fresh vegetables, on a bed of spinach and flavored with eggplant “pancetta.” Chef Kunkler said the faux bacon is made by preparing and marinating eggplant for a three-day period before it takes on the smoky flavor.

The eggplant “bacon” appears again in the ELT – their version of a BLT.

Pasta dishes like the pad Thai are made with zucchini “noodles” – either flat-cut or spiral cut to resemble spaghetti – used for the pasta primavera. A nori wrap has fresh coconut meat as the wrapper, with sprouted teff, and marinated vegetables.

Organic beers and wines, along with juices, also are served.

The Raw Kitchen

  • 509 Clematis St., West Palm Beach
  • 561-820-0144
  • Open for lunch Monday-Friday for lunch from 11:30 a.m.; dinner, Wednesday-Saturday, 5-10 p.m. – closed Sundays.

Raw Food 101

The core of the Raw Food diet is that all foods are vegan and raw – no foods are from animals, and nothing is cooked beyond 118 degrees – the temperature at which food enzymes are killed, according to raw foodists. The thrust of this is that raw foodists are eating “living” foods.

Without cooking, it forces chefs of this cuisine to be creative by making dishes using dehydrators, high-speed blenders and turning vegetables and fruits into their cooked counterparts: noodles from zucchini and “cheese” and crackers and crusts from ground nuts or sprouts. Of course, raw vegetables and fruits are key, but dishes involve much more than mere salads.

The diet is curious for those who cook, but a following and research on the health of eating raw foods has a growing number of fans. California has more raw food restaurants than other states, but raw food restaurants, and at least a few raw items on vegetarian menus, can be found in most metopolitan areas.

To learn more about this diet, or to join a local raw food group contact the Vital Longevity Raw Food Group, hosted by longtime raw foodist, Susan Lerner in Lake Worth. Alternately, visit the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach – they will offer classes on the raw food diet Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News

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