It is DAY 8 of "Gluten Free Vegan Recipes with Breville" celebrating our Sous Chef® Food Processor Giveaway, and we start Week Two off with a bang with the ROCKSTAR of the raw foods world, the incomparable Matthew Kenney. I was fortunate enough to meet Matthew a few years ago at a “RAWkstar” Degustation Dinner at Matthew Kenney OKC (formally 105 Degrees). You can read my story about that event here.
I will unleash the squealing teenager in me again and openly admit that I felt a few butterflies bounce around in my overdulged stomach when I met Matthew. He is just HOT! He is THE movie star poster boy for eating raw foods! If seeing him in person doesn’t make you grab for a naked celery stick…..nothing will! "Yes, my name is Tess, and I am a Matthew Kenney Groupie!" But good looks and all joking aside; if you don't know about this incredibly talented guy, GET ACQUAINTED NOW, or you are just letting the BEST in the raw foods world pass you by.
Matthew Kenney is one of the world’s most famous raw food experts -- an acclaimed chef, educator, lifestyle entrepreneur, television host, and speaker (including two high-profile TEDx events) and author of 10 gorgeous cookbooks including EVERYDAY RAW, EVERYDAY RAW EXPRESS, EVERYDAY RAW DESSERTS, ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW, 5 RAW DINNERS WITH MATTHEW KENNEY, RAW FOOD/REAL WORLD (with Sarma Melngailis), RAW CHOCOLATE (with Meredith Baird) and the forthcoming MK LIFESTYLE (fall 2013). I have all of these books and I LOVE them. The recipes are incredible, and are accompanied with STUNNING food photography. Kenney also shares his secrets on the iPad app, Matthew Kenney’s Raw Express, complete with 12 full-length videos and more than 40 recipes that can all be prepared in less than 30 minutes. To say Kenney has had a significant impact on the raw foods community worldwide is an understatment, and continues to lead the way into the new frontier.
The Food & Wine Best New Chef, VegNews Chef of the Year, and the twice-nominated James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef opened his first restaurant, Matthew’s in New York City in 1993. Ten years later, after a chance dining experience at a raw foods restaurant in Manhatten he discovered his calling: creating raw dishes with an emphasis on nutrition and innovation. He opened his first living restaurant, Pure Food and Wine with then partner Sarma Melngailis in 2004 and began his work as a raw food pioneer.
Kenney now owns and operates two celebrated living foods restaurants, Matthew Kenney OKC in Oklahoma City and In the Raw in Chicago. He has just opened his latest raw restaurant, M.A.K.E. in Santa Monica, CA at the upscale Santa Monica Place shopping complex. This gorgeous new facility with it’s glorious exhibition-style kitchen and dining room crafted from reclaimed wood and other natural materials features a one-of-a-kind raw-tasting bar, as well as a forthcoming marketplace and juice bar.
M.A.K.E ‘s menu features Kenney’s inventive raw cuisine inspired by Southern California’s seasonal ingredients. Highlights include Kenney’s acclaimed signature Raw Heirloom Tomato Lasagna, which layers pistachio pesto with red pepper marinara and pine nut ricotta; Kimchee Dumplings topped with sesame foam; and Sweet Corn Ravioli made with corn-mint pesto, tomato, pepper, and herb oil served alongside warm herb-crusted portobello, fresh corn polenta, and a cherry tomato salad.
Sweet dishes include Stone Fruit and Pistachio Ice Cream atop a black sesame waffle drizzled with orange blossom syrup and a pistachio-dusted Macadamia Pastry stuffed with raspberry rose mousse, chamomile whip, lemon curd, and blueberry cream. You can refresh yourself with biodynamic wines, organic brews, housemade cocktails such as sake-tinis, and delicious juices and smoothies. My favourite is the exotic Thai Green that blends mango, coconut, spirulina, almond milk, and Thai chili. YUMMO! Alternatively, M.A.K.E invites guests to enjoy a multicourse menu - five courses, three savory and two sweet served in "omakase" fashion at the tasting bar, featuring dishes reinvented weekly based on seasonal ingredients.
Adjacent to this is the Matthew Kenney Culinary School, that joins the Matthew Kenney Academy in Oklahoma City (that has graduated students from more than 35 countries) as the only classically structured Raw and Living-Foods educational center in the world specializing in raw cuisine. Professional chefs and students of all levels can hone their skills utilizing state-of-the-art cooking equipment, including dehydrators, thermal immersion circulators, smokers, and specialty slicers. This gorgeous new facility sitting in the The Market in Santa Monica Place is wrapped in reclaimed wood and glass walls, so shoppers and diners can watch the students in action. The school also offers customized public classes, as well as an innovative online program.
Matthew Kenney’s food is just inspired. He successfully uses techniques such as immersion, smoking, emulsification, and dehydratrion to create imaginative, creative, and innovative food that consistently pushes the envelope in the raw food world to create original, cutting edge dishes that help dispel the myths about raw cuisine and deliver incredible tasting live gourmet food. I feel so honoured to be sharing Matthew's Raw Vegan Couscous recipe from EVERYDAY RAW EXPRESS today, which is just one glorious example of his beautiful food.
Kenney created this quick, easy dish with the fabulous Meredith Baird. By processing raw cauliflower with a few simple ingredients, you get a light, fluffy, couscous - like consistency, which when combined with fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices creates a delightful feast for the senses.
I just cannot rave enough about Matthew Kenney and his mouthwatering food. I have eaten at all of his restaurants many times, have made almost every single recipe in all of his books, and am NEVER disappointed. He is truly one of the treasures of the culinary world.
Matthew, thankyou for all that you do to inspire the plant-based community, and for graciously sharing your wonderful recipe as part of this event. You are just incredible. Special thanks to the fabulous Juliana Sobral for co-ordinating this contribution.