Where are you born and where did you grow up? tell us a little bit about you.
I was born in Maryland in the USA. I grew up in the beautiful suburbs of Northern Virginia, right outside of Washington DC. My family spent a lot of time outdoors, we lived walking distance to a creek and a beautiful lake. My neighbors had horses so I used to go horseback riding and my first job was helping a neighbor on her farm, selling produce and caring for her plants. I fell in love with nature from the beginning.
You live and work in St Barths. Could you explain your concept with Plant Based Daily?
Plant Based Daily was founded in St Barth with a desire to feed our local community and guests nutritious food, created with vibrant flavors using the most local and purest ingredients possible. Eating clean has transformed my life and my goal with this blog is to share everything I’ve learned about living a healthy lifestyle with you.
As a new mom, I feel that the best gift you can give your offspring is the gift of health. It’s exciting to teach my son something new about food and nutrition. We go to a market almost daily, so it’s fun teaching him about local produce and letting him touch it so he can experience it.
The cuisine I prepare is primarily plant based, customized to my guests dietary sensitivities and needs. I educate them daily on the nutritional benefits of what they are consuming. If a guest is interested, I also incorporate Ayurveda and/or Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs into dishes like “medicinal” raw chocolates, sauces and other nutrient dense meals.
It’s amazing when we take the time to really enjoy food in its purest form and nurture our bodies with quality plant based ingredients. Clean eating is everything; it’s a lifestyle that can really transform us. Breaking bread together is special, providing warmth to our souls, especially when it’s made with love.
You trained with Matthew Kenney the American celebrity chef specializing in plant-based cuisine. Could you tell us your experience with him?
I graduated from Matthew Kenney Culinary with an emphasis in plant based cuisine and culinary nutrition and have raw certifications that include a focus in superfoods, detox and Ayurveda with Chef Kate Magic. Each year I go to a different country to study local cuisine and I’m currently studying infant nutrition, which is a new passion inspired by my baby. I will be in Barcelona this summer training with the new PlantLab Culinary for an exciting pop up! Matthew Kenney has been a mentor to me for awhile and he has also been supportive of my endeavors in St Barth.
Could you explain in few words what are the basics of this diet?
This diet is plant based, without any animal products (including dairy) and involves the use of whole, organic, unprocessed, plant-based foods to achieve healthy, aesthetically refined and flavorful cuisine.
Where did you do the training as he is offered the courses in 8 cities worldwide as well as online?
I did the training in Venice, California and Barcelona. I continue culinary training with him once a year to continue honing my skills and I always go overseas to get new inspiration for recipe testing.
What is your favorite meal and easy to prepare on busy day?
My go to meal is a nice macrobiotic bowl with a variety of leafy greens, to include fermented veggies (I make these regularly so I have them), curried sweet potatoes, quinoa, nori, seeds, spirulina, chlorella, nutritional yeast, etc.
How do you became addicted to this?
I become addicted to this cuisine when I moved to Santa Monica, CA about 10 years ago. I lived right by the 3rd Street Promenade Farmers Market that many of the local chefs go to. After seeing all of the beautiful produce and tasting a meal at Café Gratitude in Venice Beach I became addicted to this cuisine and wanted to learn how to cook professionally.
How is the market in St Barths. You are the one who have been introduced the raw and vegan movement on the island, could you explain us?
In St Barth, my husband and I got engaged here and after moving here we discovered that there weren’t too many places to eat raw or plant based cuisine so I decided to introduce it to St Barth. I am currently cooking privately for guests villas on the island and teaching cooking classes for tourists and locals monthly. Eventually I would like to offer classes twice a month, then weekly based on the interest. So far all of my classes have been full. I’m also doing cold pressed juice cleanses + raw meals for detox and cleansing on island.
You are a mom since 1 year now, how do you manage this diet with your baby boy?
My baby boy actually eats the same thing I eat. I started him on homemade purees when he was first born but he was always more interested in what I was eating so I did baby led weaning with him (feeding him the same foods I eat) and he loves everything! He prefers vegetables over fruit and loves Indian and Asian spices! It’s exciting to see his adventurous pallet develop. It’s important to expose him to as many flavors as possible at a young age so he will continue to grow as an adventurous and healthy eater.
What is your schedule like today as a mommy and raw chef?
It’s true that it takes a village to raise a baby, so my baby has been around many of my family members and close friends who have helped watch him while I prepare meals. So he has been around people of all ages and around the world. However, most of the time I just wear him in my baby carrier while I’m cooking so I can teach him about ingredients and show him how his meals are made. He seems to like watching and especially tasting right away! A lot of it is planning meals ahead of time by preparing “mise en place” so it’s easy to quickly assemble a meal for my baby and I.
Where do you get inspired to create your meals?
I get inspired to create my meals by the ingredients I’m able to find and by people I’m cooking for. When they tell me they like a certain ingredient, I like to create something special for them to enjoy. I also get inspiration from traveling to other countries and learning from other chefs around the world.
What is your favorite country?
That’s a tough question, as I love to travel. My favorite country so far has been Thailand, I went there when I was pregnant and was amazed. Their local food markets were out of this world! I discovered so much about food and loved learning about the Thai culture. I studied with a local chef in Thailand and I’m excited to explore more of Asia like Korean and Vietnam. Bali, India, Africa are also high on my list for travel. I want to explore it all!
Your next travels? I’m on my way to Barcelona and Italy for more culinary training and I will be teaching cooking classes in Miami before I head back to St Barth for monthly cooking classes.
Could you give us a recipe easy to do?
1/2 c macadamia
1/2 c pecans
1/4 c date paste *
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon liquid vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 c soaked cashews (soaked overnight in refrigerator)
1/2 c agave
1/4 c water (start with 1 teaspoon at a time)
1/2 c blueberries
1/2 c coconut oil
6 tablespoons of juiced ginger (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon blueberry powder (optional)
Pinch of Himalayan salt
1/2 c dates
1/2-3/4 c water
Blend until well combined
- Crust: In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the crust until it becomes a paste. Using a medium size cupcake mold, start by placing 1-2 tbs of the mix and with your fingers spread evening and freeze.
- Filling: Using a high-speed blender, mix all the ingredients except the coconut oil. Add the water 1 tbs at a time until completely smooth. Gradually pour in the coconut oil with the blender running on a low speed until combined.
- Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the filling. Put back in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Before serving, remove from the freezer and let it come up to temperature.
- Decorate with some fresh blueberries, coconut flakes and edible flowers.
Story continues this Fall in Miami!
from our blog