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Raw Inspiration

  For past edition of the Tip Of the Week visit my archive 

Many people ask me “Chef Dan, where do you get all your amazing ideas from” and my answer to that is that I just make all the stuff I ate when I was not raw. I make what I miss, what I am craving or what I haven’t had in a long time. I can contribute a great amount if not all the success of my restaurant Quintessence to the content of the menu.

You see, my introductions to raw food came from people who were into health but had no clue how to create tasty food. i sampled meny hap-hazard mish mashes of things that many times had no business being together. And they were not dishes at all really, more like blobs, globs, salads or crackers. My idea was to make “pizza” that taste like and gives you the satisfaction of eating pizza, or falafels, Burritos, Tomato Soup, Scallion Cream Cheese and yes even better than Tofu FofuTM or Foux Fu; better for you and better tasting.
Now you have to remember that I have been in NYC for 15 years before going raw; that is a lot of restaurants and a lot of culture. From one end of Mahatten to the other there are restaurants and ethnic neighbor hoods full of homland delights. From China Town, Little italy, Koria Town, the Greek nighborhood of Brooklyn and all the others food food and more food was to be found.

I been to so many restaurants like Mexican, Indonesian, Japanese, Thai, Spanish, Dominican, Caribbean, Polynesian, Korean, English, German, Italian, Polish, Ukrainian, Swedish, Indian, Ethiopian, --- French, Vietnamese, ---
-- French Vietnamese,----- Moroccan, Lebanese, Egyptian and others I can’t think of now; not to mention relatives, banquets and gathering from my wide spread American family but also my partners Chinese family. On top of that I have been to Hong Kong twice, Thailand twice, Macau, Philippines and Tokyo Japan. My exposure to the world of delicacies I have been blessed with is now in my cravings and the raw would is ready and waiting for all my tasty explorations. Hay man what I am saying here is don’t think of raw foods as being a change in your flavor cravings but simply a change in how it is prepared. Once I figured out cretin methods. Like creating a pate, a cream, a mousse, a burger, a craker… the flavor and texture selections were wide open. If I want Japanese Age Tofu or Thai Tom Kai I can make it and I make it raw organic and vegan. It usually rivals the original. So here is what you do. Watch my videos on the Free Videos page of my website You will need to log in. There I show you the how-to of technique, then use your own cookbooks or by new cookbooks and use them.

See what spice combinations are there, what herbs, sauces, patties, wraps… whatever. If you know how to make raw Ice Cream and you see a commercial for Blackberry Lavender Ice Cream then you will be able to go to your kitchen and make it providing you have Blackberries and some fresh Lavender. What? Haa? oh you want to know what else goes in there? Really? OK well you need a base a “Cream” to flavor, for Ice cream. Fats work great as they harden when cooled. So almonds, cashews, pecan? Macadamia nuts would work well for Ice Cream but their flavor is buttery and sometime even cheesy, so for this Ice Cream maybe not. Avocado works for darker flavors like chocolate or caramel… I like to use the meat from the young coconuts; then some liquid, good old H2O works well, then blackberries and lavender are not too sweet so some Agave or Raw Honey. I think Honey would taste great with the lavender, a dab of vanilla or vanilla bean to back up the berries and lavender (kind of the canvas to paint on)  and to groung it all a pinch of sea salt. Blend it up and put it in your Ice Cream Maker.
What I am trying to tell you is get the techniques and the recipes are whatever you want. So don't be afraid to use your emagination.

Till Next Week
Raw Chef Dan



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