Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.
The concept of "cooking raw" food sounds almost like an oxymoron. At least, that's what we thought — until we met Matthew Kenney, winner of Food & Wine's America's Best New Chef Award. Kenney, who's spoken at TEDxTalks and written several books on eating raw foods and the impact it has on our health, opened the restaurant M.A.K.E. — which is adjacent to his renowned culinary academy in Santa Monica.
But before getting our forks and knives out, we wanted to know a little bit more about Kenney's obsession with eating raw. What are the actual benefits? "The first thing people notice is an increased energy, much better digestion, a sense of clarity, and really just feeling awake and clear and alive and lighter," says Kenney. "For many people who start eating raw, they see such a positive change in their overall balance — it’s just really remarkable."
While, at first, Kenney admits it was a bit of a challenge learning to think beyond his culinary training and create dishes that were delicious regardless of the fact that they weren't cooked. But, with the help of a very talented team, he's now got it down to a science. Ahead, three incredibly delicious recipes that will knock the socks off your guests, and likely redefine what raw means to you.
Photographed by Phoebe Chuason