Learn how to prepare delicious raw food at Matthew Kenney Culinary School (Or just eat it at M.A.K.E.)
While most people won’t deny the health benefits associated with a living foods diet, few would believe that rich textures and robust flavors exist in this type of cuisine. Raw food aficionado Matthew Kenney aims to elevate the perceptions of raw cuisine on the West Coast to new levels. He plans to do it by way of the Matthew Kenney Culinary School and adjacent M.A.K.E. restaurant, located in Santa Monica, the epicenter of healthy living.
The Matthew Kenney Culinary School (with founding roots in Oklahoma City) is the nation’s first and only classically structured raw culinary school. The new Santa Monica location is encased in an all glass classroom that provides a classical training setting with a literal raw edge. While cutting boards and knives are familiar sights in most kitchens, smokers, thermal immersion circulators and Pacojets are typically not. This is a place where state-of-the-art dehydrators are king and ovens are obsolete. “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen” is a statement that wouldn’t apply since food isn’t heated above 105°F.
Students from various backgrounds and experience levels are given the opportunity to increase their understanding of the cuisine. In a matter of months, they will advance their expertise and develop the skills required to prepare raw foods in an innovative way. Seasoned chefs who enroll in class are likely to experience a learning curve that contradicts how they’ve been cooking for decades. In contrast, those who have clocked zero hours in the kitchen will begin with a blank slate on which they can imprint the skills they are looking for. There will also be enrollees with the simple desire to incorporate raw food into their lifestyle, as opposed to occupation.
The adjacent M.A.K.E. restaurant is for those who prefer to get their raw food education through their mouths. Serving lunch and dinner, the menu will feature imaginative interpretations of dishes that utilize seasonal ingredients. Kenney highlights the intentional omission of any faux meat items. Instead, you’ll find items such as heirloom tomato lasagna, composed of pistachio pesto layered with sun-dried tomato marinara and macadamia nut ricotta. For a comprehensive tasting menu experience, guests can sit at the communal omakase style bar, decorated in natural woods and bright green grass. The vantage point into the kitchen allows diners to observe the techniques used to prepare the various dishes.
Proponents of a raw food lifestyle believe that uncooked and unprocessed plant based foods have several health benefits, such as increased energy, prevention/reversal of certain diseases, weight loss and healthy skin. If you ever catch a glimpse of Kenney, 48, in person, it’s hard to deny his youthful demeanor and slim physique. Through his culinary school and restaurant, raw food has a bright future of being nutritious and delicious, with beautiful presentation to boot.
Go ahead; make your vegan cake and eat it too.
Matthew Kenney Culinary School
395 Santa Monica Pl, Suite 333
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Joy Bitonio has the phrase “Joie de Vivre” tattooed on her shoulder, a reminder to enjoy life every single day. She has a voracious appetite for fun, adventure, food, good cocktails and works out like a madwoman to keep it all together. Her fitness articles can be found on examiner.com. Follow her on twitter.