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The raw gourmet

epicure 30 November 2010
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Matthew Kenney wants to show the world that raw food need not be unpalatable and uninspiring.

The dictum that you can’t trust a skinny chef doesn’t apply to Matthew Kenney. The 46-year-old American is a practitioner of raw food, where organic plant-based ingredients are cooked at a low temperature of 40°C, a cooking method which proponents say preserves the produce’s important nutrients and vitamins. The end result is a healthier meal, which makes you feel—and look—better.

That raw food suffers from stubborn misconceptions hardly surprises Kenney. The cuisine is still a young movement, and “anytime you start something new, people will be sceptical or confused about it”. One of the common misunderstandings is that the food makes you lose weight. It doesn’t: not all dishes are low calorie, guilt-free repasts. Take for example, Kenney’s Chocolate Walnut Tart, made from cashews, raw walnut butter, maple syrup, cacao powder and coconut oil. It’s rich and decadent, and would keep the naysayers of raw food quiet.

The main idea behind this diet, says Kenney, is digestible food that your body can metabolise easily. Meat takes up to two days to be completely digested, while vegetables require only twelve hours. “The harder your body works to break the food down, the less energy it has to fight off diseases and viruses,” explains Kenney. “That’s why they say raw food heals.”

Excerpt from the December issue of epicure.

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