(NaturalNews) Making Raw Foods Delicious: Cherie Soria and Living Light International (Part 2)
Yesterday, in Part 1 of this article, I introduced you to world renowned Raw Food Gourmet Chef Cherie Soria, co-founder of Living Light International.
Cherie has devoted her life to re-creating the foods we love, maintaining the texture and flavor of our favorite foods in a "raw version" that satisfies our nutritional needs and our emotional needs as well. Cherie Soria makes eating a mostly raw food diet not only achievable, but sustainable. She truly makes raw food delicious, and through the Culinary Institute teaches others to as well.
I recently had the honor of interviewing Cherie and learning about Living Light International. Today, in Part 2, I will share with you information about some additional programs, their café, marketplace, and inn. You will also learn about an interesting franchise opportunity.
The Living Light Culinary Arts Institute offers an Internship Program for students who have already been through the training and are interested in either opening a restaurant or becoming a chef. There is also an Apprenticeship "Angel" Program for those interested in helping in the kitchen.
The Institute co-sponsors the annual Vibrant Living Expo and Culinary Showcase which takes place on the fourth weekend of August in Ft. Bragg. There is music, a film festival, and presentations going on all day. This reasonably priced event is not just about raw food, but offers numerous topics on living a healthy lifestyle.
They have top speakers and authors from all over the world. All sessions are video recorded, and previous Expo programs are available for purchase in both their Ft. Bragg store and online Marketplace.
For those looking for a great place to hold health related workshops and lectures, the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute facility is available when classes are not in session.
Living Light Café & Cuisine-To-Go
Living Light Cafe & Cuisine-To-Go was voted by VegNews in 2006 as one of the top 20 vegetarian restaurants in the world. They are known locally as having the best desserts in town. The Café serves extraordinary raw gourmet cuisine, and also offers a take-out menu for people on the go.
The café uses only eco-friendly supplies. They use "corntainers;" all of their containers, straws, bags, etc. are made from corn. These items are all biodegradable and can be composted. Nothing goes to waste. The café uses only organic produce, purchased from smaller farms as much as possible, and when feasible, buys their food locally and in-season.
Their kitchen is shared by the Café and the school. People who come to their school see a working kitchen. They teach chefs so they need to be the ultimate example. Their kitchens are beautiful, spacious, state of the art, very clean and well run.
They always say they live in a glass house because their kitchen is all glass. From downstairs in the courtyard people can look up and see their chefs working in the kitchen. They are also entertainment for the restaurant located across from them. The people eating in the other restaurant can watch their chefs in the kitchen.
Another interesting feature of their facility is that they have three commercial kitchens and none of them have a stove. They "cook" and "bake" using dehydrators.
Living Light Marketplace
Living Light Marketplace is both a local and online store. They offer items such as eco-friendly housewares, dehydrators, blenders, juicers, organic body care, books, and DVDs. All the products used at the Culinary Arts Institute can be purchased at the Marketplace. It is a great source for hard to find products for healthy food preparation.
Living Light Inn
Living Light Inn is a beautiful, historic, eco-friendly place to stay while attending the school or simply vacationing in Ft. Bragg. It shares their mission to protect the environment. All products are biodegradable, the cleaning products are non-toxic, mattresses and bedding are all organic, they have a full-house water filtration system, and windows that open for fresh air.
The Inn has beautiful gardens and is located in a quiet residential neighborhood. Many rooms accommodate three or more people. Students can share a room in order to reduce expenses. They also offer private, elegant rooms with fireplaces.
The Future of Living Light International
I asked Cherie what her long-term goals are for the Institute, and she replied, ". . . to franchise our restaurant across the country. We have successfully established our current restaurant in Ft. Bragg, which is a smaller city, so anyone should be able to successfully open a franchise anywhere."
"Another long-term goal is to have more schools in other states and in other countries. It is getting to the point where we can only handle so many people at our current location, so rather than expand where we are, we will expand in new locations."
The first franchise will open next year (2008) in the San Francisco Bay area. All the franchises will be set up to feed and teach others. They will have the café as well as have teaching programs available.
This is a great franchise opportunity for anyone interested in opening a raw gourmet cuisine restaurant. For those living a healthy lifestyle, eating out and finding healthy fast food is near impossible. The lack of restaurants available to meet this growing need is a major struggle in trying to maintain a healthy diet while traveling and during our often busy schedule. These franchises will play a major role in the raw food revolution.
A Place Where People Find Acceptance
Cherie's goal is to, "meet people where they are and to accept them. There is no judgment about what people eat or drink."
She continues, "When people are accepted and supported, they learn how to accept and support themselves. Many people come because they have health issues. I don't give advice, but support people with their own decisions about their diet and health."
At Living Light International many people find acceptance in a way they have never experienced before in their life. Students develop close friendships and really blossom. The experience is so powerful that many of her students have actually chosen to move to Ft. Bragg.
Knowledge is Power
The information I received while interviewing Cherie was far more than I could possibly share in one or two articles, but I have tried my best to highlight the points I thought would be most helpful to the NaturalNews audience. Learning about Living Light International has had a tremendous impact on my life; I hope that what I have shared in this two part series makes a difference in your life as well.
Most of us want to eat unhealthy food and yet want to have healthy bodies. For many, it is not until their health fails that they turn to food that heals. The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself if given what it needs. Whole, raw, live foods bring life and vitality to anyone who is willing to give raw foods a chance.
All the nutrients we need to survive and sustain life are contained within raw food. Processing food destroys these nutrients. Food is marketed to us for convenience and to satisfy our emotional needs, but lacks the nutrients to sustain health. Cherie literally makes raw food come alive in ways most of us don't even know are possible to achieve.
Anyone who has taken the journey of changing their diet to become healthier knows the power that our culture has over not just what we eat, but how and when. Eating raw is the road to health, and yet there are still those who will not follow. The biggest reason being a lack of knowledge.
Cherie truly is a living light in helping others accomplish what often is very difficult to do without a "how to" road map. At Living Light Culinary Arts Institute you will learn how to make delicious raw foods that are full of flavor and visual appeal.
Living Light International offers something for everyone. If you are an aspiring raw food chef, or just someone who wants to learn how to prepare raw foods that will appeal to you and your family, Cherie will help you accomplish this goal.
Living Light International makes healthy living delicious!
For specific details on any topic in this article, to sign up for classes, or to purchase Cherie's book, go to www.RawFoodChef.com
About the author
Polly Wise is a Freelance Writer with a degree in Social Sciences and several years experience as a professional Technical Writer. Polly has a passion for natural health and nutrition. She has spent many years reading and researching alternative options to main stream medicine and enjoys sharing this knowledge with others.