Originally published January 23 2008
Making Raw Foods Delicious: Cherie Soria and Living Light International (Part 1)
by Polly A. Wise
(NaturalNews) Knowledge is power! There is a great deal of misconception around what it means to be a raw foodist. World renowned Raw Food Gourmet Chef Cherie Soria not only clears up these misconceptions, but offers a world of new possibilities and resources to anyone who wants to be healthy and desires to add more raw food to their diet.
In this two part article, I am going to tell you about a school that can teach you how to make delicious raw food like you have never experienced before, introduce you to an eco-friendly place to vacation with your family, and provide you with a source for healthy living products. I will also share with you several career opportunities, as well as an interesting franchise opportunity.
I recently had the honor of interviewing Cherie Soria and learning about Living Light International. She is the co-founder with her husband Dan Ladermann. Located on the beautiful Mendocino coast in Fort Bragg, CA, their organization includes the following four eco-friendly businesses: Living Light Culinary Arts Institute, Living Light Café & Cuisine-To-Go, Living Light Marketplace, and Living Light Inn.
You may think that eating raw food is boring and tasteless. Cherie shows you how easy it is to prepare delicious raw foods that you and your family will love. She has dedicated her life to recreating the foods we all are familiar with in a raw food version that tastes as good, if not better than the original. She has discovered how to maintain the same flavor and texture of these foods to make the transition easy for anyone.
Cherie is the author of Angel Foods: Healthy Recipes for Heavenly Bodies, published in 1996. The book contains more than 240 delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes that include both cooked and raw foods.
She has a new book coming out in May of 2008 called The Raw Food Diet Revolution: Feast, Lose Weight, Gain Energy, Feel Younger. The book will have a strong focus on weight loss, and offers something for anyone who wants to get healthy. Watch for a book review to be published on NaturalNews around the time of its release.
Cherie has trained some of the world's top chefs, and has revolutionized how many people view raw culinary cuisine. Through Living Light International, Cherie will bring raw foods into your life. Through you, she may even bring raw foods into the lives of others.
What it Means to Be a Raw Foodist
The number of people turning to a raw food diet is rapidly growing every year. As people are learning the truth about how food is handled and processed, they are turning to raw foods as the safest and healthiest alternative. Raw food is not just a California trend; it is a movement that is changing lives around the world.
The results people experience, in just a short period of time, by adding more raw foods to their diet is enough to convince anyone how much diet affects every aspect of their lives. Most people have no idea how good they can feel, how much energy they can have, the clarity, and spiritual awareness they can be awakened to simply by changing their diet.
You may be surprised to know that you don't have to eat only raw food to be considered a raw foodist. Many people who hear the terms "raw foodist" or "raw food diet" often think we are talking about eating raw food 100% of the time. However, according to Cherie, you only need to eat raw foods more than 50% of the time to be considered a raw foodist.
No one ever needs to feel as though these terms have to exclude them. Everyone can fit into this healthy lifestyle. This is an achievable goal for anyone, and it doesn't have to consist of just sprouts and salads.
During our interview, Cherie suggested that the most important step anyone can take toward eating a raw food diet is to make sure you have something raw at every meal. "Simply start adding more raw food to your diet. You don't have to take anything away. You don't have to replace anything. Just add more raw food and it will happen naturally that you will want more and more. Eat the raw fruits and vegetables that you like and add more of them and be open to trying new things."
Discovering Raw Food Possibilities
When Cherie learned how to make sunflower cheese, while studying under Dr. Ann Wigmore in 1992, she knew she had discovered a gem.
She went home and began fermenting every kind of seed and nut she could find and came up with amazing cheeses that opened up a whole new world of raw culinary possibilities. Once she made this discovery, she knew she could do anything.
Cherie makes Cashew Cheese that tastes like Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Almond Cheese that tastes like Ricotta, and Pine Nut Cheese that tastes like Parmesan. From these early discoveries, she has since mastered the art of creating raw foods that taste great. She has revolutionized the world of raw food cuisine.
Cherie stated, "When I was a pioneer in the vegetarian movement 35 years ago, people had to give something up. Raw food is not about giving anything up; it is about adding another component to your diet that will make you feel better. It is not about sacrifice because the food tastes fabulous. It looks great and tastes good, so why not? We want to show people that it tastes great, and if they are interested in learning how to make it, we can show them how."
Cherie recognizes that this is a fast food society and that raw cuisine must be presented in that way as well. She states, "We are not physical beings that just eat to make ourselves healthy, we are also sentient beings and we need to nourish our bodies and nurture our spirits. We have emotional needs."
"I am very good at helping people satisfy their emotional needs with food. I have been doing it all my life. I know how important it is to give people food that satisfies their needs and makes them feel a sense of comfort."
"To do that you need to recreate the foods they are accustomed to. They still need to be able to eat foods like pizza, lasagna, burgers, enchiladas, and burritos. It has been my mission to recreate these foods."
Living Light Culinary Arts Institute
The Culinary Arts Institute is the heart of Living Light International. Here students learn how to prepare extraordinary raw foods. There is something for everyone, from professional chefs, to aspiring chefs, to those who simply want to learn how to prepare delicious raw foods for themselves and their families.
The classes are made up of students whose interests and abilities vary widely. They range from Parisian Executive Chefs to people who don't even know how to hold a knife. Sometimes this mix is within the same class.
Only one-third of the students who attend are professional chefs. Twenty percent of their students come from outside the United States, representing 25 different countries. Many students are not even vegetarians, but recognize the value of adding more raw food to their diet.
On their website, you can view free videos of how to prepare certain recipes. There will be more added in the future. These are a great introduction to what you will learn and experience at the school.
For the average person, you can take one or several classes depending on your individual needs and interests. In the FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods, you will learn how to make fermented foods, cheeses from nuts and seeds, yogurt, smoothies, soups, sauces, nut milks, crackers and much more.
For someone who wants to become an Associate Chef or teach others how to prepare raw gourmet cuisine, you would take the Associate Chef and Instructor Training. You will learn everything you need to give successful presentations, develop speaking skills, learn how to organize your classes, write bios, and market your classes.
Optional "turn-key" packages are available that include absolutely everything you need to begin teaching immediately. They offer all the resources necessary for you to be successful and to begin a whole new career as soon as you leave the Institute.
There are also advanced classes for those who are interested in going a step further to become a Professional Chef. These advanced classes are also perfect for anyone currently working as a chef and interested in enhancing their skill set.
The Raw Event Catering and Elegant Entertaining class is for students who want to cater for a living. It is also great for anyone simply interested in preparing a lot of food for a dinner party, family gathering, or any large group.
If you are a restaurant owner, the Institute offers a great opportunity for your chefs to learn how to prepare fabulous raw cuisine. This will enable you to expand your menu which will appeal to a wider range of customers. You may be amazed at the large market potential of this cuisine.
This is an area that is just waiting to explode. When people discover that they can have raw food that is delicious, it will begin to attract more and more customers to your restaurant. You never know, you may just gain a new reputation with both customers and culinary critics.
To Be Continued . . .
When I interviewed Cherie Soria, I learned a great deal about all that Living Light International offers. I am very excited about the raw food Cherie has created. She has opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me personally and I am eager to share it with you.
Being able to eat raw food that tastes great and provides the foods we love, including fabulous desserts, is more than anyone could hope for in eating a healthy diet.
There is plenty more to learn about Living Light International. Tomorrow, in Part 2, you will read about additional programs, an interesting franchise opportunity, and much more.
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 authorPolly 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.
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