Urban Hippie by Jen Lahey is published every second Tuesday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Jen on Twitter @Jen_Lahey.
The website enticing us to try out the new raw vegan resto Herbivore at the Door (70A Leonard Ave.) proclaims that “raw food is sexy,” and if Candice Bernes has anything to do with it, you’ll agree.
Chef and owner of Herbivore at the Door, Bernes was inspired by food as a child growing up in Paris, and later trained under chef Dan Hoyt of Quintessence, New York’s longest running raw restaurant.
On any given day, Bernes says diners can expect to find a variety of fresh, raw, homemade items, such a daily ‘bounty bowl’ filled with salad, sprouts, and additions such as marinated portobello mushrooms, nut and seed burgers, and cooked quinoa.
Also up for grabs: kale chips, broccoli chips and raw dehydrated sunflower seed crackers. Sweets-fiends, there’s something for you, too: watch for the much-sought-after raw vegan ice cream bars, and Bernes’ raw vegan, celiac-friendly date squares. New to the menu this week: matcha lattes with fresh almond hemp milk.
Bernes recently went toe to toe with the Urban Hippie for a few questions about how she got into raw food, why she thinks raw food is worth your time (and your meals!), and exactly what she’d like to serve you.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself, where you’re from and your background as a chef?
My grandmother was an amazing baker and my mother a great cook. As a child I grew up in Paris and remember watching the chefs from a catering event curl butter and bustle in our kitchen. I realized food was a creative outlet I could share with others. A couple of summers ago I decided to go to New York City to learn more about raw food preparation, inspired (read envious) by the raw food blogs I followed.