As many of you might have heard already, there is a new movement sweeping through many fine restaurants embracing the philosophy of raw foods or living foods. Sure, as a veggie head, I can appreciate any chance for bringing vegetarian/vegan options to fine cuisine, but does it work? Can you pull off raw food as fine cuisine?
Now with the publication of Trotter's new cookbook (written with Roxanne Klein), "Raw" it seems that this movement has hit the big time. I've never been to Roxanne's restaurant in CA nor opted for the raw menu at Trotter's, but after flipping through the book, I have to admit I am very intrigued. I've always loved the veggie menu at Trotter's, and have tried to adapt a lot of my cooking in his style. But using cashew cheese in a terrine? Has anybody tried these dishes before?
If you are unfamiliar with raw foods, it is the concept that when processed, foods lose much of their nutritional value. Hence, raw cuisine prohibits using foods that have been "processed," in other words, the temp of the food is not allowed to reach 118 deg F. This also precludes the use of any meat, poultry, fish, or animal product (cheese, milk, cream, eggs). The thought goes on to say that all foods inherently have the requisite digestive enzymes to break itself down. When you cook food, these enzymes are then denatured and lost. This translates into "more stress" for our GI tract and less complete breakdown and use of the food.