“I’m doing everything possible to make sure that chefs really see themselves as responsible for delivering not just taste, but health. Chefs can be drug-dealers—some of the food they’re putting out there is worse than drugs—or they can be healers.”
He’s written twelve cookbooks. He’s opened dozens of restaurants. And he’s teaching a new generation of culinary talent across the globe. But Matthew Kenney isn’t just another celebrity chef. Matthew Kenney is crafting the future of food.
Beyond the kitchen, Matthew is a public speaker, educator, and entrepreneur specializing in plant-based food. He has authored 12 cookbooks and is the founder of Matthew Kenney Cuisine, an integrated lifestyle company as well as the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy, a series of state-of-the-art education centers offering vegan culinary courses both online and in person that emphasize the use of whole, organic, unprocessed, plant-based foods to achieve healthy, aesthetically refined and flavorful cuisine.
Over the years, Matthew has launched a panoply of eating establishments ranging from the hautest of haute cuisine to take-out casual — everything from Santa Monica’s M.A.K.E. and New York’s Pure Food & Wine (both now closed), to Plant Food & Wine in both Venice and Miami, Make Out in Culver City, California and the recently opened and utterly amazing 00 + Co. plant-based pizzeria in New York City’s East Village. When in Belfast, Maine visit The Gothic. Plant Café is coming to Bahrain this fall and Matthew has something brewing for summer in Montecito, California.
It’s one thing to cook great food. It’s another thing to cook great plant-based food. But it’s astonishing to please the masses with incredibly delicious and nutritious plant-based meals without cooking anything at all. However, what most impresses me most about Matthew is not his culinary talent. It’s his commitment to changing the cultural conversation around food. And in turn, change the world.
Today I sit down with Matthew in the wine room behind Plant Food & Wine Venice to get to the bottom of everything except the wine (don’t worry I didn’t drink any). Specific topics explored include:
- misconceptions of the raw food lifestyle
- the benefits of the raw food lifestyle
- Matthew’s journey to embracing the raw food lifestyle
- what Matthew learned working in NYC’s best kitchens
- the challenge of preparing raw cuisine for modern clientele
- the practicality of eating raw; and
- how to increase plant-based awareness through better education
But at its core, this is a conversation about the future of food — and the incredible influence a high profile chef has on forging public opinion and taste when it comes to cuisine, culture and health.
I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.
Peace + Plants,
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Thanks to this week’s sponsors:
Aloha.com: Aloha provides the nutritional support you need to help maintain your already healthy lifestyle. Visit aloha.com/richroll to start your Aloha Protein subscription now and get your 2nd month FREE (a $29.90 value)!
Pre-Order Matthew’s book, The 90-Day Raw Food Diet: Improve Health, Heighten Energy, and Get the Glow!* (available 1.8.18)
Additional Books By Matthew Kenney:
- Everyday Raw Express: Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less*
- Plant Food*
- Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow*
- Everyday Raw Detox*
- Everyday Raw*
- Everyday Raw Desserts*
- Everyday Raw Gourmet*
- Big City Cooking*
- Entertaining in the Raw*
- Cooked Raw: How One Celebrity Chef Risked Everything to Change the Way We Eat*
- Matthew Kenney’s Mediterranean Cooking: Great Flavors for the American Kitchen*
Background, Context & Reference:
- MensJournal: Vegan Chef Matthew Kenney Gets a Place at the Table
- Vogue: Chef Matthew Kenney on the Plant-Based Revolution Coming Soon to a City Near You
- Bravo: This Star Chef Is Serving The Most Gorgeous Pizzas (Believe It Or Not, They’re Vegan)
- Shape: Why Matthew Kenney Became a Raw Food Chef
- ABCNews: Details of Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady’s Plant-Based Diet
- Well+Good: 6 Health Rules Raw-Food Guru Matthew Kenney Lives By
- LAWeekly: M.A.K.E. Chef Matthew Kenney on How to Make Great Vegan Cheese
- LAWeekly: Matthew Kenney to Close M.A.K.E. in Santa Monica Place, Open New Concept in Venice
- LaMag: Matthew Kenney Plants A Flagship on Abbot Kinney
- VegNews: Matthew Kenney to Open Upscale Vegan Pizza Concept in NYC
- HuffPo: Gratitude Speaks: Crafting The Future of Food With Matthew Kenney
- Miami NewTimes: Raw Food For People Who Don’t Like Raw Food
Notable People Discussed:
- Dino De Laurentiis: Oscar winning film producer
- Gael Greene: restaurant critic, author, & novelist
- Ricardo Amaral: businessman specializing in bars & nightclubs
- John Joseph: punk rock signer for the Cro-Mags
- Wolgang Puck: celebrity chef & restaurateur
- Alain Ducasse: French-born Monégasque chef
- Alain Passard: French chef
- Jean-Geirges Vongerichten: French chef
- Jamie Oliver: celebrity chef, restaurateur, & media personality
- Brendan Brazier: former endurance athlete, author, & plant-based advocate
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:
- RRP #034:How PS 244 Became The 1st US Public School To Institute A Vegetarian School Lunch Program
- RRP #101:Brendan Brazier, From Professional Athlete To Bestselling Author & Beyond
- RRP #158:Stephen Ritz On Transforming The Bronx & Generations Of Kids By Turning His Classroom Into A Farm
- RRP #164:How Chef Seamus Mullen Leveraged Holistic Lifestyle Medicine To Heal Himself
*Disclosure:Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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