Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cookbooks: Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney

Though a cookbook for raw foods might sound like an oxymoron -- or more -- the need for books with this particular bent are undeniable. Over the last decade, interest in raw food diets has increased a great deal. Proponents argue for a more pure, healthy lifestyle. That’s an argument we’re not going to get into: it’s outside the mandate of a review. However, clearly, if you are interested in a raw food diet and you don’t want to restrict yourself to a future filled with nothing but undressed salad greens, you’d better have a look around for a book by someone with some experience in preparing raw food diets and delivering them in a presentable and delectable way. Enter Matthew Kenney.

Kenney is a restaurateur and cookbook author whose burgeoning interest in the raw food diet has brought him an equal portion of growing fame. He’s appeared on the Today Show, on the Food Network and he has been nominated for the James Beard Rising Star Award. And though he hasn’t always cooked and written about raw food, it is in this area that he’s brewing up the largest part of his reputation.

Though I have an interest in alternative food lifestyles, I am not myself a raw food vegetarian, nor does the choice interest me greatly. (So much food, is what I’m more likely to say. So little time!) That said, if you were contemplating taking even part of your diet raw, Everyday Raw (Gibbs Smith) would not be an option: it would be a necessity. Kenney has gone to great lengths to develop raw food recipes that look and taste like “real” food. A cashew and lemon-based “sour cream” for instance, and a “feta cheese” made out of macadamia nuts. Those already embarked on their raw food journey will rejoice in Kenney’s creative desserts and starters.

A good book, filled with creative and well presented recipes. Everyday Raw is a must-have book for anyone interested in the raw foods vegetarian lifestyle.

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