Whenever Don and I venture off our mountain in order to go shopping, we can now enjoy some of the delicious raw creations prepared by Chantale Roy at Rawfreshing Cuisine. But why don't you join me during one of my recent visits at her Fine Raw Vegan Organic Deli.
It's A Small Raw World!
Last summer, while strolling through the Saturday Farmer's Market, I came upon a raw food stand. No need to tell you it grabbed my attention right away, but it got even better! I came to discover it was tended by Chantale and her two young boys. Originally from Quebec, they had arrived in Nelson only a week earlier. Now, the amazing thing is that Chantale is a good friend of my sister's. In fact, we even met a few times while I was visiting Josee in Abitibi. How about that for a surprise encounter!?!
Stumbling Upon Raw
Chantale discovered raw foods almost by accident. The last few years, she has been practicing permaculture and community supported agriculture on her organic land in Quebec. While playing in her gardens, she would naturally snack on lots of raw veggies, and couldn't help but notice how great and energized she felt. Her interest in raw foods and their benefits led her to Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in California, where she was trained by Chef Cherie Soria.
Sharing Her Passion
Chantale later began to share her love of living foods by opening the first raw vegan restaurant in Quebec: 'Tout Cru Dans Le Bec'. In spite of her successful business, she was moved to suddenly sell everything and start traveling. This, in turn, led Chantale to BC last summer where, as she puts it, she has continued to "live her passion for gourmet cuisine, optimum health, and divine respect for humanity and the earth." She has been introducing the local community to the magic of raw foods via her raw food prep classes and her catering service: 'Cuisine Plenitude'.
As she was approaching her one year anniversary in 'Beautiful BC', Chantale decided it was time for her to do what she had first intended in coming here: start another raw restaurant. All the signs were that, in spite of its small size, Nelson was ready to go raw! Since opening its doors on July 1st, Rawfreshing Cuisine has become the town's new 'hot spot' (no pun intended)!
Chantale's menu features a variety of drinks, including Berry hemp milk, Hibiscus elixir and Green smoothie, and entrees such as Tuscany's sun wrap (Brazil and cashew nut 'cheese', sun-dried olives, marinated onions and sprouts in a soft veggie wrap), Creamy cashew dill pasta, and pizza (Brazil nut cream 'cheese' or pine-nut 'ricotta', pizza sauce, pesto, veggies and pineapple on a hemp and walnut crust - to LIVE for!!!). And let's not forget mouth-watering desserts like Chocolate mousse torte, Strawberry shortcake and Apple cinnamon torte.
Want a piece?
Chantale also offers plenty of snacks and sweet treats to take home: from Cranberry buckwheat muesli, to Almond butter sandwich as well as decadent chocolate concoctions: live fudge, raw chocolate bars, truffles and macaroons.
For myself, I decided to go with her Mediterranean Burgers; hemp and pumpkin seed patties, served on sesame-onion bread with 'Rawfreshing sauce' - a delicious cross between mustard, mayo and ketchup.
Here's Chantale at work, expertly preparing my burgers:
Chantale has mastered the art of creating flavor-full delicacies; maximizing their taste while using a minimum of ingredients. These burgers were utterly delish!
And here we are: two Quebec gals 'living in the raw' on the other side of Canada.
If you're ever in our part of the world, make sure to stop by and taste Chantale's beautiful and delectable creations at Rawfreshing Cuisine, located at 502 Front St. Nelson, BC.