Rockin RawBehind the Kitchen with the Chef of Rockin Raw Julie June 2, 2015 Behind the Kitchen, Featured, Gluten Free Options, Health, Restaurants, Vegan, Vegetarian Creating delicious and creative meals out of raw food seems like an impossible task, but for Tere Fox, the co-owner and chef at Rockin Raw, it seems to come naturally. Rockin Raw is a true family affair as Tere created it and runs it with her husband Luis Salgado. With dishes ranging from burritos and nachos, to cheesecake and ice cream, Tere and Luis have managed to bring fun and familiarity to raw food, allowing everyone to find something they can enjoy. I recently had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Tere to talk all things Raw, how the industry is changing in her favor, and why she actually doesn’t keep a fully raw diet. How did Rockin Raw originate? When my husband and I met, we were both vegetarian and trying to be vegan. We were studying at the Integrative Institute for Nutrition and while most of our classmates were becoming health coaches, we wanted to try something different. I had worked in the restaurant industry for over 14 years so we decided to start a raw food movement with Rockin Raw, that was both fun and educational. Our mission has been the same since day one, educate and heal others through our food. How did you create the menu? I’m from New Orleans, and my husband is from Peru, so we went with a fun mix of creole and Peruvian style cuisine. We created the menu of things we love, that also happen to be super delicious. We also try and avoid using nuts. Nutritionally speaking, you really only need about a handful a nuts a day, and we want people to be able to eat this food every single day. Each item and entrée is nutritionally focused and balanced, as well as affordable. And now we have a couple of non-raw, but still vegan items, so there is something for everyone to enjoy. And you originally opened in Brooklyn? How does the Manhattan location compare? Correct! We started in Greenpoint because we lived there and it felt comfortable, but our goal was always Manhattan. We built a steady and loyal following there for three years, but now in Manhattan we’re more accessible to a broader range of customers, which is exciting! We’ve even recently had a ton of customers from Sweden, and some from France. How has the industry of raw food changed over the 6 years? At first, it was really hard to sell the raw food concept to people, because it hadn’t really been done in Brooklyn. We were the first. There were a lot of days we questioned our decision, thinking was this a bad idea? But now, raw food is all over this city. We are so thankful for the juice movement and how it’s making raw food mainstream. So when you realize you can’t live on juice forever, (because you shouldn’t!) but still want to eat clean, Rockin Raw is your answer. Juices are delicious, but humans were created to chew. As someone who is definitely health conscious, what is your food philosophy? I believe people should eat whatever they want. But if your body is not working properly and reacting negatively, then it’s time to tune into what you’re eating and see what can be changed in your diet. Simply, you are what you eat. When you eat raw foods, which are live, living beings, you’ll naturally feel more energetic and alive. But I balance the raw foods with cooked plant-based foods to keep me grounded. And until I can make a comparable tasting raw loaf of bread, there’s no way I’m giving up my toast. I love that philosophy! With that in mind, what would your ideal food day consist of, start to finish? Ah, great question! In the morning I love starting with a big glass of ice cold water, in any season. I’d then have some avocado toast, I just love it. Sometime between breakfast and lunch I’d have a juice, something with beets and apples. For lunch I usually have the Kale salad from here with some zucchini bacon. And for dinner another big salad with baby spinach, dried cranberries and I love steamed vegetables. And as a pastry chef by heart, I have to finish my day with something sweet, like the cinnabun with vanilla ice cream. What would you tell New Yorkers who are trying to be healthy? It’s simple really. Eat whole foods and a variety of colors. And stop counting calories! The truth is those numbers are made up. Eat based on ingredients. Look for words you know. Eat whatever feels good and what feesl right for your body. Appreciate and love what you’re eating and don’t feel guilty about it. You have three chances a day to decide what you’re eating. Make them count! Tere Fox brings passion and joy to Rockin Raw and it’s time for you to experience her incredible restaurant yourself. In exciting news, Tere is planning on teaching cooking classes this summer to make raw food even more accessible for you! For more information and a look at upcoming classes and events, please check out Rockin Raw.