About 1 month ago Welikeitraw.com asked their readers if they had any questions for restaurant owner + chef + entrepreneur and guest blogger, Sarma Melngailis. Today, on her 36th birthday, we excited to bring you Sarma’s answers. But, before we do that, we’d like to take a moment to say: Happy Birthday Sarma! Thank you for everything you’d done for the raw food community. Your work is an inspiration and your friendship is always appreciated. Here’s to changing the game! Much Love from Anthony, Shannon, Philip and Dhrumil.
Andie asks: “What’s your favorite/least favorite parts to your job? is it overall enjoyable or do you ever get really stressed out? plus, what’s your favorite snack?”
Sarma: My favorite parts to my job? First, it feels weird to even call it a “job.” It’s just me, it’s what I do, it’s what I am, and I wouldn’t do anything else. But that’s exactly one of the best parts… having all the certainty imaginable about what I’m doing. Another favorite part is getting to work with ridiculously lovely talented people. And I love meeting new people at the restaurant and making people happy. I love when new dishes, desserts, ice creams or cookies are developed at the restaurant. I love finding really cool new products to add to the oneluckyduck site. Except… right now we have a huge backlog of things I want to add to our inventory and we can’t yet add them. So, this brings me to a less favorite part of what I do. It would have to be that I still feel that my hands are somewhat tied. This will change soon, but for now it’s challenging. I want to do so many things and not being able to do them can feel frustrating, but I’m working on that! I would love more space and resources. Sometimes I wish I could forget about it all for a while. That part is hard. Building a big business is maybe a little bit like having kids. You can’t put them back, or walk away from them. And you wouldn’t ever want to, because it’s so great and you love them (it) with all your heart and they are a part of you. But, still… sometimes my soul longs to do something mindless and without weight and responsibility. My work and home are combined into one, so there isn’t much separation, which is okay. But I really do want to take a true vacation one of these days. No laptop, no blackberry. Some of my favorite parts of what I do are also the hardest parts. Being in charge is great. But sometimes I don’t want it all to come back to me, and I wish I could just defer to someone else and go take a nap instead. Sometimes I actually do this. I have good support all around me—that’s really nice too. People I love and trust who know the overall vision, so if I need to take a mental break and run off, I can in fact sometimes do that. I should do that. Hmmmm. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
G Living started with a handful of volunteers, who help conduct interviews, book guest and even donated their homes for us to use as a studio. The G Living studio was actually the home of Architect Whitney Sander. The house is a beautiful modern home on the Venice Canals in California.
This interview was with
Raw Food Chef and restaurant owner Sarma Melngailis. Sarma owns a pretty famous restaurant in New York City called Pure Food and Wine. Sarma, who has many recipes and articles on G Living was kind enough to stop by with Dhrumil from Welikeitraw.com to talk about her life. Our host included now famous author Rory Freedman, who wrote the New York Times best seller book, Skinny Bitch, and Boise Thomas, who co-starred on Discovery’s Planet Green show Alter Eco with Adrian Grenier. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
SO January 1st, back to reality, the day that so many of us out there (probably mostly girls too) swear that we’re going to be ‘good’ and loose that stubborn 5 to 10 pounds, or whatever it is. How hard can it be? Eat less, exercise more? The problem is, it’s not about that. It’s all wrapped up in personal history, emotion and mood, with a big wad of anxiety tossed in.
When I made the rather sudden switch to raw foods, the shift in my relationship with food that came with it felt like a huge relief. I was a typical over-achieving girl in high-school and college (loooong time ago!) who turned to ‘disorderly’ eating as a distraction from the real issues that otherwise would have been bothersome to have to dwell on. Better to beat myself up over something else, of course! But now this was the first time in my life that food in fact became something more meaningful, but in a good way… it’s not just about me anymore, and my own loopy obsessions and tastes, it’s also about the future… hopefully a sustainable one. For the first time, eating to feel good became the focus… an idea that seems obvious, yet most of us don’t get it. Eat crap = feel like crap. Eat fruit = feel fresh and yummy. Eat chemicals = get weird diseases. Eat natural = be naturally healthy, like we’re supposed to be. Eat raw = live long. And feel happy. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
Zucchini and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagna with basil-pistachio pesto, tomato sauce, and pignoli ricotta (raw)
We like the vibrant color and tart flavor of green zebra tomatoes, a heirloom variety, for this dish. Of course you can use any tomatoes, preferably heirloom. Use the best quality sun-dried tomatoes you can find (but not he kind packed in olive oil, as this is most often not cold-pressed). The brighter ones make for a redder sauce, which will add good, Italian-flag contrast to the dish.
The first real raw food dish that we ever prepared was a rougher version of this. It has since become the best-selling dish on our restaurant menu and is a perfect introduction for anyone trying raw foods for the first time. The flavors and textures are all familiar, and the vibrant nature of the dish always leaves a strong impression. Many variations on this are possible. Feel free to add marinated wild mushrooms or substitute summer squash for zucchini. As in so many other dishes, the quality, seasonality and freshness of the ingredients are the most important elements.”
This is an extended, unedited version of an article I originally wrote in July for Get Fresh magazine… U.K.’s glossy raw food mag. You can get current and back copies of the mag at oneluckyduck.com. Dhru has been a contributor in the past too!
Thanksgiving was beautiful at Pure Food and Wine… and WLIR’s own Philip was there too. Now we’re full on immersed in the holiday season, so I thought it’s not a bad time to put up this post about fasting, eating and all the issues in between. Happy Holidays, and may everyone take really good care of themselves.
My Summer Adventures in Juice Cleansing
Some people call themselves experts or even gurus (yes, I have heard someone introduce themselves as a “guru”) on nutrition, raw foods, weight loss, or enlightenment, or all of those. They write and/or speak publicly about conclusions they’ve arrived at through years of experience and diligent research. I, on the other hand, don’t claim to have conclusively figured it all out, nor do I have time for hours of detailed investigation. I just try things for myself and write about it while I’m sorting it all out—like a guinea pig with a notepad, jotting down reports on the experiment phases, tossing out random hypotheses. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
I’ve not posted in months. For anyone who gives a crap, SORRY! If I could do what I want to do, I’d have more time to do exactly this, because it’s fun, among other reasons. I have pages and pages of blog postage that I spit out over the last few months and then just never seemed to find time to pull together and now it feels very outdated. Not to mention, I just get embarrassed and feel like… really? does anyone really give a shit about what I ate for breakfast? Really? But maybe I’ll tidy it up, pull it together and throw it out there, why not. Someone encourage me please and I’ll do it. Here’s something I wrote on Valentine’s day:
Valentine’s Day!! It can be kind of like New Year’s Eve… too much expectation which leads only to disappointment. Here’s what I’ve learned: don’t expect anything. Then you’ll never be disappointed. Rely on yourself. Love yourself. And everyone else, but really, if you don’t treat yourself well, why should anyone else? Anyone who knows me and is reading this will be shouting things about pots and kettles calling each other black, whatever that saying is… because I’m told constantly I need to take better care of myself – but who takes their own advice anyway? Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
You know the type — eyes locked on their Blackberry or new iPhone and fingers ferociously going at it text messaging back and forth — oblivious to their surroundings. Twitter seems to be the new internet addiction for internet and SMS peeps following what their friends are doing or anyone on there they know.
The premise and question to keep answering is, “What are you doing?” It is like a quick real time journal summary of what you are doing throughout the day. Kind of an intimate peek into people’s lives to see what kind of things they do and to follow where they are at. GreenChef, Sarma Melngailis, owner of NY restaurant Pure Food and Wine, has been updating hers at least once a day. Sharing what she is eating and what’s going on in her day with messages like, “I’m on a fuji apple/green shake train. Been up for a while, but now just want to take a nap. Rainy in NYC. Actually, pouring.” You can follow her online or through your phone or IM. Maybe I’ll start reporting in too, just to see what is so addicting about it. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
Jay Norris has a candid conversation with Gourmet Chef, Sarma Melngailis, from the New York Restaurant Pure Food and Wine when they first opened.
In this interview, Pure Food and Wine chef and proprietor, Sarma, talks openly about her own path to becoming a raw food chef and about opening the new restaurant in New York City.
Jay: You have been open how long?
Sarma: We opened June 17, 2004
Jay: This is my 3rd month coming to this splendid restaurant. I love it.
Sarma: I can’t wait for the Spring and kind of afraid. All of a sudden the restaurant becomes this animal that is so much harder to manage because we need a lot more staff. It’s hard to seat the garden. It’s hard because it’s drizzling or it’s beautiful all day long and so we take reservations and then it rains.
Jay: I can’t wait to see that. See, I missed it last time, I can’t wait. Matthew explained it to me.
Sarma: The garden is so pretty. We have these beautiful dark cherry red banquette cushions that go on the seats in the back and then we have these bright red cushions that go on the chairs. And so it’s really colorful out there. It’s like a dinning room, it’s not like your usual New York outdoor space where you are sitting on these hardwood chairs. It’s really pretty. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
“I put Gisele plus three down on the guest list; my friends are like, [dismissively] ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’”Photo: Melissa Hom
David Moltz just celebrated his first anniversary as a server at raw-food mecca (and popular anniversary spot!) Pure Food and Wine. He isn’t going anywhere — at least not until his band Salt and Samovar takes off — and why would he? He’s had the opportunity to serve everyone from raw foodists such as Woody Harrelson to fellow omnivores such as Bill Clinton (“I couldn’t believe it when he walked in,” says Moltz. “He rolls with a crazy entourage.”) We asked him to spill the beans Continue Reading / See Additional Photos