Based out of Los Angeles, Chef Be*Live Light (aka Brian James Lucas) is one of the world’s leading pioneers of gourmet RAW food cuisine. He lives up to his RAWK Star reputation and was voted 2010 Gourmet RAW Food Chef internationally, and placed second this year. RAW food cuisine utilizes unprocessed and organic ingredients as seeds, nuts, vegetables, and meat. RAW food can be cooked in heat no more than 118 degrees Fahrenheit in order to keep the nutrients live for consumption. Chef Be*Live utilizes only vegan and organic cuisine in his RAW food creations. He has the brilliant flair and skill to develop delicious flavor profiles, and visually appealing plates. His innovate culinary gift offers an enjoyable RAW eating experience just as satisfying as a cooked meal–only loaded with nutrients!
I had the opportunity to participate and watch Chef Be*Live in action in this live kitchen demonstration. He features his Not Chicken Salad recipe that contains raw soaked cashews layered with fresh and organic ingredients, and spices. This small plate looks and tastes delicious, and successfully integrates various textures, colors, flavors and was surprisingly filling! I sat with him afterwards to learn more about his culinary journey and purpose. His passion for RAW cuisine came to him over time, and through various stages in his life. All his experiences led him to RAW.
Chef Be*Live is inherently a health conscious eater. He was largely inspired by both his mother and grandmother who supported him growing up vegetarian in a meat eating household. After a few near death experiences as a youth, Chef Be*Live went through a temporary rebellious phase, affecting his performance in school as well as his eating habits, and began eating meat (though always sticking to organic). Ironically, he had an allergic reaction to eating raw foods all of his childhood, and at the age of 20 learned he was allergic to pesticides, GMO or other chemically treated foods after sampling organic watermelon.
When Chef Be*Live was with his children’s’ mother Whitney, he joined her and became vegan. Whitney was an influential person in his life and later introduced him to RAW cuisine in the 1990s, at the pivoting point when gourmet RAW food began to gain media attention and flourish. “RAW food existed years before… the gourmet RAW movement took it to another level in the 1990s,” Chef Be*Live explains.
He recalls his first experience at RAW Living Foods in San Francisco, which was one of the first completely RAW restaurants. He was hesitant to try it at first, but was so amazed at how it delicious it tasted, and how it was just as good as a cooked meal. Chef Be*Live felt invigorated after eating—he couldn’t get enough of it.
Chef Be*Live soon discovered how eating RAW could produce positive results for the mind, body, and soul. He met a woman who survived stage four cancer, and changed to a RAW food lifestyle, living without a trace of the disease in her system. Chef Be*Live’s mother passed from cancer when he was 18, and this woman’s living testimony deeply resonated with him. These profound experiences impacted him so strongly that when RAW Living Foods went up for sale, he took the opportunity and went from being a taxi cab driver to the owner and Executive Chef of his own gourmet organic (wild and biodynamic) and vegan, restaurant called Organica, in San Francisco. He continued leading one of the first gourmet RAW restaurants in the world and had the natural talent to design his own amazing recipes.
Over a year later, Chef Be*Live sold Organica. He transitioned into a career in the music industry as he loved music and music events. Music events, videos, and film opportunities brought him to Los Angeles. During this time, Chef Be*Live strayed away from his RAW lifestyle. It took a good friend and a traumatic experience of losing everything to bring Chef Be*Live back to his path of creating gourmet RAW food again. The simple act of making a RAW dinner meal for a good friend reminded of his true purpose. In 2005 Chef Be*Live journeyed back to RAW food creations part-time, and by 2007 he was 100% focused on RAWKing out.
Chef Be*Live with co-authors Douglas and Cinthia van Duyne published GOING GOING GONE RAW featuring over 50 recipes and is designed for those seeking optimum health and making a lifestyle change. It goes beyond recipes and offers an introduction to RAW food and a strategy and meal plans, where to shop, reducing non-RAW food cravings, and more. The book is designed for someone just wanting to incorporate a little RAW foods or for someone wanting to do it for a period of time. They will soon publish Chef Be*Live’s 1st solo book soon called Taste Test Raw with simple recipes for those seeking to taste test RAW cuisine.
“It’s time to take what I’ve learned and share it with the world in a RAWKin’ way!” says Chef Be*Live. I’m inspired to add more RAW cuisine into my lifestyle! For more info on Chef Be*Live Light, log on to www.ChefBeLive.com.
Try Chef Be*Live’s scrumptious and RAWsome Not Chicken Salad recipe that he shares with HauteNosh and featured in the kitchen demo! You won’t miss the chicken!
- 1 cup truly raw soaked cashews (soaked in a bowl of water for four hours)
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp ground celery seed
- tsp ground mustard powder
- ½ tsp Sea, Celtic or Himalayan salt
- ½ tsp apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp dried minced onion
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp dried dill
- Second Set
- ¼ tsp dried dill
- ½ cup chopped scallions (green onion)
- cup chopped ripe tomatoes or sliced cherry
- 1 cup chopped celery
- ½ tsp ground celery seed
- 2 Tbs agave
- ¼ tsp ground mustard powder
- ¼ tsp Sea, Celtic or Himalayan salt
- First, blend all ingredients in a food processor, pulsing times. The mixture should be chunky, not pate-like.
- Next, add the second set of ingredients to the first mixture in food processor and pulse 5 more times.
- Then mix with a spoon or spatula and pulse 10 more times.
- Set aside.
- Add both mixtures together in a large bowl and stir till thoroughly mixed.
- Serve on pieces of Romaine lettuce, removing the thick bottom bitter portion of the leaf first. Alternatively, add to a salad or serve on zucchini bread.