What does "crafting the future of food" exactly mean? Is it better health, better communities, being socially responsible?
We are committed to sharing our unique knowledge of food preparation and craft to educate others about the benefits of plant-based cuisine and the optimal health that comes along with nutritious, organic, pure foods. This includes teaching our innovative technique in our academies, and making it more accessible through our restaurants and cafes, product development and private chef placement.
Why raw and vegetarian? What's driving consumer interest?
Having adopted a plant-based lifestyle later in life, I was amazed to experience the ultimate nutrition, health, and well being that comes from eating a plant-based diet. This is a very exciting time in the category as more and more people are seeking plant-based, vegan cuisine. Offering elevated, nutritious and beautiful cuisine is at the crux of everything we do and I'm pleased to bring this to Venice and to other part of the world. We are opening our food academies in incredible destinations including Miami and Thailand - where an active lifestyle and health are top of mind.
What do you forecast in terms of food production and labeling?
Thanks to growing consumer interest the public is becoming more and more aware of labeling laws and concerns associated with highly processed foods. Standing for organic, minimally processed, nutritious, naturally sweetened plant-based cuisine, and supporting local growers and farmers, allows Plant Food and Wine to be part of the solution in offering healthy food alternatives in Los Angeles and our other restaurants and learning centers.
Wellness + travel is a growing industry - where do you see food fitting in?
Food continues to be a huge consideration for tourism, experiencing a destination's cuisine can allow people to connect to a new place in a magical way. Our culinary academies have a huge international draw, students travel from all over the world to attend Matthew Kenney Culinary. In fact, we've graduated students from over 30 countries. We recognize that food tourism is a growing industry, this month we're opened a new Academy in the Evason Resort in Hua Hin, Thailand, targeting those engaging in culinary tourism. We're also in the process of working with several other partners around the world to reach tourists seeking culinary experiences while traveling.
Let's get a little more personal about you and how your got started in this field.
I started to gain an interest in eating healthy cuisine pretty young, which lead to an interest in cooking for myself and ultimately inspired me to enroll in culinary school. After years as a classically trained chef and a poor dining experience in a raw vegan restaurant I got inspired to make plant-based cuisine sexy, approachable, and flavorful so I reinvented my career more than a decade ago.
Who was the major influencer in your life and why?
My parents raised me in a beautiful town in Maine. We were in harmony with nature, the seasons and maintained a garden. My parents ensured that I began working at a young age. This serene upbringing and their work ethic and values certainly inspired me to create this company and continue to guide me.
What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?
A sharp knife, I think it's the most critical part of any kitchen.
What's your favorite destination and why?
Wherever my partner Liz Arch is hosting her next yoga retreat. I love the balance of her daily movement practice, local cuisine and exotic adventure travel. We went to Bali in 2014, Galapagos in 2015 and are doing an African Safari in 2016.
What you never leave home without when you travel?
Fortunately or unfortunately, my iPhone. I love taking pictures and staying connected to work.
About Matthew Kenney Cuisine
Founded in 2009 Matthew Kenney Cuisine is an integrated, California-based lifestyle company, providing consumers with innovative, high-quality products and services in the culinary arts, health and wellness industries. The company is comprised of education, hospitality, media, products and services business sectors, each striving to change the way the world makes its food choices. Aligned with a world rapidly embracing the need for a healthier diet and an increase in plant-based food consumption, Matthew Kenney Cuisine is crafting the future of food®.
Matthew Kenney Cuisine owns and operates multiple plant-based restaurants in the US including: The Gothic (Belfast, ME) MAKE OUT (Culver City, CA) and forthcoming White Lotus (Miami, FL). More information is available online: MatthewKenneyCuisine.com