Plant food? Does it really work? The famous chef explains

Matthew Kenney – American chef, herbal lifestyle guru, restaurateur and author
Image Credit: Provided

Switching to a plant-based lifestyle may seem more intimidating than it looks, but in reality, sometimes you can’t even tell the difference, 57-year-old American celebrity chef Matthew Kenney told Food. by Gulf News.

You may have heard of cuisines from different cultures, countries and traditions. However, have you ever heard of MKC? It’s short for Matthew Kenney Cuisine. Known for his ecological approach, the American chef, guru of the vegetal lifestyle, restaurateur and author, saves the planet one dish at a time.

We met the Plant-Based Food Brain, who recounted his journey from the beginning until now – the opening of four new restaurants in Terra – the sustainability pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Where it all started

As the herbal market continues to grow and Google searches for “veganism” and “herbal” experience a significant increase over the past five years, MKC leading the way for groundbreaking developments in the field of food science and agro-technology (the use of technology and innovation to improve the efficiency and yield of agricultural processes).

After earning a political science degree, Kenney always thought he would pursue a career in law. It wasn’t until later that he decided to become a chef after his love of food and cooking came after seeing how restaurants work in New York City, USA.

Kenney then graduated from the French Culinary Institute (now known as the International Culinary Center), and adorned his chef’s hat in the heart of New York City when he was only 23: “I was there. ‘one of the main chefs behind New York’s favorites of downtown nightlife like the Township and the Canteen. Then a friend introduced me to the joys of raw and vegan foods, and I was hooked. It reflected my new eating habits and I realized that a lot of education was still needed regarding the many benefits found from vegans and vegetarians. I am committed to making the monastic (limited meat) diet acceptable to Manhattan’s hottest diners with dishes that are as beautiful as they are tasty, fresh and healthy.

“I then moved to Los Angeles, where I cooked for health-conscious celebrities, and eventually opened my plant-focused restaurant in Venice (US). “

A standard and not an exception

While that was just the start, Kenney has been on a green lane for 12 years now, learning something new every year. “It’s only been a year, a year and a half, that I have seen the indicators that validate a tipping point. A few years ago I was just working. Now we have professional sports teams looking to provide plant-based meals for their teams. Professional athletes want to eat this way for better performance and longevity.

“A lot of the big trendsetters in different industries want to get into that perspective from an investment perspective. Some of the world’s largest spa and hotel chains – even major multi-billion dollar food conglomerates known for their processed and non-plant foods – are now reaching out to companies like mine to tell them they want to explore alternatives. herbal. . It’s more than a trend, it’s a lifestyle that’s taking a whole new direction.

However, making the transition can be quite difficult, especially if you are doing it to follow a trend rather than a conscious decision. Kenney thinks there’s a tipping point coming relatively soon, where this type of feeding will become the norm rather than the exception: “I see positive indicators everywhere I turn. You reset your palate; reset your body’s expectations of what it needs.

“Personally, I don’t do a lot of cleaning myself. If I feel like I’m getting sick or exhausted, I will. However, for me to focus only on mostly raw, unprocessed plant-based foods for a week or a month every now and then, there is a huge benefit to that. It just recharges you.

Matthew Kenney at Expo 2020 Dubai


Check out Matthew Kenney’s herbal restaurants at Expo 2020 Dubai!
Image Credit: Provided

The presence of the chef is a must when you visit Terra – the pavilion of sustainability. Located on three floors, four restaurants – MAKE, Veg’d, MUDRA and XYST – are now open to visitors.

“Located on the ground floor of the pavilion, there will be Veg’d, a quick and relaxed concept serving burgers and fries, with brightly colored interiors and a relaxed vibe. Meanwhile, XYST, on Terra’s first floor, will be a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern place, with traditional plant-based dishes and several gluten-free options. Finally, Mudra will be a rooftop venue featuring DJs, sushi, and a drink menu. It will also offer great views of the Expo site, ”Kenney said.

Mudra is a 360 degree experience in a socially shareable space. The concept offers a unique culinary experience combining art, design and healthy, seasonal cuisine with an open kitchen as one of the main attractions of the restaurant.

“As the UAE is a cultural melting pot, it has become home to some really exciting vegan concepts, and we are confident Expo 2020 Dubai will continue this trend. We use innovative techniques and creative thinking to produce minimally processed, delicious, vibrant and nutritious plant-based cuisine. Our philosophy is reflected in the theme of Expo 2020: Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, ”Kenney added.

Reservations to experience the chef’s best dishes are made through the Eat app or through the Expo 2020 Dubai website. All four restaurants will operate from noon to midnight during the six-month event.

You can also try these recipes of Roasted Pumpkin in Almond Oil and Makrut Lime Leaf, Kale Polenta and Butternut Squash Carpaccio by Matthew Kenney or tell us about your favorite plant-based recipes at [email protected]

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