Celebrity Demi Moore swears by it, and supermodel Carol Alt did it to save her health and career. What’s this amazing new food trend and forthcoming multimedia diet? It’s the raw food diet and it’s making its way to this weekend’s TheFitExpo (and mainstream) with the help of raw chef Bryan Au.
Bryan Au is author of two raw recipe cookbooks and best-selling Eco Chef App, Raw in 10 Minutes. The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards named Au’s latest sensation Raw Star Recipes, 2012s number one Vegetarian/Vegan cookbook. The modest and warmhearted celebrity eco-chef talks to Helium Magazine about what inspired him to write his rawest number, what it takes to self-publish a book, and what he hopes to bring to TheFitExpo this year.
Helium Magazine: Can you tell us what the raw food diet is?
Bryan Au: The RAW STAR Diet or raw food diet is about adding more fresh, healthy, whole, non-gmo organic green foods, fruits and vegetables with some nuts and seeds into your diet everyday so that you can get the maximum amount of health benefits and nutrition. Normally, certain super foods that are very healthy and excellent for our health are not really being eaten or found in everyday situations, so my RAW STAR Diet makes kale, flax seeds, coconut oil and many other very healthy super foods and ingredients fast and fun to eat in the new raw recipes that I invented.
HM: What inspired you to write Raw Star Recipes?
BA: I created my own raw organic delivery and catering business in 2005. All of my clients and their children loved my recipes so much. At first they were requesting it and then they were demanding it! What was happening was that people were actually stealing my recipes and using them in various recipes (even a restaurant in New York!). They used the same ingredients and they didn’t credit them. It [Raw In 10 Minutes] became such a bestseller that people gave me money to open up my restaurant in San Francisco based on my recipes! Then I went back to LA because I wanted to expand my career. I had so many photos and amazing recipes that I really wanted to take it national and go all the way. I wanted people to know how popular the diet is and how many people actually use it. I named it Raw Star because stars have the brightest and strongest energy in the universe, and people can look and feel like the stars in Hollywood. I wanted to dispel the myth that there are a lot of people out there that call them raw chefs with just raw food—but they aren’t really chefs.
HM: What is your focus for this book and what do you hope people get out of it?
BA: I have over 20 years of being a chef, traveling all around the world, working with top chefs in restaurants, and I wanted to create recipes that were truly optimal in balance. There are certain recipes that I call “random raw,” where they happen to be raw but they are not that good for you – they are high in sugar and fat, and use a lot of cashews – they make a lot of mistakes…in my recipes, I worked with a doctor and a health expert. I did all the research that I could to make sure that all of my recipes were the most optimal, most healthy, that nothing was damaging, and that they are not high in fat or sugar. The best part is that I made sure that there were 2-minute, 5-minute, and 10-minute recipes. I made it quick and easy–that’s why my recipes are so popular–and again, it looks and tastes like everyone’s favorite recipes. I wanted to show people that you can still have the same satisfaction level. My recipes have that same exact level of satisfaction and are even better for you and the planet.
HM: What is your advice for an aspiring cookbook author who wants to self-publish a cookbook?
BA: Make sure that recipes are really excellent, make sure that your recipes have easy-to-get ingredients and that they are easy to make. Have a really great novel full of full-cover photos. Have a good table of contents. Have a lot of views and experience with what you are doing and you want to be an expert in your field.
HM: What are you looking forward to at the Fitness Expo?
BA: I’m a people-person and I love meeting people. The whole thing is just so dreamy for me, and I am just looking forward to sharing my recipes, giving out free samples, signing my book, talking to people, and helping them get healthy. It’s a lot of fun for me—that’s the number one reason why I do it.
HM: Is there anything else that you would like to add about the Expo, advice regarding raw food, or your new book?
BA: My recipes are brand new—never seen before—and that’s why my recipes are so quick and easy and amazing, because no one else has seen them because I invented them. You don’t have to be a chef—my recipes are so easy that even children can make them. I designed it to be really simple, and it came out to look amazing! This one is my favorite expos—people are already aware, they are already on the health path, it’s really easy for me to reach out to them, and they really do love my recipes—it’s really fun for everybody!
You can see and meet Bryan Au at TheFitExpo, July 14-15, 2012 at the McEnery Convention Center
Bryan plans to talk on the benefits of raw food, especially in relation to fitness and weight lifting. He will teach and give out free samples of his 5-Minute No-Bake Raw Chocolate Cake. Afterwards, Bryan will be autographing the cover of his Raw Star Recipes.
Interview by Amanda Holst
Pictures courtesy of Bryan Au.