Esco Essence is a native of Finland who makes his home in Greece, a raw food artist & a chef of plant-based cuisine, who is committed to empowering people to help themselves and the planet by choosing to eat in the way that nature intended us to. Being Fully Raw takes effort, patience and dedication. Being a raw food artist takes effort too, love for healthy culinary style and a wise thought that food should be exquisite both in flavor and presentation…
Let’s meet Esco Essence and enjoy his interview on Mag…
1. What is your relationship with raw food and when was that you decided to get involved with the art of gastronomy?
I started when I was 13 years young, when I chose cooking lessons in school instead of music, that was followed by chef school when I became 16. it was classical french cooking school, back then I had started question the culture and their habits, I was very interested in how culture & their eating habits affected peoples health. On my first trip to India 1994, I discovered Ayurveda & got interested in natural healing through food & medicinal plants, while practitioner of yoga I found that, how I ate & what I ate affected my practice. I noticed that animal foods where heavy and made my mind into agitated mood, while plant based foods where more harmonizing for my practice and how I felt everyday.
2. Using the term gastronomy, we refer to the art of getting pleasure through exceptional food. Which ones you can describe as exceptional food?
I have learned from my own experience , how different foods make me feel and what taste good in my mouth. I remember those days when I was learning to cook in school…we made everything taste amazingly good, we used butter & sugar, those two together made everything tasty amazing, especially when you cook them together..after discovering how unhealthy is to eat processed sugar & cooked oils. I did my own research and since then I choose ingredients from plant kingdom, I found other healthier & tastier alternatives for animal fat & processed sugar. Now my favorite flavors come from cold-pressed coconut or olive oil & coconut sugar, molasses or dates make my dishes taste many times better & contain many beneficial nutrients and not just empty calories..for me the most important foods, come from the area we live and they are harvested in season, all plant based foods can be mostly eaten raw. Some needs to be fermented or soaked in water to be alive and some can be dehydrated to keep for later in season.
3. Is it in your belief that Hellenic people can get used to a stabilized diet that is mostly based in raw food?
I believe we all can eat plant based, even Greeks…the culture has deep rooted customs and every one has their own eating habits, now if you would put a person for 1 month plant based eating, during this time they would go through some discomfort in the beginning, because our body has to clean up first all excess deposits of toxins stored in the body, our body is like stored memory of everything we eat, feel and think. Now, usually when hunger informs our mind that it’s time to eat, then memories of tasty experiences come up & we decide to eat our desired food..these memory lanes stay fresh for about 3 weeks, if I would like to make conscious choice & transform my self form hard core meat eater into peaceful vegan, it would take about 3 weeks till you begin to acquire these new flavors & become customed into plant-based eating. Off course, one would need a good reason to begin the journey of transformation, it could be ethical, health related or personal choice.
4. What is the one thing that you mostly like as a Chef?
When I prepare food for others enjoyment and see how they appreciate their experience! then I know I have succeeded in my work.
5. Is it for real that you need not at all electricity in your kitchen or gas to prepare your art plates? What is the reason?
It’s true, you can prepare all plant-based meals with out cooking them on fire , in Raw food cuisine we prepare food in various ways, like de-hydrating to maintain with in the food all the nutrients, minerals, vitamins, enzyme, phytonutrients, antioxidants…etc. These are the medicinal properties in our food, plant foods that are heated above 41 degrees of Celsius, will be deficient in nutrients, because the heat destroys the living organic elements and Enzymes. Raw foods that are not heated above 41 degrees of Celsius, maintain all these nutrients within our foods, so it’s very important to eat everyday all kinds of fresh seasonal plant foods!
6. How is that you combine art along with the choices and preparation of each dish that you create? How is it served?
Food we eat has various qualities, like in any form of art, when artist is creating master piece. There is this flow of creative energy going through from the mind of the artist into the object being created. So, in culinary arts has same base vibration for creating these delicious looking, smelling and tasting plates of artistic expressions. Then when one eats this beautiful food, it becomes part of his/her being and our body re-generates from these new expressions. Art of making delicious & beautiful food has this uniqueness to enhance all of our senses & have beneficial effect on our over all health. For me personally, this is revolutionary art. Because culinary art is the true art of transforming our lives everyday!
7. Do you fancy music while cooking?
Yes, I do like listening music while preparing food, more even I like to sing. Because it is very important to be in good mood when preparing food & listening music or singing will calm the agitated mind, if I am not feeling well or I have something else in my mind, then this creative energy will not flow freely to create true art and the qualities of the food will not have the same benefits for the one who will eat the food. It’s like when our mother was preparing food for us, when we were very young, she always made the food with Love and with good intention to nurture us, take care of us…from the heart comes the loving kindness that gives food those healing qualities!
8. What is your main concern in this time of your life and how would you describe the future of raw food?
This season I am very interested in how we can eat to transform our lives with plant-based medicinal foods, I see many people today living their lives and not understanding the consequences of their food choices, there is more & more people who keep buying fast foods loaded with all kinds of unnatural ingredients, we can’t even spell. The list is long and we could write many books on the topic, but the truth is that everyone has to make their own choices, to choose foods that are good, wholesome, healthy for us and the environment, the nature we live in. it’s this relationship with Nature that keeps us alive, all our food use to come form Nature, today sadly more & more foods are industrially produced, chemically treated, genetically manipulated and then packed in to colorful packets to be sold to us as food. These unnatural food items, cause many of the illnesses we face today. I am doing effort to share with everyone who wants to change their lives and take responsibly for their own lives and heal their relationship with Nature we all share to regenerate our lives and create better future for next generation.
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