Ben Richards is an experienced Raw Chef that makes some of the best Raw Food I’ve ever eaten. And that says a lot, considering some of the incredible Raw Chefs I’ve been around and restaurants I’ve visited. I interviewed him a while back, but wanted to follow up with him because he and his partner, Sayuri, just opened a Raw Food Cafe and Tonic Bar in Ubud, Bali. It’s one of the best Raw Food Restaurants I’ve ever been to. In this interview Ben shares his experience opening it.
Since our last interview you’ve followed through on your plan to open a Raw Food Cafe and Tonic Bar in Ubud. First off, Congratulations. The restaurant is awesome. I’m very excited to hear about your experience opening it. Last interview we started with the easy stuff, this time, I’ma flip it on you 😉
What was the biggest challenge you faced in opening your Cafe?
I’m gonna have to be honest here mate & say we really had it flowing smoothly. Been doing this for a while now so it was all in the planning. Actually, the business plan was the biggest challenge. There’s never an easy way around them, & for a good reason.
Were there particular issues unique to Indonesia that you experienced?
The Balinese are really easy to work with. They can see straight through you so if you’re genuine it makes things easy. I love to communicate & the challenges that arise are part of the game, I’m a playa just like you mate.
Lolol. What recipe was the most difficult to teach the staff?
Tiramisu, they nailed the production straight off, tho the thing is that when we buy our fresh coconut meat for it, it can sometimes be left out for too long so it is hard to say how long it will last for. They’ve got it now tho, haha..
Their Raw Tiramisu is to Live for!
What recipe was the most difficult for you to get menu ready?
The sprouted buckwheat waffles with caramel ice-cream & maca sauce. The process is huge. From washing & sprouting the buckwheat to dehydrating it to blitzing it into a powder, making it, setting in a waffle iron cold then dehydrating & packing it…
What aspects of opening the restaurant were most rewarding?
When people come out of their way to thank us for the integrity & effort we put into what we are doing, it’s the little things that count & if people can recognize those things than it says 2 things to me :
- There is a big demand for clean healthy food that has integrity.
- What we are doing is working. It’s not about the money for us (that’s helps to keep us going of course) tho it is more about bringing it back to basics & serving full power healthy foods that are fun, vibrant clear & feel good after eating them.
Like their Raw Sushi. Sayuri is Japanese, and is somewhat of an expert 😉
What’s your favorite dish on the menu?
Raw Lasagna, it’s an awakening…
How did you get into Taoist Tonics?
I have been an herbalist for years & studied Shamanism for 13 so I was half way there. Then when I first started out 100% raw my digestive system went funny from drinking 3 liters of superfood green smoothie every single day. I found Astragalus powder & put a tablespoon in my mouth & that night had my first solid bowel movement in 6 months. I put it down to the astragalus & researched it. Turns out it is a spleen tonic, builds wei qi energy (protective armour), qi energy & binds up the telomeres on the ends of the DNA, a super powered longevity herb right there, then it all began 6 years ago…
Will you please explain the benefits of pairing these tonics with a high raw diet?
Simply, all the white root herbs are generally spleen tonics. Often we end up with a damp spleen, not just raw food munchers. This tonifying of the spleen creates digestive fire which then burns the fuel for us. We get more out of our food/fuel.
Since opening the restaurant has your diet changed? How?
What big plans do you have for the restaurant, particularly the workshop space, in the upcoming year?
World domination… raw food restaurants next to every Mcdonald’s…
Who’s your favorite hip hop artist to play in the restaurant? Wink Wink 😉
Well we have many of the biggest & best names coming thru all the time, tho there’s this 1 guy Jonny Freesh, maybe you’ve heard of him. He’s doin it..
Haha. Thanks for another great interview Ben.
You can find out more about Ben, his Restaurant and Chef Training Company, Seeds of Life at the links below :
If you’re ever in Ubud make sure you don’t miss out on trying some of their world class Raw Food.