WHAT TO ORDER — heirloom-tomato lasagna with pistachio pesto or the blue-corn tostada with baby zucchini? Tough decision.
Time to consider the deal breaker: Which one will taste better raw?
That’s right, raw. As in uncooked. Or at least not heated above 105 degrees. It’s the principle behind the cuisine at Oklahoma City’s 105degrees Café, which is a part of the 105degrees Academy. Here you can dine, take classes, or enroll in an (un)cooking school to get an education and/or begin a career in raw food, or “living cuisine.”105degrees is the first state-licensed living-cuisine academy in the country — and Oklahoma, despite its steak-and-potatoes rep, has proved to be an ideal locale. “People here are willing to try something new,” says Matthew Kenney, director of culinary arts and operations and twice a James Beard Rising Chef Award nominee. “It’s a city where everything is accessible — and evolving.”
Kenney likes to approach the academy, the café, and the retail shop where prepackaged food is sold with a similar sensibility. “We’re always true to the source of the dish, so it’s easy for people to feel comfortable,” he explains. “The 105degrees Café utilizes a number of menu descriptions, and even presentations common to traditional cuisine, [but] the end result is highly unique. Our ultimate goal with living cuisine is to develop an entirely new lexicon for all living-food dishes. Thus, living food will become a verifiable cuisine with dishes that reflect its individuality.” Not to mention, Kenney hopes, firmly establish 105degrees, both the food and the Oklahoma landmark it evokes, as a culinary presence in mainstream culture. (405) 842-1050, www.105degreesacademy.com
LOOK TO THE STARS How many times did your mother say, “If your best friend jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?” Well, we’re not advocating that, but you must admit the following celebs look pretty darn good, and we’re betting it has a lot to do with their raw-food lifestyle.
DEMI MOORE / WOODY HARRELSON / ALICIA SILVERSTONE / DAVID BOWIE / FAMKE JANSSEN / UMA THURMAN / STELLA McCARTNEY / PAUL McCARTNEY / NATALIE PORTMAN / EVA MENDES / MICHAEL FRANTI / GISELE BÜNDCHEN / OWEN WILSON
“It gives me a renewed energy … the health and wellness benefits are fantastic.” — Donna Karan
105DEGREES: A SNAPSHOT
Offers professional chef certification. Level one’s “The Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine” is offered monthly and highlights core techniques. Level two’s “Advanced Raw Cuisine” is offered seasonally. Students participate in menu planning and budgeting, work alongside a mentor chef, and learn advanced flavor and wine service techniques. Level one: $3,650; Level two: $8,450; or $12,100 for the entire program.
For the Public
The public can take individual Raw Food Daily classes, which are offered every month. Spring courses (which focus on the theme of spring cleaning) include “Raw Foods for Weight Loss,” “Healthy and Indulgent Desserts,” “Gourmet Raw Meals,” and “Elements of Cleansing.” Cost is $40 per two-hour class.
Monthly “Rawkstar Chef” dinners feature local and national celebrity guest chefs. Upcoming chefs include former Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer.
Sunday Suppers feature level-two students preparing dinner for the public in the café.