This may sound slightly heretical in the context of all the cooking going on here, but Preston and Theo have seen the light, and the light is raw.
While visiting Preston and Theo for a tour of their two apartments — they have separate homes on the same floor of a Manhattan apartment building — I peeked into their respective kitchens. Like the rest of their decor, it was pretty clean and minimal. The only appliances in Preston's kitchen were a blender and a juicer, and in Theo's, a Nespresso machine!
While they were once enchanted by the pleasure and taste of traditionally cooked food, Preston and Theo have chosen to eschew heat in exchange for raw food. The raw movement espouses the notion that by cooking one's food, you are stripping it of its inherent moisture water, vitamins, and enzymes — essential elements of a healthy diet. Once Preston learned that his friend Donna Karan, whom he considers to be in incredible shape, ate a raw diet he didn't need to hear much more. He was convinced and quickly convinced his partner, Theo. They signed up for the Rawvolution delivery service so they'd always have prepared foods at home to munch on. They scoped out the good raw food restaurants in NYC, and they got ahold of some great raw food cookbooks. They they plugged in the blender.
Dedicated to a 98% raw food diet, Preston and Theo were rather convincing that 'eating raw' was the most satisfying menu they've ever experienced. I asked it they got hungry more often or had to adjust their palates and they insisted that the food was wholly satiating and shockingly delicious!
A great summer experiment for the curious. Turn off your stoves and get blending!
Preston and Theo on Cooking and Raw Food
What's your cooking style?
Preston & Theo: We're both enjoying a new cooking regimen focused on a raw food diet. Absolutely delicious. The flavors are so vivid and fresh!
What inspires your kitchen?
Preston: Green, Natural elements
Theo: 50's and 60's (French) flea-market finds and tchotchkes.
What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
Preston: I love to use both my mixer and blender - the latter especially now that I'm on a raw food diet.
Theo: No question — my Nespresso machine
Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
Preston: When I learned that food maintains more of its nutritional value when served raw, I saw the light and shifted my diet accordingly. So, the whole process of cooking has really changed for me now, since heat is used sparingly.
Theo: Cooking is important, but how you eat is equally vital. I've always valued the wisdom in eating more slowly, chewing each bite to really savor a meal.
Biggest challenge in your kitchen:
Preston & Theo: Size. It is challenging to work in a small kitchen, but as New Yorkers we know we're not alone in trying to deal with cooking in small spaces.
Preston & Theo: Receiving weekly delivery of raw food from RAWVOLUTION to supplement our diet
Dream tool or splurge:
Preston & Theo: We'd love to have a full time raw cook chef.
What are you cooking this week?
Preston: Raw Cucumber Watercress Soup
Theo: Raw Coconut Crunch Macaroons
What cookbook has inspired you the most?
Preston: Raw Food Real World
Theo: The Joy of Cooking (a favorite before starting in on a raw diet); Raw Food Made Easy For 1 or 2 People
What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
Preston: Panamanian Paella
Theo: Mascarpone Penne with Asparagus
• Kitchen Tour Archive: Check out past kitchen tours here.
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(Images: Jill Slater)