Kicking and screaming I fell into the Paleo/Primal path of eating. Everyone who knows me knew that “Cuisine” not just food, was very important to me. I am a “Foodie” and will always be one. I would ALMOST rather stay fat and sick than to eat food that was not splendid. Almost was the key word. I had no choice but to change everything I understood about food. I had to learn about food as fuel and not just as something to satisfy my appetite for sublime flavor. For someone who grew up in the restaurant business and spent the majority of my adult life in pursuit of gourmet dining experiences learning how to give up the rice and noodle dishes of my Chinese heritage, the wonderful artisanal breads that my husband had perfected in baking or the delicate French pastries found at the local patisserie was absolute torture. But I also understood that indeed my much loved foods would actually do me in because I was overweight, diabetic and also mildly gluten intolerant.
Another thing that people who know me understand is that I am extremely persistent and stubborn. I looked at this dilemma between tasty food and food that was healthy and decided that I would find a solution. I tackled the easy things first such as meats, vegetables by tweaking my favorite recipes to make them Paleo/Primal. After a few months my husband and I were enjoying our usual standard of dining equivalent to and sometimes better than the non-paleo meals. However there was still a hunger for the things that were off limits; the cakes, cookies, breads, etc. I yearned to have a lazy Sunday brunch with crispy waffles, fluffy pancakes or luscious muffins. Oh I scoured the internet for Paleo websites looking for recipes for treats and breads. The word disappointing would be an understatement. They were edible; just edible. To some people this pickiness about taste may seem a bit much. But I like to think that I simply have a refined palate due to my exposure to really good food. Whatever the case, my stubbornness and persistence would not let me give up on finding a way to have my cake and eat too.
During the next year and a half I found myself in my kitchen every spare moment creating, tweaking, creating and tweaking again and again to find that perfect combination of ingredients and spices to develop recipes for my beloved treats. There were plenty of failures. Trying to make non-grain and non-processed sugar ingredients behave and taste like grain and processed sugar ingredients is really, really hard. However there were also successes and boy were they successes. One success led to another success as I learned more and more about the properties of each ingredient such as almond meal flour, flax seed flour, coconut flour and coconut palm sugar. For example I learned that I had to balance the slight but distinguishable aroma of the coconut flour with certain spices and extracts in order for it to not overpower the end product. There are so many characteristics of a food that determines whether or not it is really “good”. There is visual appeal and smell; there is the texture and finally but most importantly there is the taste. However all these characteristics have to harmoniously come together to be truly considered “cuisine” and not just food.
Life is too short to drink bad wine and life is certainly too short to eat mediocre food. Yes I had to learn how to fuel my body properly so that I can thrive and be healthy. But my soul had to thrive also and it is just as important for my soul to be happy. There had to others like me out there; people who cared tremendously about their health and committed to that lifestyle but also is not willing to compromise on enjoying great food. And from that thought our business was born.