Cooking at out first tasting.

Cooking at out first tasting.

The goal we both have is to create great tasting food that just happens to be plant based.

I’ve been cooking in restaurants since a teenager. It has been a passion exploring and sharing different cuisines - I’ve been burned by a fryer as well as a Tandoori oven. I’ve chopped so many onions for sauces that the tearing up has become a cleansing spiritual experience. With a special affection for the endless possibilities of the sauté pan, I did a stint at a street fair pasta bar for the fun of it. I have managed restaurants for others as well owned Aromas Pizza for 12 years where our signature was our scratch baked breads. We had a good vegetarian selection on our menu. I disappeared to the Caribbean for winter where there are amazing Rastafarian/plant based meals to be found if you skip the resorts and go with the locals.

My dietary interests became more acute when becoming a parent - first with natural and organic food and a diet that was primarily vegetable and grain based that evolved into pescatarian and later vegetarian. My vegetarian diet slowly became more and more plant based. I saw it as a new and exciting avenue to get creative with recipe creations! Africa, Asian and India cooking influences my dishes. I see an exciting opportunity to create a menu that not only has some fun options in pho burgers and plant-based chicken options, but also taps into some world flavors from peoples who have been doing this for millennia.

Rick at home in his kitchen.

Rick at home in his kitchen.

Meeting Matt for this opportunity was great timing and an inspiration to make that leap to a fully plant based diet. I brought some food along with me to our first meeting to show my excitement and passion. I brought some Berbere sauce, Soy/Mushroom chorizo, and potato Saagwala. I also enjoy the dynamics of our teamwork in creating the menu. Matt’s medical background brings a scientific and methodical approach while I work more on impulse and creative inspiration. The goal we both have is to create great tasting food that just happens to be plant based.

Life choices can be fluid and evolving, and diet is a unique personal choice. My journey to a plant based diet started with becoming more knowledgeable of what I was consuming. What were the benefits or detriments and where was it coming from? I wanted to feel good about what I was eating. The first educating experience I had was my growing awareness of the industrialization of farming, fishing and processing of foods, which only began in a blink of an eye 100 or so years ago. My inner sense was that for health, environment, animal welfare, supporting local farming and economy, I could make better choices. That started a journey that continues to this day. It’s my hope that we create a restaurant that is fun, creatively delicious and inviting, no matter where you are at on your own dietary journey.