While I am a hard-core raw foodist who believes in a menu plan free of animal product, I had to interview friend and chef extraordinaire, Frank Giglio. Frank offers a lifestyle based on both perspectives, that being of a raw food lifestyle and that involving the traditional culinary arts of cooking. Over the years I have morphed in and out of veganism having come to the conclusion that veganism is a cultural response and reaction to the abuse animals experience due to factory farming and a corrupt food industry. In the 10 years I have been a raw foodist it has been primarily vegan with occasional bouts of noshing on grass fed raw organic cheese, an occasional gulp of grass fed raw organic colostrum, and dinner with a bowl of sauerkraut tossed in grass fed raw organic cream! I have even "treated" myself to the occasional cooked dishes of my Italian favs such as eggplant parmesan, broccoli and spinach breads, along with organic gourmet vegan dishes at Candle 79, home to the stars in NYC.
While each of those experiences was more delicious than the next, each one continued to crystalize the belief system that a life full of raw, organic, animal free cuisine, is still the best way of living. Having said that, I am a firm believer in Bee products and even animal medicine IF these products are created in harmony, meaning, the bees are loved, revered, and fed their own honey keeping their immune system strong. Any products coming from a 5000 year old tradition of herbalism & medicine such as Deer Antler, and made completely CRUELTY FREE leaving the animal alive, offering only its medicine is a potent and powerful healer for the human body.
Having expressed the aforementioned, I believe in dogma free living. I believe in the uniqueness of individuality in that we all have our own journey. I appreciate belief systems that challenge my own and in the spirit of revolutionary living... I am here to bend ALL of the rules. As we know, there are no rules, only choices... so without further adieu, I introduce you to Frank Giglio, a man who dares to create foods that bring a fusion of raw-super-food nutrition with a traditional culinary edge!
Holistic Chef & Culinary Artist
1. [Gabrielle Brick]: "You are known as a culinary artist and and Holistic Chef and lucky me, as I have had the distinct pleasure of dinning on your delicious raw creations... mmm! Having said that, I have taken notice that you have chosen to create in the scope of raw foods & traditional cooking methods. Tell us more about your choice to incorporate both of these philosophies."
[Frank Giglio]: "I see raw foods/raw lifestyle as a vessel for change. Most people I know, including myself, whom have journeyed into raw foods, have had their entire life change and at rapid pace. Major weight loss, energy gain, raising of the conscious mind and body, these are all just few examples of the benefits around raw foods. As of late what I have noticed with many raw/vegan friends, is that after a few years, the vitality is lost. I see people gaining weight on raw or becoming mineral deficient. I see many people as well as myself becoming overly focused on the food and missing out on the importance of life.
After nearly 4 years of raw/veganism, I felt it was time to re-incorporate animal products and some cooked food back into my diet. Here in New England we have some of the best food in the country. I talk with super passionate diary farmers, loving biodynamic produce farmers, and so on and so forth. For me the importance of eating the best food in your neighborhood, overrides importing foods from across the country because of a belief system.
What I also noticed is that raw foods and especially veganism is not for everybody. Some have tried it and others want nothing to do with it. People are hungry to learn how to cook food in a clean and pure way. Knowing this and not using my skills as a chef to better the lives of others feels like a dis-service to me and potential clients. I would rather show a client how to make a simple salmon dish over a bed of steamed greens than to have them freak out and go eat Burger King. For me, it is really about the balance. Over the last year, I have been focusing on taking the very best information and pack it into a new style of cuisine. I have trained under some of the very best. Master French chefs, Olympic Pastry chefs, and award winners from around the globe taught me the traditional technique and culinary art. People like David Wolfe, Gabriel Cousens, and Daniel Vitalis taught me raw food nutrition, seeking pure water, and superfood. The modern day work of Donna Gates and Sally Fallon have also been a major influence on me."
2. [Gabrielle Brick]: "How did you become known as one of the top chef's in your game?"
[Frank Giglio]: "That is quite a bold statement Gabrielle, I have a long ways to go. But I do feel I have a lot of useful and important information to share. I've had the privilege of working in many different kitchens, with many different products, and have had some of the very best teachers. Being open to learn and always experimenting keeps me fresh, and keeps the food I prepare new and exciting. I have put in a lot of work to get where I am today. I would say I am a well versed chef. I am blessed!"
3. [Gabrielle Brick]: "Do you offer classes?"
[Frank Giglio]: "Yes I do! I find I am totally in my element when working with people in a kitchen/classroom setting. I offer weekend workshops, food prep demos, as well as in home one-on-one training. During the classes, especially the full day workshops and 1-on-1, I am able to focus on a topic and give greater detail towards the focused subject. I have been fortunate to travel throughout the US as well as Internationally teaching on culinary arts and I look forward to being hosted all around the globe!"
4. [Gabrielle Brick]: "You have a recipe book out! Yumm!!! There is rumor that you have just launched a line of spice mixes... Can you tell us about them and anything else we would LOVE to get our mouth around?"
[Frank Giglio]: "Over the last 6 months, I have been formulating a line of spices and have finally gotten them out for sale. Frank's Finest LLC is the carrier of these organic herb and spice blends with a focus on adding a medicinal element to some of the classic spice blends like Chai, Curry, and Creole. In the Chai, I added Damiana an Passionflower. The Smokey Southern Spice gets tomato powder for a richer flavor but also to get in a dose of lycopene. All the blends are very versatile and help add zest and flavor to your current cuisine. I recently made hemp truffles and coated them in Curry Powder in addition to making some amazing macaroons and chocolate-peanut butter snaps!!! ...That is, if you like chocolate."
5. [Gabrielle Brick]: "What inspires you?"
[Frank Giglio]: "Great question Gabrielle...
Knowing that I can make a difference in other people's lives keeps me wanting to push harder and keep educating myself.
My wife, Camille Rose, is certainly my greatest inspiration. She keeps me on my toes and always encourages to kick it up a notch! I am inspired by the people out there whom are always trying to do a bit more than just getting by. There are so many talents and great people out there, real solid people inspiring others to be their very best. As much as I take inspiration from others, I wouldn't be anywhere if I didn't have the internal drive to succeed. When I put my mind to it, I can accomplish anything!"
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