Adam’s adventures with The Live Food Experience continue in Ireland. With the class in Wicklow completed, it was time to visit Dublin and see the sites. Donal acted as my knowledgeable tour guide. The Sunday schedule had us visiting a farmer’s market in Dun Laoghaire and then heading to a potluck with the Irish Raw Food Meetup group in Dublin. There were a few brief rain showers that had us ducking for cover at the market, but the rain/sun combo made for some great rainbow opportunities. At the market I was pleasantly surprised to see an entire booth dedicated to rawfoods. Donal commented that he knew the business owner, Natasha Czopor of Natasha’s Living Foods and that he could inquire about meeting with her. I was like “hells yes I want to meet her” and he set to arranging things.
I have to say I failed miserably as navigator while in Dublin. To my defense the street signage is practically non existant and when it is there it’s placed in random and obscure places on placards the size of a postcard. It took a while to find the meetup, but eventually we did. Keep in mind we were cruising the narrow neighborhood streets of Dublin in Donal’s camper van… u-turns are not an option. At the meetup I took a moment to snap a picture of another rawfooders fridge. It’s funny what I find fascinating these days. The hosts of the meetup were a married couple originally from South Africa; Caroline and Norman Rasmussen. Caroline had just returned from a long stay at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Arizona. We chatted a bit about life in that magical raw community. There were around 12 people at the meetup and I think that only 5 of them were originally from Ireland… quite an eclectic bunch. I had to excuse myself when an 80/10/10 discussion broke out. 80/10/10 needs to be added to the list of things not to be discussed at parties and potlucks along with religion, politics and urine therapy.
On Monday Donal and I were at it again, this time visiting Dublin and a few health savvy business owners. Highlights in Dublin were “the really big flag pole with no flag“, the James Joyce statue and Saint Stephens Green. Little did I know when we visited Natasha at Natasha’s Living Foods, that I would end up spending my last 5 days in Ireland hanging with her. Natasha radiates raw inspiration and I have yet to discover her source of endless energy. Could it be the energy bars? During our brief visit she gave us a tour of her production kitchen and gave us her background which sounded more like an adventure novel than a rawfooder’s bio. Natasha had done some living, and she had plenty more adventures in her as well. After our visit to the rawfoods fun factory, we visited Cornucopia, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant that has been open since 1986. Owner and operator Deirdre McCafferty met us for an afternoon munch and told us about her magical restaurant and the plans for expansion into the neighboring building. Do they have rawfoods on the menu at Cornucopia? They do have a variety of amazing salads to choose from that are above and beyond iceberg lettuce and canned corn. Deirdre said they were focused on the expansion at the moment and definitely considering raw editions to their evolving menu. I raised my hand and volunteered to come back to Dublin and help design some raw dishes when ever they were ready. It just doesn’t seem fair that Dublin and the area surrounding it would have a variety of vegetarian and vegan choices peppered across the landscape while I’m here in Jacksonville, Florida with no vegetarian options to speak of other than The Present Moment Cafe, which is an hour away in St. Augustine.
The next day Donal and I explored another veggie option just up the road from Cornucopia, known as Cafe Fresh. We arrived just before the lunch rush and got to see owner Mary Farell strap on her chefs gear and work the grill in preparation for the lunch crowd. Rumor has it Cafe Fresh has a raw lasagna on the menu on occasion… the rumors are true, but we missed out on the lasagna by a day. No worries, I was able to enjoy an uber salad with 3 choices from their raw salad selection, while Donal got the Super Uber salad with 5 choices. I’m not sure where he put it, but Donal polished off his mountain of salad with ease. Mary was able to take a moment to chat with us about her restaurant, rawfoods and future plans before jumping back behind the counter to meet the lunch crowd. Other restaurants and health shops of note around Dublin are The Happy Pear in Greystones and of course Healthy Habits Cafe in Wicklow. Join me as my Ireland adventure continues with Natasha of Natasha’s Living Foods.