Cooking is a Work of Love for Chef Salomon MontezinosJun 01, 2021 11:13AM ● By Linda Sechrist
The flavors, presentation and ease with which internationally known Chef Salomon Montezinos prepared meals in his cooking classes enticed some of his clientele to try raw vegan items on his fine dining restaurant menus, as well as to shift their eating habits. The retired chef, who now lives in Naples and shops for his organic produce at Food & Thought, enjoys the getting acquainted conversations that give him the opportunity to reflect upon his more than 50-year career as a chef and some of the fun feedback he has received from fans that experienced his cooking classes and the benefits of raw, alkaline cuisine. Montezinos’ favorite testament to his culinary talents made it into the book he wrote with his late wife Judith Ann Castille, Discovering Raw Alkaline Cuisine Through Love, Passion and Health: One Chef’s Journey: “Referring to Montezinos simply as a chef, even a master chef, is like saying Mozart was just a guy who wrote music.”
“I didn’t intend for the book to indoctrinate anyone into a raw, alkaline diet. It’s more of an answer to a question I regularly heard. ‘Where can I find raw, alkaline recipes for meals that taste good?’ In addition to the book’s delicious recipes, basic information on appliances and tools for meal preparation, ingredients and meal menu suggestions, Montezinos weaves fascinating narratives from the ups and downs of his life’s journey.
The stories begin in Amsterdam, where he was born in 1938, the death of his parents in the Dachau Nazi concentration camp, and how he survived the war and Holocaust. Moving on to life in an orphanage until age 17, he continues through his travels in Europe and life in Florida—not just for the more than the 10 years between Palm Beach, Orlando and Boca Raton opening restaurants and working as an executive chef—but also his life in Naples since 2004. He also offers his longevity insights for a healthy mind, body and soul, as well as explanations regarding why an 80/20 alkaline to acid-based diet is best for health. “Today my diet is 90 percent plant-based. The 10 percent acid-based percentage is seafood,” he says.
Montezinos, now in his 80s, is dedicated to the practice of reversing aging by remaining physically active, swimming, biking occasionally, practicing yoga, walking, meditating for two hours every morning, and cooking, his true passion. “Cooking isn’t just a work of love. It's the one thing in the world that gives me the satisfaction that comes from making other people happy. Cooking also helped me become the happy, confident person that I am today, despite the difficult and tragic events,” he says. Following the teachings of yogi, mystic, and author Sadhguru, as well as those of Dr. Joe Dispenza, lecturer, researcher and author, in addition to classes in transformation such as the Silva Method and Erhard Seminars Training (EST), now known as The Landmark Forum, have also benefited Montezinos' positive mindset.
His enthusiasm for cooking and teaching is as strong as his mind and body; “I have a lot to teach people, particularly what I have learned from applying principles of an Ayurvedic lifestyle and eating alkaline-based foods. I offer cooking classes and meal preparation for in-home dinner parties for a maximum of six people. I love to introduce people to the best food in the world—for their palette, their mind and body—and I can do it gourmet style, as well as clean and simple. It’s their choice."
For more information on cooking classes and in-home dinner parties, call 215-704-9466 or email [email protected].
Try These Great Recipes!
Spring Garden Fennel Asparagus Soup with Caramelized Fennel Shavings
3 cups asparagus
½ cup fennel, diced
1 large ripe avocado
2 celery stalks
¼ cup spinach leaves
1 cup Granny Smith apple, diced with skin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup water
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp Nama Hoyu soy sauce
Seal Salt to taste
Shaved caramelized fennel and pieces of roasted asparagus for garnish
Wash asparagus; remove hard white parts; large dice
Wash and remove white bottoms from celery stalks; cut into large dice.
Wash and cut fennel into large dice.
Core apple, leaving skin on and cut large dice
Wash spinach leaves.
Place asparagus, celery, fennel, apple and spinach into high-speed blender or juicer. Juice all to make a vegetable stock. Put vegetable stock into blender; add all other ingredients. Process until mixture is well-blended. Serve garnished with caramelized fennel shavings and pieces of roasted asparagus.
Wake Me Shake Me Chocolate Coffee Mousse
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
3 Tbsp raw cocoa powder
2 Tbsp dehydrated coffee, ground to the same consistency as the cocoa powder
¼ cup water
¼ cup agave
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
Put all ingredients in blender and puree on high speed until mixture is completely smooth, stopping to scrape the sides as necessary. Serve in a martini glass. Garnish with almond brittle crunch.