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Molly Neuman — The Collapse Board Interview

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One of the first things that your business Simple Social Kitchen did was a fundraising dinner?

Yes!

What did it feel like to work an event like that?

It was wonderful. It was a collaboration with a dear friend of mine, and he was familiar with this non-profit organization based out of Arizona called the Tia Foundation. They help bring fundamental medical services to women in rural Mexico where there are no doctors and hospitals. A lot of it is just these fundamental kits for personal health and hygiene and all those sorts of things, and making sure they have access to some of the most basic health and medical resources. It was his suggestion that we do this benefit and it was really great. We did a five-course menu that was Mexican-themed but we did it vegan. I think a lot of people think – well at least here in the States – that Mexican cuisine is chicken tacos or beef burritos so we wanted to showcase a bit of sophistication and a different dimension to Mexican cuisine. It was a huge event so it was challenging and really rewarding. It was wonderful.

What other things does Simple Social Kitchen do? I know there’s cooking classes.

We’ve done a couple of weddings, which was cool and different small catering events. I’ve been trying to do as many small classes as I can – instruction with different types of cuisine and different types of menus. The other thing that I’m working on individually, I’ve been working with an organization called Cook for Your Health which is about teaching healthy cooking techniques and recipes to female cancer survivors. One of the projects has been with Latino women specifically, which is a community that is underserved and under-communicated with, with this kind of information. It’s been really rewarding, really mind-blowing to meet these women, to try new things with them and try to work with recipes comfortable for their tradition. For example maybe trying brown rice instead of white rice, or different kinds of greens and vegetables or cooking with fish — things that are doable. That’s been really rewarding.

I read something about working at girl rock camps as well?

That’s something I have been thinking about and want to try to figure out a way to present. Maybe start with a local New York one and then see if it can grow. It’s not happening this summer though. I need, like I was saying before, a little bit more time to get my personal house in order.

Do you have a personal food philosophy?

What I think is important, going back to what we were talking about before, is that there is not necessarily a formula for one specific person or kind of food philosophy. Variety, colour, real food is my guiding principle — just trying to eat foods that are in their natural state as much as possible, not meaning raw but just meaning that you can recognise them [laughs]. And not that I don’t like to have a fantastic, experimental meal once in a while but in the day-to-day, the connection for me and my health is about eating things that are real – that’s what my founding dietary principles are. It’s something that’s very much informed by one of my core teachers, a woman named Doctor Annemarie Colbin who is the founder of the Natural Gourmet Institute and has written a number of books about food and healing. When you break it down, it’s not actually that complicated [laughs]. There’s a lot of theory beind these things. When you look at it, it’s thinking about things in their simple terms.

I know Simple Social Kitchen keeps you busy but is there anything else you’re working on at the moment?

That’s pretty much it for my creative pursuits at the moment now.

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You can find Molly’s Simple Social Kitchen here.

Recipes for Molly’s yummy food:

Honey Sweetened Granola With Walnuts, Pepitas, Suflower Seeds And Dried Cranberries
Curried Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Stew with Garbanzo Beans
Paella Americana
Concord Grape Agave Ice Sorbet

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