We sit down and have a talk with Chef Babette, the woman behind vegan restaurant ‘Stuff I Eat’ in Inglewood, California
Chef Babette is a world-class healthy chef, fitness expert and motivational speaker. She runs a successful restaurant, Stuff I Eat, in downtown Inglewood, California and has built a loyal fan base through her social media profiles.
Not only that, but she has appeared on television in an episode of HBO’s hit series Insecure, she is an advocate for Animal Rights, and this year she was Golden Globe winner Viola Davis’ #WCW [woman crush Wednesday] because of her work with charity Mercy for Animals.
She has been described as ‘a force of nature who seems to be able to do it all’ since transforming her life over 20 years ago in her 40s. Now in her 60s, this energetic and inspiring woman continues to advocate for veganism.
She says: “I actually started my vegan journey in 1990 when I met my current husband, and he prepared my first vegan meal for me and it was amazing. It intrigued me, and I knew I had to learn to prepare meals this way.
“I learned to cook great vegan food first by playing with products to create dishes that I was used to eating and enjoyed so much in this new way. I just kept at it. I threw away a lot, but was persistent. I loved recipe books that offered pictures and I began gaining a lot of vegan product knowledge which assisted me in creating really great vegan meals.”
Chef Babette’s life journey has been filled with challenges and opportunities. As a child she was diagnosed with severe asthma and suffered with many digestive related disorders. As an adult, the Los Angeles native made the conscious decision to eat for the sake of nutrition and now her passion lies in inspiring and exposing individuals who may not otherwise be acquainted with healthier lifestyles due to environmental and economic barriers or the simple lack of knowledge.
Speaking about food Babette says: “We as humans have a connection with the food that we eat and with that understanding only the best deserves to enter our body temples. My newfound philosophy and relationship with food led to an astonishing transformation in the way I looked and felt. Initially my change was all about ‘me’ but every time I heard of someone suffering from diabetes, overweight or obesity related problems, I felt compelled to share my new found knowledge. My husband taught me to slow cook with love and eventually the kitchen became my second home.”
Becoming what she describes as ‘a self taught chemist in the kitchen’, perfecting healthy food that tastes ‘out of this world’ allowed her to eat and enjoy the meals she loved without the guilt or associated ailments.
Initially becoming a Sunday food vendor at the City of Angels Church and Agape Spiritual Center, Chef Babette opened her own restaurant Stuff I Eat in 2008, and believes it brings much needed healthy soul food to a community that lacked it.
She says: “Stuff I Eat has allowed me to share healthy food with many and that is the most- high Blessing. As I become healthy I realize that ‘my’ journey is greater than, ‘me’. I am a part of a Universal whole that is in desperate need of healing. Our nation is sick and in order for our nation to heal we must all embark on a journey of health. Today I am embarking on yet another journey of health. As I transition from vegan to Raw Foodist, I realize that life can only be sustained with life, thus the food we eat must be alive. Our journeys are constant, our transitions are infinite our health is merely a vehicle to enjoy all that’s in between.”
So what is her signature style as a chef?
“I’m not a trained chef,” she says. “I’m pretty much just a person that decided that I felt better eating food without a lot of dyes, preservative, chemicals and animal products. So my style is keeping it simple but clean.
“My signature dish would be my raw desserts. So I would say my raw desserts would have more of my signature than anything else I prepare. That’s why my very first book is a raw dessert book.” Chef Babette is currently working on her book Cash In On Cashews, which will be the first book in her Crave Series, which focuses on the versatility of the amazing cashew nut.
Chef B, who can be seen out with her German Shepard Kobe (named famously after Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant, loves crafting flower arrangements and of course tending to her garden in her spare time. It’s all part of living an active lifestyle – in both gentle and more pro-active ways. She is a strong believer that fueling her body with the nutrients to allow her to continue the active lifestyle and body she proudly displays at the age of 66. It is her passion to help other embrace health and start today no matter how old you are – her motto is: “Life is not complete unless you move. Our journeys are constant and our transitions are infinite, our health is merely a vehicle to enjoy all that’s in between.”
In terms of her future plans for and outside of food, she says: “I want to package my delicious kale chips, write more cook books, and market my pate. I also intend to be more vocal – it’s so important to me, the idea of being a voice and sharing as much as I can to help make positive changes on the planet.”