Raw deal delivers healthy appetites
BEAUTIFUL colours, shapes and textures run from the walls and land on the plates as an inventive duo combines their artistic passions.
Gerald Short and Susanna Stavenhagen-Short united her love of art with their love of raw foods by creating It's Rawsome Cafe and The Dancing Cashew Gallery.
The walls of the Rosemount business are filled with German-born Susanna's paintings and the plates are served with creative, colourful and local raw ingredients.
"As far as I can think back in my life, I always had a passion for art and food," Susanna said.
"In my life, they complement each other.
"I wanted to do something where food and art go very much together."
As a professional artist in San Francisco, Susanna knew all to well how tricky it was to start a new professional base abroad.
So when the opportunity arose to combine art with food at a cafe, the couple jumped at the chance.
"I am an artist so everything that I do, I put that part inside of that," Susanna said.
Gerald admired his wife's ability to create artworks out of everything she touched, even the gardening.
"She layers and colours her food to the extreme," Gerald said about Susanna's food-art.
As important as making food specialities and showcasing her art collection are, Gerald and Susanna thrive on opening up Sunshine Coast palates and perceptions.
The couple has spent most of their lives adhering to a vegan-inspired diet, encouraging people to discover raw possibilities and fight illnesses using food.
After curing herself of thyroid problems and helping friends conquer cancers by changing to healthy diets, the two are true believers in something Hippocrates once said: "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food".
"I have cured myself from all kinds of ailments and I have always done it with food," Susanna said.
"We have tried out everything (with diets) in our lives."
Gerald and Susanna were well aware of the challenge of influencing the views of the everyday meat-eaters but they have at least conquered the first hurdle: making raw fruit and vegetable dishes look great.
In the end, however, the individual will make up their own mind about vegan food.
"We hear so many stories about people and food, how they have come to enjoy this (raw) food," Susanna said.
"Everybody has their own path and they have to do what is right for them."
TIPS FOR EATING RAW FOOD
Fresh greens are a must-have
Buy fresh and crisp produce
Look for organic goods
Try making fresh dressings - they're basic
Drink lots of water
Don't be afraid to try something different
Talk to your local grocer
Substitute canned and packaged goods for fresh
Check ingredients on products
Educate yourself - lots of information is out there.
IT'S RAWSOME CAFE
522 Petrie Creek Rd
Phone: 5641 1800
The cafe is 100% vegan.
The mousse-style cakes are all dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free. The cafe has an a la carte lunch menu and country-themed fixed evening menus for Friday and Saturday nights by reservation only.