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Meeting & lunch with Cherie Soria

May 25, 2011

Two days in a row last week, I got to hang with the Queen of Living Light herself, Cherie Soria!

The day started with a Blueberry Hill smoothie for breakfast…

…and a pile of greens with black olive hummus and a bit of sundried tomato dip for lunch.

That afternoon, Cherie and her husband Dan Ladermann came to visit our Nutrition class.

Cherie is more warm, welcoming, and kind than you can imagine.

She signed my copy of her book, The Raw Food Revolution Diet

…and I finally had the chance to thank her, in person, for the amazing opportunity that brought me here.

Cherie also invited us to come watch a demo in the culinary studio the next afternoon. Of course I took her up on the offer! But first, I breakfasted on this awesome chia porridge I’d prepped the night before, along with raw nuts and fresh blueberries. (I shared the recipe on Facebook!)

After watching the demo, Cherie personally invited me to eat lunch at a table with her, Dan, and Martine (one of the instructors). Once again, of course I said yes! They had a huge all-you-can-eat salad bar set up, and I helped myself to a big plate of romaine leaves, mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, carrot, red pepper, avocado wedges, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, and raw tomato-basil dressing.

The funniest moment of lunch was when Cherie turned to me and said “Now wait, I thought someone told me you don’t eat salads?” Haha! I’m not gonna call myself a bona fide salad lover all of the sudden, but it’s true that since my first day here, my hatred for munching on leafy greens has miraculously retreated. I don’t know what’s gotten into me! I congratulated Cherie for cracking my code, whatever it is!

Cherie and Dan also commented that I’d received FAR more votes in the Hot Raw Chef contest than ANY contestant EVER had beforeβ€”by a landslide! I was wowed, humbled, and touched. To everyone that voted for me back in February, again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

I grabbed a slice of lemon poppyseed cake from the CafΓ© on my way back to the Inn. It was a sweet ending to a lovely afternoon!

Have you ever met a famous chef or food personality? I feel very lucky to count Matthew Kenney, Russell James, Ani Phyo, and now Cherie Soria among my culinary acquaintances!

41 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2011 7:01 pm

    Wow girl, so impressive re the landslide but doesn’t surprise me one iota! Mine would be Russell and Matthew as you already know and also my mentor Kristen Suzanne – LOVE that girl. Went to visit her in and her family in Phoenix on a weekend break from culinary school. You must be loving it there, how long are you there for and what courses are you doing?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      June 19, 2011 10:38 am

      I was there for close to 3 weeks, doing their full 5-class nutrition series! 103 hours of awesomeness.

  2. May 25, 2011 7:28 pm

    oh i am so happy for you! well deserved!

  3. May 25, 2011 7:38 pm

    Awesome! I agree well deserved!

  4. May 25, 2011 8:00 pm

    Oh, good for you! Cherie and Dan are such lovely, gracious people. I’ve met them, yes, and have also cheffed for David Wolfe amongst others. But the past three years or so, I’ve been completely out of the loop. It’s nice to participate vicariously through folks like yourself!

  5. May 25, 2011 8:14 pm

    Lol. They are slowly converting you into a lettuce muncher! Bwahaha!!

    But… yeah. That cake… I assume it’s a vegan lemon poppyseed cake with a little bit of raspberry on there? ‘Cause it looks pretty amazing. Makes me wanna get all crazy and bake a cake. Ha.

    Anywho. I’ve never met anybody famous, chef or otherwise… but eh, I think I just need to get out more. πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 25, 2011 8:25 pm

      RAW vegan lemon poppyseed cake, in fact πŸ˜‰ Pretty amazing, indeed.
      It’s a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake… (do you know that YouTube video, or am I just weird?! :P)

      • May 25, 2011 8:40 pm

        I thought it might be raw since you bought it at the cafe, that’s amazing!!!

        Yeah, I’ve seen that video. Lol. Glorious youtube!

  6. May 25, 2011 8:24 pm

    Amber, I just love your blog and that you write about all of your wonderful things that are happening to you. I love the way you present everything, pictures and words ~ thanks for taking the time to share all of this with those of us who live over the other side of the world! I am so happy for you, it all looks super!!! Hugs and love to you from us in Hong Kong xx

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      June 19, 2011 10:39 am

      Priscilla, you are too damn sweet! πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  7. May 25, 2011 8:42 pm

    Your experiences just keep getting better….I am soooooo jealous…but in a good way!! LOL

  8. May 25, 2011 8:48 pm

    wow that salad does look amazing I am jealous of all the chefs you have met!

  9. May 25, 2011 9:20 pm

    Oh I so miss that place. I bought that cake on my last day for the ride home, I agree it is the perfect ending to a good day. I’m glad you got to spend time with Cherie, what a treat!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      June 19, 2011 10:40 am

      Glad you made it back to Philly safe and sound, Pat!

  10. May 25, 2011 9:50 pm

    So jealous! I would love to go to Living Light sometime soon! That raw vegan poppyseed cake looks AMAZING!!!!! You’ve definitely been to some great places, love how raw food is bringing so many people together πŸ˜€ Last month I worked with Russell in the kitchen for his classes at Organic Avenue in NY. It was so much fun and he really turned me on to raw cheese which I hated before, but his recipe was INCREDIBLE! Can’t wait to continue on to working with more amazing chefs….love reading about your adventures and your great recipes!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      June 19, 2011 10:41 am

      Very cool that you worked with Russell at OA, Lina! Isn’t he the best? You know what, I hated raw cheese before Russell too! πŸ˜›

  11. May 25, 2011 10:23 pm

    Very cool! You rawk! πŸ™‚

  12. May 25, 2011 10:39 pm

    raw lemon poppyseed? awesome! I’d love that. I get this intense lemon cravings sometimes.

    what a special meeting with cherie. the raw food movement owes a lot to her! I don’t think she gets enough credit.

    thanks for sharing your experiences, as always.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 26, 2011 11:33 am

      This LP cake was ALMOST as good as the one we made at 105 πŸ˜‰

      Cherie really is the Mother of Gourmet raw food. She’s been doing it for so long; I have endless respect for her.

  13. May 26, 2011 6:08 am

    Oh my lord, is that really raw, the poppyseed cake? It looks so (I was going to say “real”, but that’s not right :P) baked! So proud of you for making the most of your opportunity, honey – though you’re the only queen of raw food in my heart πŸ˜‰

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      June 19, 2011 10:43 am

      It was more coconutty than the one we made at 105, but I enjoyed it nonetheless πŸ™‚

      Thank you thank you, sweetness!

  14. May 26, 2011 6:56 am


    yes I remember when I met Matthew and Ani at 105!! So cool to meet these amazing chefs

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      June 19, 2011 10:42 am

      I met those two at 105 too! πŸ˜€

  15. May 26, 2011 7:50 am

    That cake is raw? It looks baked! How did they do that? Lemon poppyseed is one of my most favorite flavors.

    You are racking up the famous chef meet-ups. Nice work!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 26, 2011 11:36 am

      The cake’s texture was pretty amazing! They utilized a lot of finely shredded coconut, so it probably could’ve been called a coconut-lemon poppyseed cake. The one we made at 105 was coconut-less, which I preferred by a hair, but both were great. πŸ™‚

  16. May 26, 2011 9:10 am

    How fun! You have been so busy lately. I cannot believe you chomped down that whole salad like a champ. That lemon poppyseed cake is the single tastiest looking raw dessert I have ever seen, that is seriously one of my favorite flavor combinations.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 26, 2011 11:37 am

      Wow, now that’s saying something, Ms. Wedding Cake Baker! πŸ˜› If you’re up for a challenge sometime, the one we made at 105 was labor-intensive but even MORE amazing than this one, believe it or not!

  17. May 26, 2011 9:33 am

    I love Cherie’s recipe book and I would love to meet her! You have been meeting all of the influential people in the raw food world. So amazing! I bet you’re learning SO much. Have fun with it and definitely can’t wait to see your book out. πŸ˜‰

    Maybe I could work at your restaurant????

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      June 19, 2011 10:43 am

      If I ever open one, I’ll give you a ring! πŸ˜›

  18. May 26, 2011 10:29 am

    That cake looks so good! And I really have been loving salads lately! I’m like you, though. Sometimes I wont want anything to do with salad for so long then all the sudden I’m craving crunchy, green veggie goodness!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      June 19, 2011 10:44 am

      Glad I’m not alone in that! πŸ˜‰

  19. Marty permalink
    May 26, 2011 11:21 am

    OMG, that lemon poppy seed cake looks like it’s to die for!

  20. May 27, 2011 2:07 am

    .. and you look like a doll! πŸ™‚

  21. May 27, 2011 2:23 am

    Dear Amber, that cakes looks so uncommonly good! Top shelf food porn.

    Oh yes, I’ve had the pleasure of assisting Russel James a couple of times back in Blighty. Nice chap.

  22. May 27, 2011 3:51 pm

    Those dishes look so yummy! Looks like you are having a blast!!

  23. May 27, 2011 3:54 pm

    Wow! I really am so happy for you! The food looks great and the company fabulous! Keep smiling πŸ™‚

  24. May 27, 2011 6:56 pm

    I had much to say, but got distracted with that lemon poppy seed cake!!! Holy bajesus – that looks ahhhhmazing!!

  25. May 27, 2011 8:38 pm

    Now look at you, eating all of these leafy green goodies! How times change, eh? Still that cake looks unbelievable… I wouldn’t blame you for choosing a slice of that over any salad out there!

  26. May 28, 2011 3:15 pm

    Oh that cake!!! I NEED IT!

    I’ve met Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Terry Hope Romero, Toni Fiore, Phil McCluskey & Dhrumil Purohit, and seriously, to me it’s like meeting movie stars!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      June 19, 2011 10:45 am

      I know, right? Doctors and chefs are my “celebrities” πŸ˜›

  27. May 30, 2011 7:58 am

    that lemon poppy seed cake takes the cake (though, i have yet to try it…i just know it does). πŸ˜‰
    i am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments!! i’ve been following your posts, but sadly haven’t been able to respond like i want (changing that today and playing catchup). πŸ˜‰
    you keep at it…you are going to go far and take the raw food world by storm!!
    oh, and i am so impressed that she would remember that fact about you and salads!! that is awesome! also, i am glad you are emerging from the “salad shell’. πŸ˜‰

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