I developed a passion for plant based food after college. Plant based food was how I found balance. Before that, food had been steeped in fear and the nightmare cycle of constantly counting calories. Once I realized I could find balance, be healthy and enjoy food, things completely changed for the better. I moved to Los Angeles, where I threw myself into everything there was to know about the Raw Food Diet. A light bulb went off. I studied to be a raw-food practitioner while working under Juliano Brotman, a pioneer in the raw food movement and owner of Juliano’s Raw, a restaurant in Santa Monica. I left Juliano’s Raw in 2007 to become the manager for Euphoria Loves Rawvolution, a raw vegan restaurant and retail shop in Santa Monica. Here is where I learned to create cleanses while also developing a partnership with YogaWorks, a popular yoga company, where I was able to teach clients how to balance their workout regimes with healthy diet and cleanse workshops. This led me to create a menu of raw juices, shakes and soups for my clients, while also leading discussions and personal coaching throughout the entire experience.
As much as I was loving the dynamic energy and endless sunshine of Southern California, my true home of New York City was calling me back. In 2010 I moved back to the East Village. I soon discovered there was a void in the market for a well-designed, comfortable raw vegan restaurant with approachable food for people with all eating preferences: strict vegans and those looking for healthy alternatives from time to time. I finally took the ultimate leap and opened my own restaurant, which I playfully named “Gingersnap’s Organic,” after my own curly, red hair. At Gingersnap’s Organic, I maintain my dedication to using high quality, organic, sustainable and environmentally friendly products. It is work I love and which brings me much passion and I’m hopeful that my journey will inspire others to seek out the kind of healthy balance I finally found with food
A peak inside Jamie’s food philosophy: