Raw Cuisine

(Left to right) Student chefs Kyra Moura, Silvia Baldazzi and Dr. Melissa Nelson at the Living Light Culinary Institute in California.

Dr. Melissa Nelson recently returned from a four-week immersive study of raw food cuisine at the Living Light Culinary Institute in Ft. Bragg, Calif. She completed certification as a chef-instructor, training in gourmet raw food cuisine, unbaked pastry arts and as a raw food nutrition educator.

In the chef-training courses, Nelson and her fellow classmates learned how to develop new raw-food recipes, how to combine herbs and spices to create both classic and ethnic flavors, how to balance textures and flavors, sprout grains and seeds, ferment foods and how to create raw alternatives to traditionally cooked comfort food recipes.

In the unbaked pastry arts training, the culinary students learned the principles involved in the use of binders, thickeners, emulsifiers and gelling agents as well as the use of the correct sweeteners and fats for a variety of classic pastry recipes. Their efforts resulted in an exquisite array of raw desserts that taste better than corresponding cooked equivalents, tantalizing the palate while providing a much healthier nutritional alternative.

In the science of raw food nutrition classes, students learned how cooking affects foods. They studied how raw foods can be applied to anti-inflammatory nutrition and weight management as well as blood sugar regulation and pH balance.

Nelson will soon offer classes in raw food cuisine at Nelson Healing Center in Sturgeon Bay. For more information visit