by Tambra Stevenson
WASHINGTON, DC (March 18, 2012)—While most people celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with green drinks and friends, a small group dined on raw greens from cabbage to kale prepared by Chef Heru, a trained electrical engineer by day and a raw food chef by night.
In honor of the House of N’Golo’s founder, Amensa Sheps Teker, Nkechi Taifa, Esq. and Dakarai James Kearney opened their northwest home with a special libation and featured a pan-African- inspired raw food menu of African herbal broccoli, spicy kale salad and African pepper cabbage.
Additional special guests included Dr. Baruch Ben Yehudah, owner of Everlasting Life Cafe, Rev. Ivy Hylton, owner of Serenity Healing Arts and author of Journey into Inner Peace, W. Bruce Willis, author of the Adinkra Dictionary, and Yirser Ra Hotep, founder of the YogaSkills Method focused on Kemetic yoga.
The menu creator, Chef Heru, teaches raw food classes for the House of N’Golo to the continue tradition of showing raw foods using traditional African spices to heal the community. In his herbal broccoli recipe he uses spirulina (a sea plant protein) along with moringa, an African spice. The moringa comes as crushed leaves containing all essential amino acids and rich in protein, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and minerals.
For his kale salad, he adds fresh ginger (which is used as an astringent in the Caribbean), lemon to create alkalinity in the body, and garlic to boost immunity. His Amensa savory pie is walnut pate layered with plantains, avocado, caraway seeds, and sundried tomatoes.
Influenced by his mentor and the cultural shift in the city, he began his journey into raw foods: “After the 1970s there was a wave of people reconnecting with their history, and a spiritual and cultural movement to bring traditional African systems to the forefront in bridging the gap between people of African descent in America and on the continent.”
For Chef Heru, food comes from a spiritual source. “We are spiritual beings having human experiences. The body uses the different colors of food for a nutritional and spiritual connection; so when you eat junk food, your body and spirit doesn’t function at an optimal level.”
He goes on to say: “Ancient African systems such as the Yoruba, Akan, and Khemetic share about the direct connection of the divine self, and food is part of the spiritual development of people.”
Ancient systems like Yoruba, Akan, Khemetic talk about the direct connection the divine self and food is one component of the spiritual development of people.
After studying electrical engineering at the University of Delaware, he moved to the District after landing a job with the U.S. Navy and later took graduate studies in engineering and telecommunications at the George Washington University. He later received his training from Dr. Llaila Afrika in naturopathic/wellness and African herbal science from Dr. Kofi Asare of Ghana and iridology of Dr. Paul Goss.
“In the 1980s, I attended the ‘Know Thyself’ lecture series by Anthony Browder, a renowned Egyptologist, who brought speakers into the District as part of the wave,” shard Chef Heru, “Also WR Radio1450 AM (which is now Radio One) had a lot of cultural, spiritual, and political discussions.”
Inviting people on this pan-African raw food adventure, Chef Heru is completing a cookbook with 108 raw food recipes with information on the electromagnetic properties of the food and the spiritual essence of nutrition.
Hosted by O’Natural, Chef Heru will be one of seven raw food chefs preparing culinary dishes of southern, African and Caribbean origin for the Raw Food Feast and Fundraiser at the Ideal Academy located at 101 T Street Northeast Washington, D.C. on May 5th from 1:00 – 6:00pm.
Tambra Stevenson is the student representative for the D.C. Metropolitan Area Dietetic Association is hosting its annual meeting at the George Washington University. Learn more at www.eatrightdc.org. Stay connected with Tambra by following her on Twitter @tambra.