The Foodish Boy Goes Vegan

Our contributor continues his year of food jobs and finds a sense of tranquility at a vegan eatery in Los Angeles

The Foodish Boy takes on the job of a cook in a vegan restaurant.

Working on the line, assembling the main dishes presented a few challenges. Firstly, it was the weekend and so service was at its busiest. Secondly, I had limited time to learn the menu and what to plate up. Finally, like many kitchens in the States, the staff spoke Spanish and so at times communication was difficult. Maybe it was the lack of heat (a great deal of the dishes are raw), but this was one of the most relaxed and happy kitchens I have worked in.

Intrigued by the tranquil kitchen, I asked head chef Dreux whether their "Sacred Commerce" philosophy had anything to do with it. Dreux then divulged their connection to the Landmark Education course, something that he felt contributed to the pleasant kitchen atmosphere, although cynics have referred to it as a sinister cult. Dreux then invited me to experience part of this by participating in a practice called "clearing." Surely an opportunity I couldn’t pass up?

I nervously sat opposite one of the waitresses to take part in my first "clearing." She asked me questions such as "with who or what do you feel incomplete?" and then repeated my answers back. The next step is to acknowledge how your responses make you feel before answering one last question designed to affirm being in the present, such as "what is perfect about you?" Admittedly, talking about my most personal feelings to a complete stranger was somewhat terrifying. Nonetheless, once complete, I felt exhilarated.

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The full impact of "Sacred Commerce" and its presence in the business was hard to see during my limited time at the restaurant. Organic, raw, vegan food and a therapy session — all in all it had been a very "LA" experience and one I am grateful for.