The raw-foodist reputation isn’t exactly cool. It’s hippie and yuppie, wrapped in lettuce and hugging a yoga mat. And it kind of smells, despite the bath tubs filled with non-processed, no preservative, avocado-mango-goji berry smoothie (at $17 a bottle). But the catering company Crops and Rawbers definitely is cool — less smell and more The Smell.
Crops and Rawbers founders Amanda Brown and Diva Dompe are also the band Pocahaunted, purveyors of a punching psychedelic banshee-pop. No Age and Sonic Youth are among their fans, they played SXSW, and commentors on the Animal Collective message boards discuss their sex appeal. So for an indie/noise band, they’re doing pretty well, which doesn’t hurt the catering company, at least in terms of perception. And for a raw food catering company, perception is everything.
“Diva and I laugh when we read raw food books about angels and spirits because that’s not the vibe we’re trying to bring to it,” Brown says. “We just want to give the vibe of health and feeling good. Whatever that means to you, is so personal. Sure, spiritually, sometimes, I feel really cleansed as a raw foodist, but I would never tell anyone that raw foodism is a path to spirituality.”
For Brown and Dompe, one short and boisterous, the other tall and demure, Crops and Rawbers is more about offering choices, and something new.
“It’s amazing to show people that they don’t need to eat the food that they always eat to get something filling and delicious. You don’t have to,” Brown says. “It’s not about preaching or changing anyone’s lifestyle. It’s like if we were Thai and serving Thai food everywhere, we’re not going to be telling everyone to only eat Thai food. It’s just one type of food.”
And while the “normal” kitchen comes equipped with an oven, microwave and a toaster, Brown and Dompe take up arms with a blender, dehydrator, juicer and food dehydrator. Their recipes are full of flavor and fun, playing on the semantics and sensitivities of the cooked menus that make the world go ’round.
“We’re thinking about what everyone thinks about when they’re cooking food. We’re thinking about portion sizes, our audience — are they able to eat something messy, do they need finger food, is it a sit down? The only thing that’s specifically raw is that we do like to shop at farmers markets and get the freshest stuff available. Unfortunately, in the winter months, strawberry shortcake just isn’t going to happen. But that doesn’t really hinder us, we think it’s amazing, it gives us a direction.”
“Eating seasonally allows people to be in touch with the earth and their own bodies,” Dompe says. She laughs while saying “earth,” obviously aware that it sounds a little hippie-ish.