"Dining and eating is a holistic experience"
Born in New York City, Amanda Chantal Bacon has traveled extensively in the name of food and, particularly, ingredients. After high school, she explored Europe, New Zealand and other foreign locales, and lived for four years in South America, gravitating towards world-class restaurants with the focus on simple ingredients and little embellishment. It was during this time that Bacon amassed a culinary and agricultural knowledge that stirred this love, not only for the preparation of food, but also for keeping ingredients in their purest forms.
Upon returning to the United States, Bacon settled in Vermont to study at the New England Culinary Institute while she also worked in several artisanal bakeries and local dairies. She then relocated to Los Angeles to work alongside Suzanne Goin at her restaurant Lucques, and found a mentor and inspiration in the celebrated chef herself.
Bacon eventually left Lucques to become the editorial assistant and reporter for the Los Angeles Times Magazine. While writing for the publication, she continued building her cooking skills by working at well-known LA restaurant Canele, as well as with Outstanding in the Field, a traveling restaurant with the mission to reconnect diners to the land and origins of their food while honoring the local farmers and artisans who cultivate it. Her belief in food as equal parts art and medicine led her to open Moon Juice in Venice, California, in early 2012.
Here, Bacon shares how she came to love and rely on cold-pressed juice and expounds on her culinary philosophy that wholesome food, and the social rituals that surround its preparation and service, should nourish both the body and the spirit.
Robyn: What inspired you to begin to work in food, and how did you decide to eventually focus your passion on juice?
Amanda: I was always into restaurants. Growing up in New York City, my family ate out a lot and I was always drawn to the social scene around that. I remember loving the whole vibe of it. Dining at all these great restaurants in the city, over time, I realized that I was becoming very particular about food. Then I moved to Italy at 18 and things really kicked off! I got super specific about ingredients and the hunting down of those ingredients. It was a huge inspiration, and I began traveling extensively, totally driven by ingredients. At some point, I realized I was completely obsessed, which turned into working in the kitchen with Suzanne Goin.
I became so food, travel and ingredient obsessed that I needed something to balance and heal, and that was juice. Juice needed some help though. Before the craze, there were no cold pressed options except for Beverly Hills Juice (which I love). I wanted to make 100% organic, cold pressed juice driven by a medicinal stand point, bringing what I picked up in kitchens working with great mentors and bottle it.
Robyn: You’ve said that green juice changed your life; what unhealthy habits has juicing replaced in your daily routine?
Amanda: Coffee. Although there are still certain moments for the ritual of it—I love me a Cortado. I would say coffee and fretting. I am much less of a worrier.
Robyn: What was the most valuable piece of nutritional knowledge you learned working with Suzanne Goin and Alice Waters?
Amanda: What I learned from Alice was that dining and eating is a holistic experience. It’s not just what you put into your body, but the way in which you eat. It’s about honoring the ritual, dining with family and friends; people sitting around the table taking the time to enjoy and be grateful for the meal.
Robyn: What tips would you offer people who wish to try their own cold-pressed juicing, but have little prior experience making and drinking juice?
Amanda: Work a little bit more green vegetables in every day as that’s the goal with juicing.
Robyn: How do you incorporate wellness into your life besides juicing?
Amanda: I try to stay on top of my mind. I’m as conscious with my thoughts as I am the food I put into my body.
Robyn: What does happiness look like to you?
Amanda: Happiness feels like friends and family being close to me with the sun shining and warm water close by.
Robyn: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process,” and how do you do that every day?
Amanda: “Live The Process” to me means keeping my body in an alkaline state. It means staying in a place of gratitude and having adventures in my life no matter how busy or overstretched I feel.