Tomáš Vonášek: “It is hard to be on Raw Foods without eating Bio”
Tomáš is owner and chef of Rawcha restaurant in Prague where his raw food culinary artworks are served. During the last three years he eats mostly fruits. Does it seem impossible to you? You can read about his life in our interview.
Tom, were you already picky as a child or were you “normal” and ate everything?
Well, I guess I wasn’t normal :-). We used to live in a town and I had a grandmother living in the country. I had to eat more less everything there, even meat but it was homemade meat. Most of all, I was influenced by my great-grandma who was living in Hungary, I used to go on holiday there in summer. Every day she made a fresh salad from ingredients she has cultivated in her garden. It was already at that time when I have realized how amazing is to have such a great opportunity to eat that fresh salad with fragrant herbs every day, I loved it.
And when have you changed to a fully raw food diet?
It was because of my bad health. When I was twenty, they have found I had a chronic hepatitis which has forced me to retire. I used to love snowboarding and my friend and me were just opening a professional snowboard school in Krkonoše mountains at that time. So it was not such a good feeling to be “written off” at twenty. I find my doctor was really progressive at that time, she advised me to try a raw food diet. I stared at her just as people are staring at me now when they find out I eat mainly fruits. Even though, I tried it and in combination with another treatment I got well. I think the most difficult for me was to realize that man isn’t born with a stove inside his body and that he can get much more energy from raw food.
How are you doing now?
Today I am the happiest when I take an apple or a pear, I eat them like that and I exclaim bravo! If fruits are in bio quality, then there could be nothing better, so that’s why bravo. Those days when I was putting everything into a blender have already passed. I taste all food I create in our kitchen just because of professional reasons, I don’t eat them. For ethical reasons, you will never see me sitting in over plate in a restaurant. I don’t eat nuts and seeds, I don’t use oils as food, I use them just as a genetic information which I apply on my body. I juice vegetables sometimes because I digest it better like that. But I feel the best just on fruits.
Maybe one day you will be living on prana. What have you eaten today, for example?
Today I had three dried figs, a banana, two apples, a jug of Vitalvibe Complete Power and I managed with this till the evening. I had some tasks in a town and because I had a lot of energy, I went run for an hour. And now I have a fresh drink from apple, pear, carrot, beetroot, curcuma and broccoli sprouts. (Yummy, that’s great! – editor's note). Prana is the essential part of me, but because I spend a lot of energy on sports, I enjoy fruits. I think raw fruits are really made for us and that they provide us the most beautiful energy.
That means sport is still an integral part of your live. Do you observe any changes in your sleep?
I do an hour of exercise after I get up in the morning, I ride a bike to Rawcha, it takes me one hour to get there and back, I am on my feet all day long, I manage our company and I go running sometimes. I regenerate much faster and I sleep less than before, on average about six hours. I see my regeneration is faster even in mountains, I can make more skiing than before.
How your diet change affected your private life and your close relations?
My friends and family accept me as I am. They see how my way helped me. They are even interested in my activities and they attend my workshops. They respect me and I respect them. Naturally, everybody has to find what suits him the best by himself. And I feel the best when eating fruits, now :-).
How the idea of your own restaurant was born?
At first there was a tea room and we were just offering some snacks in addition. But food gradually prevailed. When I changed to raw food, I started to experiment and be more creative with meals. I understood it was a gift I was given of my fate and I wanted to pass it on. However, I had to make clear I really wanted strictly raw food restaurant without any cooking food. All employees are familiarized with my vision how to treat food to keep it harmonious for a human so as it can provide the right energy to him.
So you have never been in any “no-cooking” workshop?
Since my childhood, I enjoy an everyday workshop of no-cooking at school called live. There are many cooks who need to read recipes and go to workshops. For me it is enough to feel the ingredients and then play them a symphony. There is no firm recipe in my kitchen, my live is one big improvisation. Till now we don’t create food according to firm recipes, because if we lacked some ingredient, which in case of bio food could happen quite often, we would not even start. Like so I let it opened and I can work with what is available and nice. I like jamming with cooks in the kitchen, it brings me a lot of inspiration for many new meals.
What else is Rawcha special for?
Since last year we are officially a certified bio restaurant because we use strictly organic farming ingredients. It is hard to be on raw foods without eating bio because you could get sick due to pesticides etc. So now we are probably the only restaurant in Czech Republic which guarantees bio food quality to its customers. We have our regular internal and external suppliers, Vitalvibe is a part of them as well.
And what are you about now?
Now I make my dreams come true :-). We started to organize snowboard camps with a raw food diet, the first one has already taken place. It was great to see the participants preferred our crackers to typical meals in mountain restaurants. And so I am really enjoying it.