Usually, we preframe an interview feature with an interesting anecdote or some captivating tale about the person we had lunch with, and hope it’ll draw you in. But when it comes to Ubud’s resident-expat raw food chef and rapper Jonny Freesh, the only way to get this piece rolling is with this video he shot in Ubud recently. (Seriously, watch it. It’s mint.)
See, everything is better in a [w]rap
Especially when it comes to the raw food movement. I liked the idea of eating clean cuisine, the thing I was apprehensive about is going overboard on the whole concept and being judged for my weak devotion (I’m a dabbler). Jonny flashed a knowing smile and fed us a few lines of his Ubud Superstar parody rap; a good humored poke at the new age spirituality movement in Ubud.
“I eat about 90-95 percent raw in Ubud (a cooked meal every few days) and less if I’m traveling. I ate fish and seafood when I was in Thailand recently, but other than that I haven’t eaten meat in a couple years and don’t intend on making it a regular thing. When I travel I relax my diet and eat non-vegan more often, mainly dairy. ” Sounds like my kinda raw guy.
People get carried away with new age spirituality and psychedelic healers. Some of them are doing more harm than good.
He waited till I finished my delicious raw falafel at Down to Earth café and asked me if I wanted to know what the number one topic of conversation at the raw foodies dinner table was. It seems people become fascinated with a certain function of one’s body after getting on a raw food diet – that they feel compelled to discuss this topic at meal times. Nice… Moving right along…
The ambassador of raw food raps
Jonny, originally from Canada (and only 26 years old), has been living in Ubud for almost 18 months. He came to Asia a year before that. His body felt wrecked from those university drinking sessions where the mixer to alcohol ratio is flipped upside down – and breakfast was a snickers bar. His first stop was the Thailand travel scene. Booze was significantly out of the picture at this stage and he was eating somewhat better, but he wasn’t feeling super healthy. Besides, street food isn’t made with the best oil, or real meat for that matter.
Then he arrived in Ubud for the first time three years ago, when the raw food scene was on the rise. Fast forward to today and Jonny is here, blogging about the raw food scene, teaching raw food cooking classes, creating recipes for his raw cookbook and making waves in the entertainment scene with his infectious raw raps. As we chatted over green juices and my first shot of wheatgrass, a few people greeted him and praised his latest video. (Did you press play? If not, scroll up and watch it now!)
Getting into raw
There are so many super foods around these days, but few that you really feel in your veins significantly, and shortly after consuming. So which ones does Jonny think have an immediate effect? “Maca is one. Moringa is another. Cacao definitely has an immediate affect and some people still consider it a superfood. Others are starting to call it a drug. I think it hovers somewhere in between. What I do know is that it tastes amazing.”
His forte are the desserts, and his favourite star ingredients are durian and raw chocolate (yes, he has a song about the durian. It’s pretty catchy)
That was delicious, what’s for dessert?
“The desserts are the best part,” he winked when I commented that most of the divine recipe photos he shares on Facebook are I-can’t-believe-that’s-raw cakes and deserts. The conversation looped between raw food and music – I got the sense that Jonny’s passion for raw was mutating into his passion for rap. His email signature says it all: Jonny Freesh – Raw Food & Rap Music Entwined so Sublime.
What started as a fun and engaging way to teach raw cuisine (he raps in his classes sometimes, reason enough to book a spot), is now taking shape as a new career in entertainment. He performs at open mic nights around Ubud and co-hosts one, so if you want to catch him, check out his website at JonnyFreesh.com.
And if you’re hungry for more raw raps, check out his mixtape. We’re looking forward to more amazing recipes and tasty music videos from Jonny, and we have a feeling he’s only just getting warmed up.