Claudia Gaviria-Abt's education in cooking goes hand in hand with the seasons. Growing up between Colombia and Ecuador, she ate fruits, vegetables, and nuts harvested fresh from the countries' mountainsides and shorelines. Her appreciation for each season's bounty deepened as she learned to cook under her grandmother, a woman who lived the Hippocratic ideal of using food as medicine. Claudia remembers her grandmother's refrigerator and pantry as pharmacies, stocked with homemade medicines such as cold remedies made from potato skins.
Today, Claudia continues harnessing the healing power of raw-vegan foods through Cruda Cafe, preparing a menu that spans smoothies, wraps, and entrees such as a flax-crust pizza and a burger made of wild mushrooms and nuts. Dishes even come packaged in biodegradable containers from GreenShift. She also teaches people how to make wheat- and gluten-free raw-vegan dishes—defined as food heated to a maximum of 44 degrees Celsius to keep natural enzymes intact—in her Raw Un-Cooking classes, which emphasize local, organic, and seasonal ingredients. This gusto for the raw-vegan lifestyle has gotten Claudia plenty of local press, catching the attention of media such as blogTO and Raw Candy.
To meet the needs of local herbivores, Claudia's services extend to food delivery, raw catering for events such as birthdays and shuttle takeoffs, and coaching for people interested in opening a raw-vegan business. She also posts book recommendations and tips for juice cleanses.