I Am Resolved

Posted on: 17th Dec 2013

Even if you haven’t visited Cafe Gratitude (yet), you can probably figure out the NorCal transplant’s culinary M.O. with a quick glance at the menu. The names for the organic vegan menu items — such as Present and I Am Inspired — are an attempt to connect the food you’re ordering to your mood. In keeping with this approach, executive chef Dreux Ellis created a new seasonal bowl, named I Am Resolved, to welcome the new year that’s right around the corner.

It’s a Southern-style brown rice bowl with simmered black-eyed peas, spiced garnet yams, citrus collard greens and a maple drizzle. Ellis wanted to introduce a Southern dish to the menu. “I was inspired by the idea of New Year’s and traditional foods that people eat in different countries to bring good luck for a new year,” says Ellis. “I lived for many years in Italy and they usually have lentils for the new year. It’s grapes in Latin America. In the South, it’s black-eyed peas.”

“I’m a traditionalist. I like to go back to the regional context of a dish. With the traditional recipes of black-eyed peas, ham hock or some kind of ham was a main component,” says Ellis. “To replace that, I used sun-dried tomatoes for meatiness and capers for the saltiness of the ham. Then I used smoked salt, because I don’t like using liquid smoke. When I browned these, it really gave a nice smoky and salty flavor.”

The chef shared his recipe for the bowl, which will be be available starting the end of this month, from Dec. 31 through Wednesday, Jan. 31 at both restaurant locations in Larchmont and Venice. The dish is complimentary with the purchase of the ‘I Am Cleansed’ meal program, which comes in 1-day, 3-day, or 5-day packages.

Read more about the I Am Resolved on LA WEEKLY!