The concept of Phillly Greens evolved out of participation in burn and burn-like festivals, where everyone is a participant and everyone has something to give. There are no spectators. When I considered what I might have to give, I thought back to what has always been meaningful and fulfilling for me, and I came to food. The point of food is to feel both nourished and refreshed, both healthy and satisfied. This is a new way of thinking about eating, but it has timeless, old world appeal.
The thoughts that led to Phillly Greens have been evolving over time. Further inspiration came from serving salads at garden potluck work parties. In 2012, a bunch of my friends formed an ad hoc organization dedicated to helping neighborhoods transform vacant trash lots into beautiful community gardens. Because many who showed up to work were dedicated to healthy living, and because we were doing heavy labor, the salads had to be filling enough to keep us going. Think the heartiness of a cheesesteak without the bloat factor.
I worked with the Kensington Community Food Co-op and discovered many sources of high-quality local food. I built my recipes around these ingredients. I was diagnosed with diabetes and was determined to beat it through diet and natural sources, so I came up with a high-nutrition diet that was still enjoyable to eat. I explored the mind-body-spirit connection and realized that the foundation of enlightenment is good food. Thoughts about sustainability rounded out the dream that gave rise to Phillly Greens, which further informs the Burning Man inspired mission and work culture.
Phillly Greens was born out of making the meals that I want to eat, full of flavor, nutrients and substance.