Restaurant in the Raw Puts Oklahoma on the Map
By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A new restaurant in Oklahoma City is changing the way people think about food while bringing world-wide attention to the state.
105Degrees serves nothing but raw food dishes and was designed for a healthier lifestyle. The restaurant also combines the country's first ever state licensed raw food culinary school, which has already brought in food enthusiasts from around the world.
"Raw food is a more gourmet style of cuisine, fully prepared from a vegan diet prepared from fruits, vegetables nuts and seeds," Kenney said.
The unique food prepared in the restaurant and the culinary school is helping to put Oklahoma on the map.
"Yesterday I had a call from Saudi Arabia interested in attending the Academy. Last week some one from Australia. It is meant to be a destination business," said Matthew Kenney, 105Degrees head chef.
Kenney is a world renowned chef and is responsible for bringing his unique style of raw food to Oklahoma.
"People have a extreme image of what its going to be and they see the food and how beautiful rich and decadent and flavorful," Kenney said.
Dara Prentice, a native Oklahoman and lawyer by trade, is the owner and founder of 105Degrees.
Prentice said she has seen the statistics and knows Oklahomans suffers from high obesity rates. She said that's a reason she's confident a raw food restaurant in a meat and potatoes state will work.
"While we have ranked at the bottom in terms of health, I sense a strong desire to turn that around from city leaders as well as grass roots," Prentice said.
Prentice said her restaurant is also helping to boost Oklahoma's economy. Much of the food used at the restaurant is bought from local farmers.
Gina Harney is from Georgia and attending the Academy's first ever school. She, like many other students, is getting not just her first taste of raw foods she's also getting her first taste of Oklahoma.
"I love it here and I'm very excited to be here and hopefully everyone else will be too," Harney said.
As for the restaurant's name, 105Degrees, Kenney said it is scientifically proven that heating foods to 105 degrees helps to preserve the enzymes in the food.
More on News9: 105Degrees' Heirloom Tomato Lasagna