Originally from Northern Italy, at 25 years old, Joanas Riccardi moved to New York to study English where he began managing his friend's bar on the Lower East Side part-time. Five years later, he decided to go back to school and study Culinary Art at Plant Lab under Matthew Kenney’s direction and mentorship. In 2018, Joanas shifted his focus towards curating private plant-based dinners for brands such as Matchaful while also serving as a culinary advisor for Kioko bar and recipe developer for Sun Potion.
Made In Lower East Side: Chef Joanas Riccardi on powering up with plants
Currently working as Culinary Director at Matchaful, Joanas Riccardi has a deep appreciation for the intricacies of plants. Balancing their colors, flavors and textures with minimal processing, he artistically plates his dishes to create edible works of art that are as rich in nutrition as they are in aesthetic.
We spoke to Joanas about how he energizes through the power of plants and he shared the easy and nutritious recipes he developed exclusively for The Nue Co. using ENERGY FOOD + PREBIOTIC.
How do you balance flavor with nutritional benefits in your recipes?
I think I trained my taste buds to enjoy clean flavors. I’ve never been a big fan of fried, creamy or intense flavors. Ever since I was a child, I loved the flavor of beets, carrots and cabbage. I was never a big fan of chicken and beef. I think what you eat as a child can influence your taste buds in adulthood. I always try to adapt my recipes to Italian and Mediterranean flavors while keeping them simple, gentle and clean on the palate.
B12 is often highlighted as an important supplement for those with plant-based diets, how do you incorporate B12 into your cooking?
I usually incorporate ENERGY FOOD + PREBIOTIC which is a great B12 supplement in the morning with a smoothie, my yogurt or my overnight oats. I love to add B12 to my elixirs during the day as well. The Nue Co.'s supplements make it easy for me to incorporate B12 into my diet.
Top tips for preparing food to fuel at home?
- Use organic and local ingredients
- Eat according to the seasons
- Keep it simple and minimally processed
- Use foods that are rich in water
- Use foods that are nutrient-dense
- Pick the right source of plant-protein (I love the PROBIOTIC PLANT PROTEIN)
- Use supplements and adaptogens
- Try to prepare at least your quinoa, milk and yogurt at home
- Listen to your body
THE RECIPE: WINTER HOT CHOCOLATE
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- 1 tsp ENERGY FOOD + PREBIOTIC
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- pinch cayenne powder or pinch cardamon
- 1 tbs maple syrup or any other sweetener
- Add all the ingredients in a milk pot or saucepan.
- Warm the ingredients gently at a low temperature.
- Keep stirring until well combined.
- Enjoy it warm.