Sometimes it seems like bad luck is your middle name. But then we find we do get what we deserve – and in the most unexpected ways.
At least that’s what happened to Ella Nemcova, chef and founder of The Regal Vegan, a dinner delivery service in Park Slope that offers meatless and healthy alternatives to takeout.
Nemcova was slogging her way through the corporate world. She'd been a copywriter for 10 years and found the task thankless. Her apartment had been burglarized and her landlord was trying to have her evicted.
"It was breaking me," recalled Nemcova. "...All of these things were happening. (I said) I get it. I've got to go." So, the copywriter turned chef packed up her belongings and took off for a few months of travel, which resulted in year-long excursion that had her nibbling and noshing through Europe, India, Southeast Asia and Russia.
On her journey, she explored new spices, textures and flavors in the markets of the places she visited and in the homes of the people she met. "When you're on the road, you have no idea what you're eating. I met these amazing Cambodian kids and they invited me home to eat," said Nemcova, laughing. "I asked, 'What's this?' And they said, 'We'll tell you later.' It had these really small bones."
Happily for those of us who associate the “V” word with strange entrees having the texture and flavor of sawdust, Nemcova returned home to experiment with her diet and her menus. Soon her desire to eat well and feel fantastic translated to her life's work, The Regal Vegan.
Eating well and creativity in the kitchen were important to her. The fact that she was energized as well as sleeping and feeling better than she had in years, was no small bonus. "I had to eat food that was wonderful, that had fine quality. You can't back away from flavor. It makes no sense," she said.
Her detox diet, Ellavation, was developed to get her system back into shape after her travels. Nemcova sought help at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, learning to eat the best foods for the best health.
Her years in advertising paid off. Nemcova's creative menus are as gorgeously explained as they are prepared. The meals are composed from fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients and the menus vary weekly. Clients can access her website or Nemcova will email the week's offerings.
You won't even miss the meat.
photo by: Lee Seidenberg