New Orleans-born Tere Fox and her Peruvian husband Luis Salgado were studying nutrition when they created a bond and shared a desire to open up a restaurant. They did not simply want a place to counsel people, but rather “a vegan café where [they] could just offer good healthy food to people.” Thus, they opened Rockin’ Raw in 2009 in Brooklyn and began serving gluten-free, organic, and raw food that was all “nutritionally-balanced.”
After 7 months of opening, Tere Fox moved into the kitchen because she wanted to create her original recipes, all influenced by “family favorites” and dishes she and her husband loved when they were growing out. The Peruvian-influenced dishes – most of them which came out straight of Salgado’s mother’s recipe book – were all transitioned to vegan. For example, the Mushroom Ceviche is directly influenced by Peru’s most famous dish, but at Rockin’ Raw, mushrooms replace fish and seafood. One of the cooked dishes, Jambalaya, is inspired by Chef Tere’s hometown of New Orleans, but at her restaurant she omits the meat. All of the dishes are raw and vegan but at the same time “fun and delicious” and Chef Tere puts a lot of thought into how she combines her ingredients in regards to nutrition.
Shortly after opening in Brooklyn, Rockin’ Raw moved to Manhattan because it seemed like a better place for the restaurant to reach its customer base, which was already mostly coming in from Manhattan.
Although Tere Fox feels that the vegan food scene has yet to evolve in NYC, she admires different leaders in the movement. She believes that Adam Sobel from Cinnamon Snail is really succeeding in “putting vegan food out there and being able to touch the masses.” In addition, she admires Fred Bisci, the guru behind Juice Press and a strong advocate of the raw food movement. Above all, Chef Tere Fox really believes in what she and her husband are accomplishing through Rockin’ Raw and is happy to say, “I feel good about what I do everyday.”