By Shanti Allen

As a classically trained chef working in conventional high-end restaurants in Stockholm, Sweden, I used to quietly accept illness-causing additives in the food I served and consumed. My common sense told me that pesticides, artificial additives and genetically modified food did not belong on my plate, but I observed what everyone else was doing, and just did the same. I didn’t want to stand out, and I didn’t think it would make any difference what I did anyway.

After taking an introductory course about raw food in Bali I fell in love with the fresh and delicious flavors of raw food and was mesmerized by what could be made using raw and natural ingredients. I didn’t want to go back to my old ways, so together with a group of likeminded friends, I started Alchemy - Bali's first 100% raw and vegan Café. Since then my life has been an adventure. I adore my job of wearing my apron, listening to music and messing about in the kitchen, creating new recipes for the Alchemy menu. The concept was simply to serve the food that we wanted to eat ourselves. No artificial ingredients are allowed on the menu or into the kitchen. In the beginning we only had a juice bar and display fridge with sweets by the side of the road. I made all the food at home in my own kitchen, and transported it on my motorbike to the restaurant. You should have seen me stacking 7 strawberry cakes on that little scooter!

As the interest grew, we expanded, and built a proper restaurant kitchen, but always kept the same mission of serving only the food we would choose to eat ourselves and feed our children.

I did come to the realization that it does make a difference what each one of us chooses to eat, even if we’re just one person. I believe in treating others as you would like to be treated yourself, and if someone has suffered in the process of production, and I buy that product, then I am supporting that to continue. So I vote with my dollars by staying away from all animal products and other indurstries that miss-treat animals, workers or the planet.

The vision behind Bali’s newly launched raw vegan culinary school Alchemy Academy, is to contribute to a healthy humanity and healthy earth by sharing our knowledge, experience and passion for plant based food. I hope to inspire and empower people to upgrade their quality of consumption, and become the best version of themselves. Because the more people who succeed with their health the better it will be for the planet and future.

What else is new? Our first cook book is out! The Raw Alchemist – more than 100 raw and vegan recipes from Alchemy Resaturant. Here’s what Matthew Kenney had to say about it: “This beautiful book has perfectly captured the vibrant and wonderful cuisine of one of my favorite restaurants, Alchemy”.

Bio: Shanti Allen is a classically trained chef who started her career in some of Europe’s finest restaurants. She believed that culinary creation was an expression of love, but this concept seemed at odds with commercial food practices and the modern Western diet. Converted to raw veganism, she discovered a world of pure, organic produce, and has since become known for transforming it into culinary art.

To learn more contact Shanti Allen:
Website: and
Instagram: @alchemyacademy and @alchemybali
Facebook: alchemyacademy and alchemybali
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