Christopher Slawson’s passion for raw cuisine is on full display at his Palm Beach Gardens restaurant, Christopher’s Kitchen. He’s channeled that same zeal into his new downtown West Palm eatery, Meraki Juice Kitchen, named after a Greek word meaning “to do with passion.” Since quietly opening in August, Meraki has been living up to its moniker with sunny service and nutritious offerings like collard leaf wraps, live pizzas, and fresh juices made daily. For something satisfyingly sweet, try the Coco Whip, vegan soft-serve so delicious, you’ll forget it’s good for you.
PBI caught up with Slawson to discuss healthful eating.
PBI: Where do you get your culinary inspiration?
Slawson: Seeing people who aren’t vegetarians get excited about plant-based foods. It’s awesome when someone comes into Christopher’s Kitchen for the first time and they’re skeptical and then they try something like the mushroom truffle pizza made with roasted mushrooms, truffles, scallions, and macadamia nut ricotta cheese. They’re like, “I can eat this on a regular basis.”
What sets Meraki apart from other juiceries?
We feature the best products from Christopher’s Kitchen as well as things like gluten-free baked goods, smoothies, acai bowls, live pizzas, and a plant-based frozen yogurt that’s amazing. If you look at some of the other juice companies, it’s kind of cliché that they’re all doing juice and trying to do food. We’ve been doing this a lot longer than most.
What is your go-to Meraki order?
I’m obsessed with our iced latte. We’re working with a company out of California called Mr. Espresso [that makes] organic, oak-roasted coffee and espresso beans that are just really good. Our blueberry glazed donut holes are insane and gluten-free. People stop talking when they eat them.
What winter ingredients are you excited to cook with?
Squash, pumpkin, and root vegetables like beets and carrots. We go really simple with our vegetables—a little salt, pepper, garlic, and spices, and then we roast them.
What are some cooking tips for a vegan newbie?
Learn to make fresh juice. It’s a great introduction, and how hard is it to juice your own vegetables? Buy a juicer and a bag of apples, cucumbers, celery, then toss them into your juicer and you’re done. Or, make a basic salad with roasted vegetables, quinoa, and a clean dressing. We sell all the Christopher’s Kitchen dressings at Meraki.