Juice Talk with Amanda Chantal Bacon
October 3, 2013
Amanda Chantal Bacon of Moon Juice
Remember when juicing used to refer solely to steroid-driven muscle-pumping? Yup, I barely do either. After all, it’s been a while since juicing (the natural variety, that is) reached critical mass. Which means in this new juice-crazed culture, it’s harder than ever to stand out. But I think Amanda Chantal Bacon, the New York transplant behind L.A.’s Moon Juice, is doing something pretty special. Bacon, whose roots in the food world saw her working with chef extraordinaire Suzanne Goin and as a food and wine editor at the Los Angeles Times magazine, opened the first Moon Juice in Venice Beach in 2012, and her latest location in Silver Lake, just last month. Besides a kaleidoscopic array of juices, Bacon is also expanding her menu to include healthful sweet and savory bites like fermented vegetables hijiki with ginger and green onion; raw, sprouted granola golden raisin, cinnamon and buckwheat; and vanilla chia pudding with house-pressed almond milk and raw vanilla beans. Here, Bacon answers a few of our questions. FIORELLA V.
I KNOW YOU SPENT A FEW YEARS TRAVELING BEFORE GOING TO CULINARY SCHOOL; WHAT PROMPTED THAT DECISION?
I’ve always been super passionate about travel and love to immerse myself in other cultures. I thought about getting into fine arts, but upon getting out into the world it became clear that food and more specifically ingredients, was my calling
TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE FOOD WORLD PRE-MOON JUICE?
I was very inspired by Alice Waters and the California food movement brought me to the west coast. I found a mentor in Suzanne Goin, who I worked with in the kitchen at Lucques for a number of years. Shopping at the green market for the menu shaped my palette and deepened my love of vegetables; farmers also taught me so much about sustainability.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START MOON JUICE? WHAT SETS YOU APART?
I originally had another name for the brand that I was totally uninspired by. I was in Northern California standing on the beach one morning when an old-school bus came rolling up through the fog. It had this hippie mural of the moon painted on the side. Moon Juice came to me in that moment. At Moon Juice you will find medicinal grade, 100% organic juices in culinary driven combinations like Pineapple Cucumber Jalapeño and Fennel Frond and Herb. We also have the Moon Milk bar where you can experience our customized milks made from our raw California almond milk blended with nut butters, super foods, spices, and low glycemic sweetness. We also have an assortment of simply presented, organic and wild snacks
JUICING HAS EXPERIENCED A PRETTY CRAZY BOOM IN RECENT YEARS; WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE HAVE EMBRACED IT SO WHOLEHEARTEDLY?
In this hyper-social information age, juice empowers you to keep up the speed. It makes you look and feel good. It also speaks to the massive foodie moment we are experiencing. Moon Juice really helps to balance the effects of all the wonderful, rich restaurant food and wine, while still appealing to a sophisticated palette. The effects are immediate; it’s a miracle.
I KNOW THAT MOON JUICE USES A COLD PRESSING METHOD; HOW DOES THAT WORK? AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT/ MORE BENEFICIAL?
Cold pressing hydraulically presses the vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs between 2 steel plates to avoid heating or oxidizing the produce. Live juices are stunning to taste and are loaded with enzymes, vitamins, trace minerals, and other vital elements. One bottle of Moon Juice contains over 3 pounds of raw, 100% organic vegetables, herbs and fruit!
WHERE DO YOU GET THE PRODUCE YOU USE AT MOON JUICE?
All of our produce comes from organic and biodynamic farmers. Whatever can be sourced locally is. Moon Juice goes through at least 1000 pounds of fresh fruits and veggies on a daily basis
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE JUICES ON THE MENU?
From day one Goodness Greens has been a #1 seller. I am personally a huge green juicer and mix it up between our Canyon, Gracious and Goodness Greens.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU ADD NEW RECIPES TO THE MENU? ANYTHING YOU ARE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW THAT YOU CAN SHARE?
We add new juices seasonally, there’s Watermelon, tomatoes + Lime and Honeydew, Cilantro Lime. We just opened the new shop in Silver Lake and launched a new menu of sweet + savory snacks. The ingredients are all raw, sprouted and dehydrated, but the flavor profiles and presentation are inspired by my fine dining background
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PLACES IN L.A. TO EAT… BESIDES MOON JUICE, OF COURSE?