Vicki in her ‘Barbie trailer’
By Vivienne Pearson
Vicki Veranese is back, refreshed and ready to offer her raw food to all.
After closing her Byron Bay retail store, Alchemia, Vicki was in need of rest and rejuvenation.
‘I was burned out but now I’m renewed and finding my niche,’ says Vicki. ‘The joy is back and Alive and Wild has matured along with me.’
Vicki first discovered raw food when diagnosed with Grave’s Disease. And it wasn’t just the health benefits she loved. ‘Raw food is great food porn,’ she laughs. Since learning the ins and out of raw food, she has offered her knowledge and food in various guises and, even now, Alive and Wild is multi-faceted.
First up is Pantry Boxes – a collection of nut cheeses, crackers and sweet treats to supplement whatever fresh food you have gathered. ‘You might have all this fantastic produce from the farmers market, but what do you put it on?’ was the question Vicki asked herself when creating the boxes.
Then there are picnic platters. For a special occasion, dinner or party, these will meet all your savoury and sweet raw-food needs. Platters can be dips and cracker based, sushi or wrap laden, and/or salad fuelled.
If you want to try Vicki’s food, or are simply keen to say hello after not seeing her since Alchemia closed, head to the Byron Artisan Market. Each Saturday evening in Railway Park, Vicki sets up with her commercial-kitchen-grade trailer. ‘It’s my Ken and Barbie trailer fantasy come true!’ she says.
You might be fortunate enough to come across Vicki’s catering at events – Temple Byron are among those who recommend her – or you could go on retreat with Vicki to benefit not only from her knowledge of food but her consciousness school. ‘I’ve written a book and have a YouTube channel,’ says Vicki.
She also offers an initial range of dental products, developed in conjunction with her husband, Jon, a dentist. Jon is also front-of-trailer at the market. ‘He loves it; he understands the food and is great with people,’ Vicki says.
Vicki describes her food as being so nutrient rich that you don’t need to eat much. I tried Vicki’s macadamia nut cheese on a selection of crackers, pizza base and onion bread, and she is right – the ‘brie’-sized wedges I cut were overly enthusiastic. I also tried a festive-season perfect dessert – a Boozy Tart. The name is no joke: ‘Normally, when you put brandy in cooking, the alcohol is cooked out,’ Vicki says, with her hearty laugh. ‘But this isn’t cooked!’
Alive and Wild: www.aliveandwild.com. Byron Bay Artisan Markets – every Saturday evening October–Easter, 4–9pm.
Alive and Wild platter