(Aug. 23, 2013) The “Best Food on the Planet” competition is back this Sunday, bringing 15 of Ocean City’s top raw, vegan and organic dishes to My Nature, Ocean City’s premier raw-vegan restaurant.
Kathy Phillips, owner of the 13th Street eatery, began the contest three years ago to wake people to the impacts of their diet — the same goal that led her to open My Nature on the Boardwalk, in May.
Contestants’ dishes must be raw, vegan, organic and “as local as possible,” the same principles that guide the Phillips fledging restaurant. They will be judged on taste and nutrition.
“I see the devastating effects our diet is having on not only ourselves, but our planet,” Phillips said. “I wanted to create awareness.”
Phillips studied nutrition, but didn’t make the switch to a raw diet until three years ago. She leads classes on wild medicinal plants and grew up on a Minnesota dairy farm, laying the groundwork for her newest endeavor.
She said My Nature’s staff of six has just been able to keep up with growing demand this summer.
Customers “can feel comfortable in knowing that when the come in here, they can’t make a bad decision about food,” Phillips said.
The no-cook restaurant has an open kitchen where diners can watch their meals being prepared. My Nature has a salad bar and a rotating selection of dishes, like its raw pad thai with an orange twist, and a host of juices, like the carrot-kale-parsley- apple Surf Rocket medley.
The wheatgrass brought back Mary Jones from Perry Hall, who now frequents My Nature on her trips to Ocean City.
“Usually when you come down by the ocean, you see the caramel popcorn, the fries, the junk food,” Jones said. “This just made me feel good.”
Anton Simina, a medical student from Romania who spent her summer working at My Nature, sought out the eatery to learn more about preventative medicine.
“I’ve seen a lot of sick people,” the fifth-year medical student said. She plans to incorporate what she’s learned at My Nature into her practice and to bring raw food recipes home to her family.
Phillips said her goal for My Nature is to “have many more of these places on the beach next year.” She’s also brainstorming a class on raw eating for the fall.
“Ocean City used to be a place where people came to restore health, and we want to return to that,” Phillips said.
As of Wednesday, two spots were still open in the 15-person “Best Food on the Planet” competition, scheduled to begin at noon on Sunday. Contestants will be reimbursed $25 for providing their entries and must make enough food for 30 people to sample. The winner will take home $1,000.
Spots are also open in the 25-person tasting group, which allows people to sample competing dishes for $25. Call My Nature at 410-289-1808 or 410-251-1605 to register.
My Nature is open, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until Labor Day. Visit www.mynatureocmd.com for more information.