We had the good fortune of connecting with Andie Leon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting my own business was I lived with an eating disorder for most of my life. I had to walk away from my life as I knew it to heal. I left behind an acting career and a marriage to do so. I felt I had lost everything. That’s when I reinvented myself through my company. This was part of my healing process. Now my magic comes through the food I create. Bad food almost put me in my grave… My food gave me a second chance and to be able to enrich and give back the healing experience brings me such peace and happiness.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When I started out, I had no idea how to cook or handle a knife for that matter. The first class I taught at Wholefoods Market, I almost cut my finger off! ha-ha. I followed my instincts to create recipes for me. I felt that we’ve been robbed from the nutrients that Mother Nature naturally had provided for us. Because of greed and consumerism food has been manufactured and gone are the healing properties it once held. I was dying, so I had to find a new form of art. Food art was what I studied, alongside all ancient ways of healing and food lore from the past, the Incans, Mayan, etc. With my instincts, I created new food. One of my first ever recipe was Acai chicken Bake. It included Organic Chicken breast in Coconut milk with Acai powder and vanilla bean pod. That recipe made it in the LA Food and Wine Festival! This was a great first culinary achievement for me and it kept me going for more. It was super challenging as no one believed that superfood and non-vegan protein would work. Therefore, my book, at the time, did not get published. My restaurant closed- because I had no idea how to run a restaurant!!! I had never worked so hard in my life. That is when I decided to finally attend culinary school. What I’ve learned is that your path opens for you when you heal yourself from your past, broken relationship, addictions, etc. I found a new love for myself and in turn got the career I was born to do. Andie’s Kitchen / Organic Alchemy where alchemical reactions happen when you eat my food and cooking. My philosophy is, you align with mother earth and she aligns with you. Be good to earth and it will be good to you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, currently in the state of Covid-19 it is probably best not to tease people. Right now, the Itinerary would be a virtual zoom. In a past life, I would probably say the following depending on what a friend is in the mood for…
-Farm Shop (Dinner) in Brentwood -Mama Shelter (Drinks) in Hollywood
-Exchange LA (Dancing) or Incognito (Underground Venue) in DTLA.
-Malibu exploring and hiking, then drinks at Paradise Cove.
-Venice & Santa Monica Shopping
-Korean bathhouse for a nice relaxing body scrub in K-Town
-Vegan Sushi in Little Tokyo -Soho House (DTLA) for a pool day and tour of the Arts District.
-Griffith Park/tour of the observatory followed with a smoke of Cannabis
-Laurel Canyon coffee for a latte and lunch at Pace then do the tourist thing in Beverly Hills
-Urth Cafe after for supper and top it off with a stop to the Dream Hotel
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wholefoods Market (before buyout from Amazon), Fairfax and 3rd in Los Angeles (Whilst still married), struggle to heal from eating disorder, I created recipes for myself to heal, based on the concept of organic, farm to table, and infused with superfoods, to end a 17 year bulimia disease. After separating from my husband, nobody took me seriously. I had a bunch of recipes, a failed marriage, and no career left.
I decided to print some fliers with the little money I had. Every day, I’d walk to my local Wholefoods to pin my fliers on their poster board in hopes that someone would take action. The day finally happened when Sibyl Fenwick, who was the marking director, saw the flier, I started teaching classes within the following week and the rest is history.
I have photos from the cannabis book that was published if you wish!