New Revelstoke café co-owner Christiane Duclos’s journey started in the kitchen. Her life and business partner Lorne Alcock had persistent health problems, which they linked to their average North American diet.
“He was so sick all the time,” Duclos explains. “Really, it was the food he was eating.”
With time and self-education, they pared away the ingredients that impacted his health. Things like sugar, wheat, additives, preservatives, pesticides, GMO foods, corn and gluten. But when you take those ingredients out of the pantry, you may as well recycle your cookbooks, because there’s not much left to cook. And there wasn’t much left to order on most menus.
So Duclos started from scratch in her kitchen at Base Camp Guest House, creating recipes even better than she’d made before. They’ve both had a drastic change for the better in their personal health. “He’s top notch; he’s never felt better,” she said.
Twisted Annie’s is opening her health-conscious organic menu to the Revelstoke public this week.
Twisted Annie’s core menu features sweet treats like Amaze Balls, raw vegan lemon-berry cheesecake, vegan cinnamon raisin nut bread, and raw sprouted nuts with a sweet cacao dressing. They are created without baking; each is a unique combination of raw ingredients. Their morning and mid-day menu features unique hot cereal creations.
“Everything is made in-house, as fresh as possible,” Duclos said.
Daily stews are a cornerstone of the counter-service menu. They feature bison, free-range beef, deer and elk, each one carefully sourced from B.C. organic producers (except for the Alberta elk.) It’s paired with their home-made gluten-free sunshine bread, a wheat-free caraway seed-flavoured bread with secret ingredients. It’s one of the few baked goods in the cafe.
Many of the price points and portion sizes are still being worked out. Currently, an eight-ounce bowl with bread sells for about $8.
The counter-service cafe at 302 First St. West features coffee from Fratello Coffee Roasters from Calgary, made on a brand-new double-boiler machine designed to keep the line-up moving. The staff helped create custom flavours for the lattes; the ingredients are made from scratch, and include salted caramel, peppermint and pumpkin spice. Duclos recommends their signature Twisted Latte, a goat’s milk, cacao butter and MCT oil infusion. The latte is designed to give sustained energy through the day. They feature a full range of espresso and drip coffees.
Fratello coffees are single-estate, direct trade and Annie’s is considering taking on other brands in the near future. Pesticide-free blends are the key. “They are the cleanest beans you can come by,” Duclos says. “The cleaner the bean, the less of that jitter.”
Their teas are by Clayoquot Botanicals, a Tofino-based company transplanted to Revelstoke by owner Carmen Bell, who gardens and wild-sources her ingredients.
Duclos feels the market in Revelstoke is ripe for an all-organic cafe that’s focused on healthy new food concepts. Duclos got hugs and thanks on their soft-opening weekend, and a very enthusiastic welcome from one customer when he learned it was an all gluten-free cafe: “He did a headstand in front of the display case.”
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PHOTO: Christiane Duclos’s journey to opening an all-organic cafe started in the kitchen, creating dishes from scratch to help with her partner’s diet-based health issues. Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Times Review
Their display case says “99.9 per cent” organic, Duclos said they are striving for 100 per cent organic, but a few ingredients don’t have full certification. You’re invited to ask staff to find out more.
Duclos is an entrepreneur who worked in real estate and operates a guest house. She hopes Twisted Annie’s Revelstoke will be their first mountain town location. They key to success is communicating the benefits of radically healthier diets. Good personal health results from their diet transformation drives Duclos’s and Alcock’s vision for the cafe. They’re planning to screen educational videos from time to time.
Duclos believes that most of us have become accustomed to the ill-effects of poor diets. She feels mood swings, emotional crises, flagging energy and generally feeling unhealthy are often the by-products of toxins in foods.
“You’re having a reaction if you’re laid out on the couch after you eat,” she said. Instead, we should feel energized after eating. “People are waking up.”
They’ve completely renovated the former children’s clothing store location, and it’s bigger than you’d think. Features include a piano open to customers, and an antique Northern Electric rotary phone, It’s an eclectic mix of raw woods, heritage tin ceilings, and glasswork. Sit near the exposed brick column for some radiant heat.
Rows of figs, dates, nuts and dried fruits line the shelves in the kitchen; a large food dehydrator matches the oven in size. “The more transparent, the better,” Duclos says of the open-concept kitchen plan.
Twisted Annie’s will do deliveries if possible, and they do catering. They’ve had a few days of a soft opening, and open officially on Jan. 6, 2014. They’re targeting daily hours of 7 a.m to 6 p.m., but may have to close Sundays as they continue to train staff.