The first seed was planted in 1992 when Sanae became seriously ill. The doctors told her to have conventional surgery, but she had no family, no insurance and no money. She sought help from her best friend (at that time), Eric, to help her heal herhealth problems with alternative medicine. They decided to try cooking and eating a plant-based, macrobiotic diet. Sanae started to study how to cook and learned the philosophy of macrobiotics. Eric was already a French chef who was working at a famous restaurant in Venice. He did not know anything about vegan or macrobiotic foods, but he learned veryquickly and helped Sanae to heal herself. He committed to cook this way personally and professionally after he overcame his own health issues in 1993.
In 1995, after Sanae had recovered from her illness, she became a macrobiotic consultant at Erewhon natural food store where she taught cooking classes and advised people on adaily basis. Eric and Sanae would cook a macrobiotic lunch for Erewhon employees once a month.
Eric and Sanae established their company, mugen LLC, in 1999. They started making pre-packaged macrobiotic foods that sold at SantaMonica Co-op, Erewhon, and others, while organizing macrobiotic dinner clubs in Beverly Hills every month. They taught classes at William Sonoma, Southern California Culinary school (formerly Cordon Bleu), and at many different health conferences like Health Classic Conference, and the Summer Kushi Conference.
As they cooked this way and taught others about the benefits of macrobiotics, they realized their lifestyle was an important part of thehealing process and that food wasn’t the only component. Chef Eric and Sanae made changes in their daily life in order to live a natural, holistic lifestyle. They started to travel to the nearbybeaches and mountains more often to relax and enjoy life. At their Santa Monica home, they created a beautiful bamboo and California native plant rock garden, starting growing organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs on the rooftop, and began to compost all their vegetable scraps.
It was in 2001 that Eric’s celebrity chef career started to bloom, as he began to work for Madonna and many other celebrities like Tobey Maguire, Sting, and Leonardo DeCaprio. Eric helped M Café to open their first location on Melrose. He brought many of his pastry and dessert recipes there that would surprise people on how goodnatural sweets can taste. M Café continues to use his recipes for their several locations, and their business is very successful. Meanwhile, Sanae was attending the Kushi Institute to get higher education on how to be a macrobiotic counselor, and she completed her first level IV course in Becket, Massachusetts. Driving back home from Kushi, she had a life-threatening caraccident in Arizona. While in a coma, she had an out-of-body experience that led her back here to share her strength, knowledge, and love with others. The doctors said she would never walk again, but through her strength, macrobiotic practice, and the loving help from Eric, Sanae healed and can now walk and live a wonderful life.
After she fully recovered, Eric and Sanae got married in 2004. Since then, they have openedtheir home as “studio mugen”, which offers many vegan macrobiotic cooking classes and lectures, soy candle making classes, chop stick carving classes, potlucks, and continues to house guest speaker lectures and cooking classes. Chef Eric and Sanae felt the best way for them to share their message of food, love, health, and happiness was to open their own restaurant. It has been a long-time dream for them to be able to connect people with delicious food and show how we can feel great and have a long healthy life from eating a plant-based diet.
In the spring of 2008, they found a perfect location on Pacific Avenue in Venice, close to their home and their favorite place to relax, the beach.
Chef Eric (with his wife Sanae Suzuki) opened their own vegan and organic restaurant, Seed Kitchen, in Venice, California In Autumn 2008. Seed Kitchen showcases Chef Eric’s talent in redefining vegan To-Go fare that is upscale in taste but is still affordable and casual. Many of his celebrity clients are big fans of the menu items at Seed Kitchen.
In August of 2011, they opened a second restaurant, Seed Bistro, in West Los Angeles, California, with easy access to the 405 Freeway. Seed Bistro is an expansion of Seed Kitchen, offering full service and featuring a contemporary organic vegan menu that highlights the macrobiotic lifestyle and includes raw and gluten-free options as well.
We hope you will come and see, taste and feel what we are experiencing together with the beautiful ocean, blue sky, and good food at Seed Kitchen and experience what’s new at Seed Bistro!
– Chef Eric Lechasseur & Sanae Suzuki