Chef Matthew Kenney was an early convert to the raw food movement. Since the 90s, he’s played a major role in the development of sophisticated raw cuisine while building a company that now includes restaurants, academies, books, apps, and catering with a global reach. His goal is not only to make raw food gourmet, delicious, and fine-dining appropriate, but to make it accesible to all.

We caught up with the chef at his beautiful new restaurant M.A.K.E in Santa Monica to learn a bit about the evolution of raw food.

Get a peek inside Kenney’s new spot below in the latest episode of LAC TV, and read the full story in the January/February Art issue of LA CANVAS.


Last Summer at FYF fest, we had the pleasure of interviewing indie-rock duo Papa, who have just released a new video for their song “Put Me to Work.”

Allegedly inspired by Nickelodeon’s most-brilliant televsion show, Pete & Pete, the new clip is kooky-verging-on-psychotic. Guitarist/bassist Dany Presant dances in skeletal-disguise with a guitar decorated in post-its, while singer/drummer Daniel Weiss emits a twisted version of his natural Scorpian-intensity, swinging a flaming axe and laughing maniacally.

Lady Gaga wishes she came up with that twinkle-light beard.


The Song of the Day is a bizarre description of the best track to arrive in our inbox on any given day.


I feel like I passed out on a burgundy and orange zig-zag loveseat after eating bad mushrooms and woke up all gooey-eyed in Eric Foreman’s basement. Fez is massaging my feat, and he does have strong hands.

The world is a kaleidoscope being turned at a glacial pace and my emotions are in fact painted in vivid color but they’re also melting in a 3-D circle where rainbow-feelings converge into a brown blob and back again.

Because these three creepy-looking dudes from, of course, Minneapolis, wrote this wonky song that I might call squishy and romantic in the context of flux.

Which is what I like on a Monday afternoon.





Chances are you’re already acquainted with Falling Whistles. The LA brand’s subtle yet curious pendants are natural conversation starters. Come across one elegantly dropped from a friend’s neck, and you instinctively sense something emblematic. You can’t help but be like, dude, what’s that whistle for?

And so maybe you already know—the whistle is part of a campaign for peace in the Great Lakes Region in Congo, a part of Africa devastated by decades of political instability, decentralized violence, and most importantly, a seemingly endless, terribly deadly war.

Falling Whistles is an awareness campaign, a political activist group, and a company that invests its proceeds in local businesses and rehabilitation in Congo. Uniquely, it’s a cause-connected brand with a forward-thinking aesthetic and a fashion-world appeal; the modernist black-and-white look of it never touches of granola, and we recently attended a party for the launch of FW’s new “5 Boys” line at uber-cool menswear shop Confederacy.

Okay, but without getting too wrapped up in the style-points earned from sleek, English-made whistle pendants and next-level graphic design, we were curious about the less-glamorous aspects of launching this movement and the tangible implications of its success. So we turned to founder Sean Carrasso to get some more detailed insight into what creating positive change really entails. Keep reading to find out how Sean’s back-packing trip turned into an e-mail-gone-viral turned into hitch-hiking across the country and finally, an organization with traction and a whole lot of momentum. 


Can you tell me about how all of this started, the inspiration behind the whistles and your back-story? 

Originally I was just backpacking.  Going out to get lost.  We found a military encampment in Congo where kids were being beaten for war-crimes and freaked out.  One boy told us that the kids too small to carry a gun had been sent to the front lines of war, armed with only a whistle.  We ended up getting the kids pulled out and I went home and wrote a small journal entry called Falling Whistles.  That was the beginning.  The journal was forwarded around the world and I woke up to hundreds of emails asking, why is this happening, what’s going on?  So we started asking those same questions of anyone who would talk to us—spies, victims, warlords, anyone.

When I got home I was just screaming at people—kids are dying! This is real!  One of my best friends was letting me crash on his couch, and gave me an old vintage whistle he bought on eBay as a gift.  Everywhere I went people would ask about the whistle and I got to tell them what was happening in Congo.  It was all really organic.  We started thinking about the power of the symbol, and the idea of being a “whistle blower.”  We started putting them on people’s necks and saying “Make their weapon your voice and be a whistle-blower for peace.”  Word spread pretty quickly, and soon we were building a coalition for peace in Congo out of our garage in Venice.


I’ve heard that the founders of Falling Whistles had sort of high-end fashion/design/marketing/tech jobs, and then decided to leave those careers and channel their skills into creating this campaign. Can you tell me more about how you/they came to that decision? 

Ha.  If only that were true.  After we were selling whistles out of our pockets we got to about $150 and knew we wanted to reach the whole world.  Thinking about it now, I just want to laugh.  But our CEO David Lewis took that money and started hitchhiking across the country.  He hitchhiked from Austin TX to New York City stopping in every city along the way and telling people about our world’s deadliest war.  He inspired three college students who rode their bikes across the country and inspired more students.  So we pulled desks out of dumpsters, put them in our garage and went to work with fists to the sky.  That was when we started meeting the pros.  The first was Monique who is a world class lawyer, then Mario our art director, Sinclair who manages the brand, and Joey who does digital marketing.  We basically gave them all the same pitch—look, do you want to keep fueling the status quo or do you want to change the game?  I remember when I met Mario, our art director, in NY.  He was working for a big ad firm out there selling whatever was selling at the moment.  We were on a cross country tour in a blacked-out RV and I asked him if he wanted to jump on the pirate ship.  The next morning he showed up at the RV with two duffle bags in hand.  We lived together for the next year getting the State Department to appoint a Special Advisor to Congo.


Where did the photographs of the war on your website come from?

Those shots are from Dan Johnson and Abby Ross.  Both are incredible.  On Dan’s first trip to Congo he got deep into the situation and was ultimately expelled from the country.  That’s where you see a lot of the military shots.  Abby is a very different character.  She has a way of making human beings feel so comfortable around her.  And you can see that in the shots of our partners and the women and children they work with.  Despite living inside the deadliest place on Earth, they are beautiful, and they live with a great deal of courage.  Abby really captures that with her photography.




You started with the rehabilitation of street kids and former child soldiers.  How was it setting up an infrastructure to allow for this? How were the kids rehabilitated, and what happened to them next?

We started our work in Congo with a pretty simple idea – all change is local and all local change begins with a visionary.  So we were looking for local leaders with a lot of energy, big ideas and the courage to see them through.  That’s when we met Christine who was 26 and working with about 70 kids.  She had no training, but it was clear that she was really talented.  She had found some of the most vulnerable kids in the region – beaten, abducted, abused, you name it.  But when they were all together with Christine it was like they were any other kid—laughing, break dancing, rapping, playing sports.  We just asked, what do you want to do?  She said she wanted over 300 kids and a center for them to be safe, learn job skills, and have outlets for their creativity.   She needed about $3000 a month.  We didn’t have any money, but we committed on the spot.  A week later we were back in LA selling whistles on the Venice boardwalk.  In over 3 years we haven’t missed a month.


How has the stiuation in Congo changed over the past several years? 

The situation has changed significantly in the last few years.  There are a lot of reasons, but mostly it comes down to unity and mobilization.  Within the country, Congolese people are protesting, marching, communicating across ethnic boundaries, and connecting with the outside world.  The outside world is doing the same.  For years the “coalition” for Congo was fractured, angry and splintered.  I think we’ve all woken up to the fact that we are stronger together.


What did it take to get involved on a political level, with other organizations in Congo?

Man, if only there were videos of our first moves in DC.  When Dave was hitchhiking, he borrowed a suit and snuck his way into a meeting with the Undersecretary for African Affairs, Johnny Carson.  Our first time in the White House we only had one suit between us, so we split it.  I wore the jacket with jeans and he wore the slacks.  We were young and didn’t know what we were doing, so we spent the first year in D.C. doing nothing but asking questions.  We came in with no position, no policy prescriptions, no opinions.  Just questions.  We made a lot of friends, connected a lot of dots, and were then able to create solutions that unified people, policy and the need for peace.


Can you tell us a bit more about the appointment of a U.S. Special Advisor for the Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of Congo? What does this advisor do?

I’m really glad you asked this.  Because it’s so important.  Congo is surrounded by 9 countries, and it is among the most resource rich countries in the world.  Estimates put it around $24 trillion.  And that’s just what’s in the ground.  So the war is not country specific—it is regional and global.  Everyone on the ground was saying that the U.S. strategy for Congo was disconnected from the strategy for Rwanda and that was disconnected from Uganda and Central African Republic and on and on and on.  When we asked the State Department why their ambassadors weren’t coordinating together, they told us they were having monthly Skype calls.  Monthly Skype calls?!  Are you kidding me?  So the U.S. Special Advisor coordinates across the region.


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Where do the proceeds from sales of Falling Whistles go? Aside from raising awareness, how does the purchase of a necklace make a difference? Can you tell us a bit more about the eight Congolese visionaries Falling Whistles has invested in?

We’re essentially doing two major things.  First, we are building a global coalition for peace in Congo.  A network of people who want to see an end to the deadliest war of our time.  This is what the team in LA is largely focused on.  Second, we are investing in Congolese visionaries.  These are Congolese people with big ideas for how to change their country.  So for example, we have invested in Sekombi, who’s 29 and has built the fastest growing radio station in Eastern Congo.  It’s like a lo-fi 80’s version of MTV Congo.  Art, music, sex, politics, fashion, war, revolution, culture.  So now when you travel across the east you see young people with a radio to their ear and if you ask who they’re listening to they smile and say “Mutaani! Mutaani!”  We invested in Blaise who built a sustainable business that treated 330,000 people for malaria.  Amani who built a hair training school for women.  Justine who mobilizes women to demand justice surrounding rape.  That list goes on, and its one our team is really proud of.


How have the military funding cuts from Western Governments impacted the war? 

They’ve been really significant.  In the end, the person holding the purse strings holds a lot of the power.  Right now the United States government gives a great deal of aid money to Rwanda.  And we have proof, through two separate UN reports, that Rwanda is funding and commanding a rebel army in Congo named M23.  The funding cuts have been a great start, but its time the U.S. support sanctions for Rwandan officials commanding M23.  I don’t think Americans want their tax money fueling rebels, or even coming anywhere close.


What’s next for the Falling Whistles campaign, what are your immediate goals? 

We just launched a new collection of smaller whistles, the 5 Boys Collection.  They’re symbolic of this moment when we met five boys in a military encampment who had been forced to fight against one another in opposing rebel armies.  I asked, does that make you enemies?  One boy looked at the other and kissed him, saying words I’ll never forget: “We are only boys, how can we be enemies?”  So that’s the message of the collection.  Half the world is under thirty and we’re more connected than we have ever been.  How can we be enemies?  In the short term, I want to get those whistles out to the public.  The message is powerful and the pieces are beautiful; everyone should have one.





It’s freezing today you guys. Someone said it felt like Chicago, which is something I never thought I would have to feel. Cafes aren’t even bringing their chairs outside, and I don’t know anyone with a fireplace.

Thankfully, 1886 head-bartender Greg Gertmenian has just the recipe to combat this ridiculously inclement weather.

If you’ve already peeped the latest issue of LA CANVAS, then you might remember Greg’s Hot Chai Posset, which would also get the job done. But if you’re a big fan of green tea, or just a whiskey-fiend, chances are you’ll like this one even better.  The idea came from one of Greg’s regulars, who told him about how patrons at Japanese bars typically prefer bottle service and often order a pitcher of cold green tea and a bottle of whiskey to mix to their liking.

Inspired, Greg set out to find the right ingredients to make his own hot version of the mix. The key was  to find equally subtle elements that wouldn’t overwhelm each other; green tea will get aggressive if it steeps for too long, and whiskey can be very pungent. Ultimately, he found that Yamazaki 12-year, a smooth Japanese single-malt, was delicate enough to allow fresh, loose green tea to have its moment while delivering just enough bite. Raw honey and a spritz of lemon peel round-out the experience for drink that’s both cozy and refreshing.


1 ¼ oz Yamazaki 12 (

½ oz Raw Honey

1 Heaping Tablespoon Loose Green Tea (Try Birdpick)

Lemon Peel


First, heat your glass by pouring in boiled water and allowing it to sit. Empty it after a few minutes; pour in the whiskey and honey. Place the loose green tea in a strainer over the glass and pour boiled water on top, then continue to steep for about thirty seconds. Bend a lemon peel over the glass and coat the rim to infuse the oils. Leave as a garnish.

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It’s Thursday. A weekday which, thanks to the skyrocketing popularity of fun, freedom and good times, has become almost entirely absorbed into the beloved chronological establishment known as the weekend. In preparation for the ensuing revelry–which starts, let’s say, around 5pm–one of our favorite up-and-coming DJ duos, Immigré,  has thrown up their top tracks of the moment onto a neat sixty-minute Spotify playlist. Power hour, anyone?

In order to beef up this blog post, the lovely Sanni Val Fleury & JSMN agreed to answer some of our questions. Find out whether or not the ladies like to sit in the shower below.


So, what’s up?

So excited for the New Year, and to be back in LA! Been doing some traveling, discovering lots of cool artists and styles from across Europe and Africa. It’s important for us because we play all genres, with more focus on female-driven and international tracks – which exemplifies who we are as Immigré. We really can’t wait to share with the masses! We can just tell this will be a great year of music, growth, and lots of dancing for us.

Can we get you something to drink?

Gin & Ginger for Sanni Val Fleury and Whiskey & Ginger for JSMN. Honestly, anything with ginger.

What are you wearing?

Usually, something shiny, in black and gold. And lose the pants, we’re not a fan of wearing pants.

Are you interested in anyone right now?

Definitely interested in anyone creating or sharing great music!

Do anything last night?

Always checking out music & fun events around LA! Catch us at spots like School Night at Bardot, Dim Mak Sundays at Drai’s, Artwalk, Sayers Sessions, Do-Over events or at after-hours spots in DTLA.

How late did you stay up?

Later than late. DJing definitely keeps you a night owl.

Meals or snacks?

Snacks on snacks on snacks.

If life could resemble any film…


The fashion moment you most regret…

Winter. We hate succumbing to the cold and wearing pants!

Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?

All of our new favorite artists, which include: AlunaGeorge, Katy B, Niki & The Dove, Rudimentary, Young Magic, Purity Ring, Charli XCX, Icona Pop, Iamamiwhoami, Jessie Ware, Jantsen, Kentö, Mikky Ekko, Bro Safari and Disclosure. Guest of Honor: 2Chainz.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Dirty Chai Tea Lattes with Almond milk, and spending money on music (concerts, tracks, equipment, etc).

Who’s your biggest fan?

Shout out to Brittney Scott, Hana Pestle, and Sad Girls Club.

You kissed a girl and liked it?

Into dudes. Beautiful, beautiful ones.

Who would you hire to write your theme song?

Sia, produced by Jesse Rogg.

Blue or black ink?

Black, obviously – with gold accents.

Ever sit down in the shower?

No, that’s where the water starts to feel cold. Gotta stay up in the heat!

When was the last time you really froke out on someone?

Posi-Mob for life, no time for negativity out here.

What was the first thing you said aloud this morning?


Are you listening to music right now?

Constantly. Actually, just put together a fresh Spotify playlist of songs we’re obsessed with this month. We’ll be putting one out each month, so keep your eyes peeled. Mixes to come as well.

Will you text the person you like today?

Heck yeah, how else would he know?!

If we gave you $50, what would you buy?

Vintage shopping spree – always on the hunt for yet another sequined jacket.

Last three Google searches…

Hair dye, DTLA Sandwich, Lacrimosa.

What are you doing later?

Working on upcoming mixes that we hope to debut on February 1st, each one will have a sweet female name – gotta rep for the ladies! Also, researching up-and-coming artists and independent tracks for a short film we’re music supervising.

Can we come?

You’re always welcome to come dance with us! We’re currently booking upcoming shows around the LA area (contact [email protected] for inquiries) and planning a Euro tour for the end of the year, with stops in France and the UK.


Descending into gleaming white basin that contains the new City Target in Downtown LA  is like boarding a space-craft circa year 2100. Maybe one day, all urban structures will be holes rather than towers. Of course I am in no way qualified to make projections about the metropolitan architecture of tomorrow, but I like a sci-fi fantasy as much as the next girl.


Anyway, if you proceed further down the hole, dubbed Figat7th for its proximity to 7th and Figueroa Streets, you’ll find the newly opened food court known as The Taste. As you might expect, The Taste is the food court of the future, all minimalist and chic with shiny stainless steel counters offering up the latest in gourmet, sophisticated convenience. Last night, we ventured over there to sample an appropriately high-tech new innovation: Michelin-starred chef Paul Shoemaker’s  Juicy Lucy Burger.



The former Savory chef has developed a burger made from luscious grass fed beef and injected with a blend of nitrogen-infused artisanal cheeses, resulting in a patty with a gooey lava-like center. Baked in a vapor-controlled oven, the aptly named Juicy Lucy holds onto all its juices before being thrown onto a nickel-plated plancha, topped with crisp lettuce, caramelized onion, aioli, pickles and tomatoes, and nestled into a soft brioche bun.


Juicy Lucy, Shake & Sriracha Fries



Now open from 11am to 5pm, you can complete your next-level meal with Sirracha cheese fries, an idea so brilliant yet so simple that we don’t know why we didn’t come up with it ourselves. A thick, creamy Salted Caramel milkshake blended with organic dairy is absurdly tempting, while Agua Frescas made from fresh fruit stand by as a more reasonable alternative. Turkey burgers and salmon burgers are available as well if you prefer white and pink to red.




chelsea wolfe-doubleexposure

Within the sunny landscape of LA’s music-scene, Chelsea Wolfe’s somber songs stand in a shady spot all their own. Last December, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist paid a visit to our studio for a photo-shoot and interview. In this episode of LA CANVAS TV,Chelsea talks about ancestors, dreams, and her musical background.

A Conversation with Chelsea Wolfe | LA Canvas TV from LA CANVAS on Vimeo.

For more on Chelsea, read the story in the latest issue of LA CANVAS Magazine.




Nigel Sylvester—you might think he’s Australian, but you’d be assuming incorrectly. Sponsored by Gatorade, Nike 6.0 and G-Shock, this BMX-pro is actually from New York, where he runs a bike, skate and streetwear shop called Format NY. Recently, he rode his bike around his home-base, showing off all his tricks in this dramatic new mini-film for Gatorade.





Because we’re naturally nosy, we caught up with Nigel to pick his brain and try and convince him to hang out with us later.


So, what’s up?
I’m good dodging the NYC winter weather.
Can we get you something to drink?
Sure, Hennessy neat please.
What are you wearing?
Nike Flyknits, black jeans, white tee, black G-Shock.
Are you interested in anyone right now?
Not really
Do anything last night?
Zoned out to ‘Reasonable Doubt’
How late did you stay up?
Meals or snacks?
Full meals
How often do you consume alcohol?
When needed
You kissed a girl and liked it?
Yes, I actually enjoying kissing girls very much.
Has anyone seen you naked recently?
Yes and she liked it.
Blue or black ink?
Black Ink hands down.
Ever sit down in the shower?
Yea, when I just want to chill out.


When was the last time you really froke out at someone?
Never did that before.
What was the first thing you said aloud this morning?
“Thank You Lord for waking me to this blessed day”
Are you listening to music right now?
Yes, “The Ride” by Drake very very loud.
Will you text the person you like today?
If we gave you $50, what would you buy?
I would buy a couple of Lobster rolls, Red Gatorade,
Bag of BBQ chips and parking permit so I don’t get a
ticket while I sit an eat.
Last three google searches?
Froke, private jet charter and halsey leather
What are you doing later?
Sipping wine, listening to music and thinking about BMX
Can we come?
If you still appreciate the art of conversation sure
you can come.

Follow Nigel on Twitter @NigelSylvester



Who needs glitter, choreography, or skintight jumpsuits when you’ve got lush green foliage and a snuggly orange sweater?

In his new video for “Say That,” Chaz Bundick hits that indie-kid sweetspot where creepy and awkward adds up to apathetically cool. It’s this ideal crux that his one-man electro-machine Toro Y Moi has always embodied, peppering funky lo-fi cheese with shurgged-shoulder stoicism and a sort of regular-guy ease. And, he looks good in khakis.

The new clip zooms in and out on the songwriter/producer as he lackadaisically lounges, sings, or grooves amidst various landscapes. Meanwhile, a steady beat bubbles along at a languid pace, delivering a West Coast electro-funk flavor and inspiring the sleepiest of dance moves. No need to get off the couch for this one.

Bundick is scheduled to release his third album as Toro Y Moi on January 22nd. Written and recorded after a move from South Carolina to Berkeley, Anything in Return has a distinctly Californian bent. Catch Toro Y Moi in LA at the Fonda on March 3rd.


Leave it to expert restauranteur George Abou-Daoud to take fast casual to a whole ‘nother level. Inspired by his mother’s home cooking, the NYC transplant’s new spot on Fairfax is currently churning out some of the freshest, tastiest Mediterranean cuisine in Los Angeles. Featuring a diverse menu of combinable dips, sides, meats, salads or pita wraps, Urban Garden has a little something for everyone; and as delicious as it is, you’ll be surprised to find that a meal here won’t hurt your wallet or your diet.

There are a ton of vegan options on the menu—including the masterfully fried chickpea and quinoa falafel, which maintains a delicate, not-too-greasy texture and rich flavor. But omnivores will have their needs met as well, with juicy lamb shawarma, lemon herb crispy skin rotisserie chicken, or beef kefta rolls. And whether you like things spicy or mild, you’ll be find a whole range of complex flavors built from fresh local herbs and authentic imported spices. Wash it all down with a cold rosewater lemonade for a uniquely refreshing experience.


Everything from Urban Garden’s kitchen is made fresh daily from locally sourced produce, with organic chickpeas forming the basis of delicacies like babaganoush, hummus and falafel. You can choose from traditional, spicy, or sun-dried tomato hummus, which are all great paired with the thick, tangy lebneh yogurt and some fresh-baked whole wheat or traditional pita.


The only 100% lamb shawarma in Los Angeles; it’s incredibly flavorful and juicy, covered in a tangy marinade that pairs well with the eggplant babaganoush, tahini or even a little garlic sauce.

The rotisserie chicken is great to pick up for a family-style dinner. You can get a half-chicken for just $8 or the whole bird for $12 served with your choice of sauce. Add sides of rice, salad, spicy cauliflower or garlic potatoes to make it a meal.

Everything is available all wrapped up for a hand-held meal.


Stuffed grape leaves–a zesty, healthy classic.



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Happy Hour is typically a time to take the edge off the work day with a nicely discounted dose of booze, maybe even a half-priced appetizer–who can resist? But the 3 to 7pm window doesn’t always have to be decadent to be happy. Not every occasion calls for fried balls or sliders or beers or martinis.

Leave it to the geniuses at Hollywood Favorite M Café to come up with a pretty ecstatic alternative: Macro Hour.

In case you’re not already familiar, M Café is famous for it’s diverse menu of nutritious but super healthy eats that follow Macrobiotic* principles in a contemporary way. The food is made without any refined sugars, dairy, eggs, red-meat or poultry–but trust us, you won’t miss it, especially not at the new Macro Hour.


Running Weekdays at the Melrose location from 4pm-7pm, Macro Hour offers exclusive off-menu items including delicious re-interpretations of happy hour favorites, like Nachos and Mac & Cheese, as well as other fun snacks like BBQ Seitan Spring Rolls and Crispy Asparagus Spears. Everything is between $6-$8, and you can get macro-shooters for $1 each to score some extra health points. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to schedule an afternoon meeting or just grab a snack and read a book, M Café has got you covered.


BBQ Seitan Vietnamese Spring Rolls with a savory peanut sauce. So light and refreshing with a nice crispy bite.


Macro Nachos! Jalapenos, cilantro, beans, and guacamole—can’t go wrong here.


The Mac & Cheese is creamy and wholesome with sundried tomatoes, arugula, and asparagus.


The Crispy Asparagus Spears will satisfy your craving for a crunchy fried snack without getting too greasy. And the zesty dipping sauce should not be neglected.




7119 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90046

*The Macrobiotic diet is an ancient approach to eating which focuses on lighter, local, and unprocessed whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish, with the goal being the maintenance of an optimal balance.