“They’ve measured the energy of organic un-altered local produce on the spectrometer. There is much more vitality (and certainly nutrition) in a never refrigerated tomato, fresh from the farmer’s market. To just pick that thing up and eat it, to taste it and what it does to your body. It’s the fuel that keeps us all going.”
Chef Murray, buys whole pigs, amongst other whole animal proteins such as goats and lamb, butchers on-premise, and uses every edible bit of the animal.
“‘Revival,’ is about reviving the art of the whole animal, and the classic French way of sourcing everything from where you live. Keeping bees and gardening, having chickens and ducks and getting your food in this type of way.”
Amy, who moved to Berkeley in 1992 after living in Rome, NYC, and Japan/South East Asia, intimately knows every small NorCal local ranch, local produce farm and sources exclusively from her local “food shed” (between 50 to 100 miles local radius.)
“I was very inspired by the idea when the settlers started moving out to the prairie they had nothing and they had to figure it out. They had to learn how to plant and keep animals, how to process dairy and the whey. This is why I called this place Revival. The reviving of these wholesome practices. And partially, it’s a revival of the street. I want people to feel like this is a good representation of what I and the people of Berkeley are all about. I am a person of Berkeley, and citizen of the world. I have traveled extensively, but I am very committed to organic, local values, sourcing from where I live, being sustainable.
I had cooked a lot while living at home as a teenager because I was one of eight kids. My Mom was so happy to have someone else who wanted to cook.
Later, living in NYC, I wasn’t working. Everything had become too expensive, due in part to the ‘Trumpian’ real estate take over of the time, hiking all the rents up. Also, the kind of male-dominated, under the table sleaziness was very prevalent back then. I really loved cooking but I didn’t have any female mentors to draw me forward. My Japanese friend came through on a visit and invited me to go to Japan with her. So I jumped at it.
When I was in Japan I just fell in love with the food and traditions and the rootedness in these traditions. The menu of Japan, is one nation, one menu. I fell in love the pickles, pickled vegetables, and fiddlehead ferns, and mushrooms etc. Eating miso soup and pickles and seaweed made me feel very special.
At some point in my three years in Japan, I knew I wanted to open my own restaurant. After successful runs with first restaurants Happy Belly and Venus (both in Berkeley) I opened Revival in 2010. Revival is more refined, classical Norcal, Farm to Table, with classic French influences.
I, and most of most of the chefs I know are inspired by the principles that Chez Panisse brought forward in the 70’s. We all aspire to that. With a small business like us, we have to live in our integrity or it’s not going to work. We have to be our word or it all goes downhill. I’ve been doing this for going on 25 years, so I hope that when I say I’m using local organic eggs, my customers know this is exactly what there are getting.
Mainly what we do is feature a mixed grill, (curated from the whole animal) because you can’t get enough cuts from one animal, so we will make a sausage from the secondary tertiary cuts, one lamb chop a leg, a sausage, a crepinette. We use the belly as some kind of bacon, lamb bacon, goat bacon. The whole team really gets into that, getting behind how we can use the whole animal and not waste anything.”
The passion is the motor of the engine that drives the car.
“I eat this way. I want people to eat this way. I want to promote this world. We vote with our dollars. We vote with our choices. If we really want this world to grow and get better and be a healthy place for our children we need to be committed to the lifestyle.
I have always said that if I can stay true to my passion and integrity and people eat that and get revitalized and they can do their life better, then it’s a really good symbiotic relationship that’s really what keeps me going, the ‘mycelium net.’”