About Us

NAMA is the reflection of a fabulous team of individuals that put all their talent out there to show the world that vegan, and particularly raw vegan food, can be beautiful, healthy and super tasty.

Irene Arango

  • Irene’s interest in raw food began through her search for better health and more energy. The raw food lifestyle worked a treat, and she’s been fascinated by it ever since!

    Since then, Irene has dedicated her life to helping others find that perfect balance of good health and high energy levels – whether they wholly embrace raw food or simply add a little to their existing diet.

    Irene’s aim is to bring raw food, and all of its benefits, into the mainstream, showing just how exciting raw dishes can be when using your creativity and imagination.

    Opening NAMA with fellow raw food chef, Rich Havardi, in 2012, has allowed her to, happily, pursue this aim – bringing the wonders of raw food to a wider audience.

    Prior to this, she had already started two other raw food ventures offering juice cleanse programmes and sweet treats which are now part of Nama. When she is not at the restaurant, Irene remains dedicated to the raw food lifestyle, spending her days working in her kitchen, developing all sorts of exciting new recipes… oh, and taking care of NAMA’s paperwork (ho-hum).

    Irene, together with Rich, runs raw food workshops and culinary events, to encourage and inspire more people to embrace the raw lifestyle.

    In essence, she is a non-stop, raw food dynamo!

    Irene believes that a diet high in raw foods is not only a way to become healthier, but that creating raw food dishes allows you to use your imagination and nurture your spirit.

Rich Havardi

  • Rich has always had a passion for food and nutrition, and is a firm believer in the value of a healthy diet for body, mind, and spirit. He is passionate about incorporating high quality and vibrant raw foods into his diet, and has seen huge health benefits, in recent years, as a result of this.

    In his own words: ‘My energy levels have dramatically increased, I feel more focussed and balanced, my skin feels radiant, I don’t suffer from any digestive problems, and can’t remember when I last got sick.’

    Having worked as a raw food chef at Down To Earth, in Kensington, Rich realised his dream of offering the same incredible health benefits to others, by opening Nama, with Irene.

    Rich believes in sourcing the highest quality raw foods, using them to create healthy and delicious raw savoury and sweet dishes.

    Essentially, he wants everyone to leave Nama with the thought ‘yummy!’ in their mind, and that feelgood factor of having eaten something wonderfully nourishing.

    He is also committed to educating and inspiring as many people as he can about the value of a healthy, raw, vegan diet – restoring their harmony and wellbeing.

    Additionally, Rich runs raw food workshops, providing people with the techniques, resources, and recipes necessary to start making raw food dishes in a simple and healthful way.

    He loves to inject an element of fun and interactivity into his sessions, not least when teaching others how to make blissful raw chocolate treats!

Philosophy

At NAMA, aside from constantly creating delicious raw food goodies for you, we have some guiding principles that underpin everything we do to promote our own, individual philosophy within the existing raw food philosophy.

Here are the six pillars of that, which we live by, day by day:

Our Mission

Our sole aim is promote wellbeing through nutrition’. We believe in harnessing the power of natural food to create balanced, nourishing, life-enriching dishes that help you to attain greater levels of health, in both body and mind.

It’s about listening and responding to what your body needs and what it’s calling for! Above all, we are passionate food and health lovers, and this feeds into everything we do at NAMA.

Multisensory Dining

At NAMA, we feel that not only should food taste and smell incredible, it should look amazing too. Eating good, healthy food should be a multisensory experience. We value the presentation of our dishes – their aesthetic – as much as their taste. We aim to create food that is instantly Instagrammable!

The restaurant itself is designed to be a light, bright, airy space, as we feel the interior should reflect the purity of the food.

Freshness

Raw food works best, in terms of offering maximum health benefits, when the ingredients used are as fresh as can be. We get these ingredients in, daily, from our reputable suppliers.

All of our food is handmade, on the premises, and we never make big batches of food in advance, to serve later in the week.

Choice

We believe in choice. We believe in blowing away the common misconception that a raw, vegan diet is limited.

For example, at NAMA you have the choice of coconut, almond, rice, hemp, or soya milk in your tea or coffee.

We aim to show you, with our creative collection of dishes, that we are anything but simple ‘crudites and dips’. Pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, Pad Thai, umpteen desserts and drinks – that’s what NAMA is all about.

Beyond Food

We don’t just eat and serve raw food, we live and breathe the ethos of a sustainable raw food lifestyle.

Everything at NAMA adheres to the raw philosophy. All of our packaging is biodegradable, and the cleaning products we use are eco-friendly. And, as we make everything fresh, we have minimal waste as it runs out through the day.

Community

Yes, our actual restaurant is in one spot, but we’re all about the wider community that we serve. We want anyone and everyone to feel comfortable at NAMA; families (we have baby changing facilities), singles, groups, larger parties.

Our staff are carefully selected so that their philosophy mirrors our own, and they are passionate and enthusiastic in sharing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle with the community.

We’re also incredibly active in engaging with our online community, posting on Facebook and Twitter – little snippets of information, advice, or recipes – and recommending others who share our ethos.