LiveWell Louisiana

Vegan Vision

Discover Bhava — a tasty treasure in the Bywater.
October 30th, 2014 by: Lianna Patch

You might know chef Anne Churchill from Karma Kitchen, the catering and food wholesale business she started in 2004. You might know her from dinner service at the former Bridge Lounge. You might be a musician 
— in which case Churchill may well have cooked for you on tour.

Or, you might know Churchill from Bhava — the cozy, 30-seat vegan restaurant above Feelings Café in the Marigny, which she opened with Feelings proprietor Jim Baird last November. “The atmosphere is warm and welcoming,” Churchill says. 
“It’s kind of romantic, and a little sexy, I think. It also feels like you’ve stumbled on a secret, as you have to go through Feelings, up the stairs, out on a balcony and in the door to find us.”

Churchill has long been committed to supporting sustainable food systems, cooking healthy dishes, and offering vegetarian and vegan options. “I feel better when I eat less meat and dairy,” she says. “I look better too. It’s also the best thing one can do for the environment in terms of personal impact. Meat and dairy are really hard on the environment, and not that good for us.” 

The chef and her crew make all of Bhava’s dishes from scratch, shopping for ingredients locally. 
“Farmers markets, Whole Foods, Hong Kong Market — we forage,” she says. “After all the excess, sometimes it’s nice to give your system some easily digestible, nutrient-dense food that happens to be delicious.”

According to Churchill, Bhava has helped spark a growing movement in the city’s decidedly non-vegan culinary scene. “Vegan is a new niche in New Orleans,” she says. “We opened; then [came] 3 Potato 4, then Sneaky Pickle and Seed. Now it’s a thing.” Mark your calendars: Bhava is open just three days a week (Thursday through Saturday, from 6 to 10 pm). 

When she’s not serving up vegan fare at the restaurant, Churchill caters, cooks for private clients and works in her garden. She kicks back by watching Netflix shows. “Mind of a Chef is awesome!” she says.