Eliane » Evelyn's Mark
Mark is the founder, raw vegan, food guru, coach & nutritional specialist at Evelyn's Mark, a raw vegan retreat for the health conscious.
vegan, raw vegan, health retreat, vegan retreat, healthy lifestyle, vegan uk, what is being vegan like, is veganism better, veganism
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Eliane... a happy place to meet and eat.

In 2011 John Willmott was diagnosed with Stage 3B bowel cancer. He was given a terrible prognosis and the conventional treatment that was proposed indicated he would have at best a 40% chance of survival but with much lasting damage from the aggressive therapies suggested by his oncologist.


His wife Rafia Willmott was adamant that there must be another way. She knew from her experience and history of using spices for healing various different ailments that there had to be a more effective solution on offer, somewhere in Nature. She also knew that the conventional treatment proposed by their oncologist would turn John into half the man that he was and she was not going to allow that come hell or high water.

Rafia began her search for a person who could guide and direct her and her husband on what could and should be done from the natural and alternative perspectives in order to save him and in order to bring his health back to its best. Through a chain of several people she was introduced to Mark Kimchi who at the time was assisting local people within his community to adjust their diets for better health. Mark already had an information website running and was taking calls from sick people asking for his opinion on their diets.


Mark met with Rafia and John and he agreed to help them achieve their goals by creating a programme for dietary and lifestyle change which John was to adhere to rigidly. Having refused to continue with conventional treatment, John and Rafia placed all of their trust in Mark. He kept in close contact with them and visited their home to train Rafia and the family on how to prepare the foods that were to be served to John to maximise the efficacy of the food properties in the fight against cancer. From this a beautiful friendship was born.

Consequently through the dietary overhaul, John and Rafia who used to frequent fine dining establishments and enjoy eating out regularly with their family and their friends, discovered that it was quite difficult to dine out as most restaurants would use ingredients not approved of by Mark. They too, would typically not use organic ingredients and they would usually favour the more indulgent ingredients to achieve the best flavour. Restaurants, like all businesses are trying to make money first and foremost after all. Rafia and John found themselves calling ahead to speak to chefs hours or even days before a function to provide a list of acceptable ingredients and to advise of what cooking practices were not to be employed in the preparation of John’s meals.


It was through this repeatedly happening, that John and Rafia had a thought. They betted that if a restaurant that was ready and skilled enough to serve foods for all dietary requirements, it would be in demand by many; that if some recipes were to be created and prepared with some of the practices that Mark had laid out for them, that anyone then — even those who are on hyper-specific diets for illness — could be catered for and would not have to just stay at home and miss out while all their friends and family eat what they choose. The idea was conceived in that moment to create Eliane. A restaurant with a difference.


Rafia approached Mark and floated the concept and requested his involvement. She understood Mark’s vegan background and immediately wanted to take on this project with him. Mark was to head up the vegan and raw vegan aspects of the restaurant’s “Choices” concept and to also be responsible for the training of the staff in relation to product selection, cooking techniques and education of raw foods. Mark created the juice and smoothie bar and the staff are all avid proponents of the benefits of juicing and blending and can always direct customers on some of the reasons why certain methods are undertaken.

Some of the principles of Eliane’s ethos have been written up by Mark in bitesize bits in the form of colourful information cards that grace Eliane’s tables within the restaurant. Designed to inform customers and to be interesting reading the information cards have become quite instrumental in the transformation of the locals of Hungerford into more conscious eaters with better habits!

Eliane - The Choice Cafe

In 2015 while Mark branched out to set up the company’s raw vegan retreat -Evelyn’s Mark – Rafia began working on Eliane’s cookbook which she was determined to have published.


Once again the two collaborated and in December of 2016, ‘Food to make the soul smile’ the official cookbook of Eliane was published. Mark contributed all of the health notes on all the vegan recipes and consulted with Rafia on areas of the book that required his specific input.


You can view & purchase a copy by clicking on the image of the cookbook here.

Eliane Cookbook - Food to make the soul smile

Following on from the successful launch of the cookbook and the Hungerford restaurant’s ongoing triumph, the dynamic duo decided to expand Eliane as a brand and open a 2nd restaurant in Sunningdale, near Ascot. In March 2017 the restaurant opened from much hype and anticipation and it seems the steam roller is not showing any signs of slowing down.


The Eliane brand is soon to be launching its own range of easy-to-add sauces that can literally be stirred into various ingredients to create delectable and mouth-watering dishes.


Eliane has also expanded into offering luxury yoga retreats at Château de Montjoie, a venue acquired and privately owned by Rafia and Mark specifically for the new Eliane retreats and the famed Evelyn’s Mark Process.


Oh and the final part of the story is that in 2012, John was given the fantastic news that he was ‘all clear’ and he has resumed living life to the full and being very present for his wife and children.


Eliane was set up as ‘a happy place to meet and eat’ and there is good reason for why it is so!