Emmanuelle Sawko is the trendsetting founder of hugely popular health food restaurant Wild & The Moon in Paris, and the award-winning lifestyle concept store Comptoir 102 in Dubai. We chatted to her about the inspiration behind her businesses and how she keeps active and grounded whilst running them!
Q: What inspired you to start your restaurants Wild & The Moon and Comptoir 102?
A: I started Comptoir 102 when I moved to Dubai. I had spent the previous 4 years in New York and was missing a place where I could find my favourite brands in interior design, jewellery and fashion, and have a healthy meal with organic food too. I wanted a place that felt like home. I knew I was taking a risk because nothing like that existed in Dubai at the time. It was all fast-food and high street fashion, or luxury brands. Luckily, we had an amazing reception to the concept from our clients so I decided to take that concept a bit further and open restaurants serving 100% plant-based, organic, local and seasonal food.
Q: What advice would you give to our readers who want to pursue a healthy diet?
A: Cook and indulge. In general, everybody knows what is good and what is not good. But because we have busy lives or feel tired, we don’t take the time to cook healthy meals: we owe it to our body and to our soul to make that time for ourselves. And when it comes to diet, you can forget about deprivation, it’s not the way to go.
Q: Can you tell us more about the #EatWise detox delivery programs you’ve pioneered at Wild & The Moon?
A: The programs have been designed with chefs and nutritionists to provide all the vitamins and minerals one needs. At the same time, they don’t burden the system with an overload of sugar, bad fat, or proteins so it gives the body a chance to rest and activate its natural detox system. At the end of one of our programs—which can be as gentle or intense as you like—you should feel lighter, re-energised, with a clearer mind and softer skin. You can read more about the #EatWise detox programs on our website.
Q: What’s your guilty pleasure this season?
A: Partying with friends, even though I know I have 1000 hours of debt on the meter.
Q: Where are you from?
A: My parents are both Parisian and I consider myself Parisian, but I was born in New York, and grew up in the Swiss mountains, lived in New York and Dubai before moving back to Paris. All these places have a very special place in my heart.
Q: What are your favourite travel destinations?
A: Tulum in Mexico for the white sandy beaches and turquoise sea (and the guacamole, of course), Sri Lanka for its wild nature and rich landscapes, and Biarritz for the waves and childhood memories.
Q: How do you exercise, and where?
A: I used to do boxing every day with a Muay Thai trainer in Dubai. Now I mix it up with yoga, which really helps me feel grounded. When my yoga teacher Aria is in town, I practice with her, otherwise I do it on my mat at home. But wherever I am, I need that one hour for me in the morning.
Q: How would you describe French style?
A: It’s about style rather than fashion. It’s about knowing what suits you, I guess. It’s feminine and ‘desinvolte’ (nonchalant in English), classic with a touch of rock. It’s whatever you want it to be, but it’s mostly about being yourself and not trying too hard.
Q: How do you switch off?
A: When I’m in Dubai, I walk on the beach, or I meditate. If I have a chance, I take a few days off in the mountains. I try to switch my phone off as well but I’m not always good at doing that.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: My family is my greatest achievement, and if I can contribute to making the world just a little bit of a better place, I will be content.