Championed as a lifestyle by its devotees and dismissed as a fad by critics, any doubt the "paleo diet" has hit the mainstream should be debunked with the launch of celebrity chef Pete Evans' first WA restaurant venture this month.
Evans will not be presiding over a stove at CBD apartment hotel Fraser Suites Perth but he has overhauled the in-house restaurant to create a menu in keeping with the paleo philosophy.
A new name for the restaurant will be announced within weeks, to be followed by a launch.
The My Kitchen Rules reality show judge, in Perth next week for The Paleo Way talking tour, has also rejigged Fraser Suites' food and drink offerings across the board, with paleo-friendly options for room service and event catering.
"I see this as being in the infancy of this whole shift of lifestyle," Evans said of the growth in popularity of the paleo philosophy, which bases its dietary principles on a hunter-gatherer diet, with a few updates for the modern world, and takes its name from the paleolithic period.
"People are finding they're getting results from adopting this way of life and they haven't had to really take any pills for it or pharmaceuticals or anything like that."
Fraser Suites Perth general manager Allison Englebretsen said the collaboration with Evans was about offering "nutritional and unpretentious" food.
"All the food that we're delivering will have his food philosophy behind it," she said.
Eating paleo can mean different things but for Evans it means minimising sugar, grains and dairy, eating lots of vegetables and good fats and a moderate amount of protein from well-cared-for animals. The principles are not all in line with Australian dietary guidelines, which recommend moderate amounts of dairy and grains and less protein than is advocated by most versions of the diet.
Martine Trinder, executive chef and manager at CNR Kitchen in Northbridge, is one of a growing number of restaurateurs in Perth to tap into the growing demand for paleo and raw food options.
CNR specialises in paleo, raw and vegan food and runs cooking classes.
"The way I explain it (paleo food) is that it is like grandma cooking," Ms Trinder said. "It's just wholesome, healthy cooking and real food: vegetables and meat without all the processed stuff."
Ms Trinder said most customers did not follow a particular diet but just wanted to eat healthily. "The larger market, from a business perspective, is people who want to eat healthier," she said. "It's not people who are die-hard into paleo, vegan and raw food."
People are finding they're getting results."Chef Pete Evans