Plant Powered Shabbat: Sienna Ricca

Written by: Sienna Ricca
April 2022

Plant Powered Shabbat: Sienna Ricca

Plant Powered Shabbat is a OneTable series that celebrates the Jewish values of nourishing ourselves and the world around us through plant-based cooking and eating. Hear from OneTable hosts and guests how they’re bringing these values to the Shabbat table!

OneTable LA host Sienna Ricca (she/her) shares how she’s bringing radical hospitality to the table, from hosting plant-based Shabbats to helping others create their own plant-based parties.

I would describe myself as creative and determined, and I find comfort outside of my comfort zone. I live in Topanga Canyon, and I’m an artist by nature. When I was growing up, I would write on the walls — my family called me Picasso! I grew up pretty traditionally Jewish, was bat mitzvahed, went on Birthright, and regularly went to Shabbat services. After traveling post-graduation, I moved to Malibu, worked as a hostess and in customer service, and thought that eventually, I needed to get a “big girl” job to be successful. Fast forward, the pandemic hit, and I lost both of my jobs, and my business, Party With Plants (which I started as a food blog in college when I was 18), finally took center stage.

I love spreading the message about plant-based cooking and eating in a way that’s inviting. I think veganism is intimidating to people because it becomes about perfection, and that’s a really harmful narrative. Plants are something to be celebrated — I’m here to inspire people to eat more plants and have a good time doing it!

Whether it’s through hosting my own vegan Shabbats or helping someone bring their own plant-based party to life, my goal is to create a welcoming and inclusive environment. I feel so grateful that I get to bring people together to break bread from all walks of life.

I used to surround myself only with veganism and people who shared my beliefs. But since moving to LA and starting my own business, I’ve learned how important it is to connect with people who have different lifestyles and interests. If you’re the smartest person in the room, find a new room so you can grow!

For me, Judaism is a really accepting form of spirituality and religion. I was always taught to be compassionate toward other humans and animals. Being encouraged to be open-minded as a kid helped me break away and question; it’s helped me think outside the box. That’s been a catalyst for me in choosing a plant-based lifestyle and sharing what I’ve learned with others.

Shabbat is an incredible opportunity to slow down and reflect on your week. It’s go-go-go when you start a business, and you don’t always take time to appreciate how far you’ve come and the goals you have moving forward. I notice that I’ll accomplish something big, but I didn’t take time to celebrate it. I don’t want to look back and think that I’ve missed the opportunity to enjoy the process. Shabbat is about bringing awareness and joy to the process.