10 of My Favorite Vegan Chefs

Shiitakes stuffed with foraged Nettles and Cashew Cheese, from my upcoming cookbook.

I spend a great deal of my time cooking. With my 28th anniversary as a Vegetarian coming up, and one and a half years as a Vegan, I am compiling this short list of some of my favorite Vegan chefs. There are so many fellow cruelty-free travelers, so I will try to update this list, periodically. I don’t write negative reviews. I commend anyone who is brave enough to be creative and expressive, and use their talents for social activism, but I also believe in spot-lighting genius. First:

One Green Planet

is an amazing database of Vegan recipes, bloggers, and activist news. Their daily newsletter is exhaustive in the best possible way with delicious vegan feasts, and while I hate reminders of the atrocities of factory farms, I do credit their unnerving exposés with shifting me from Vegetarian to Vegan. If you do nothing other than subscribe to their newsletter, you will have everything you need to flourish as a Vegan.

Purple Ube Gnocchi with Cauliflower Alfredo: one of the many spontaneous creations I may never be able to repeat.

Richa Hingle

is the blogger behind Vegan Richa and has two books: Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen, and Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen: Epic Anytime Recipes with a World of Flavor. Random favorites are: Grillable Bean Artichoke Spinach Cauliflower Burgers, the White Vegetable Korma, from her Indian cookbook, and Pumpkin Pecan Crumb Cake.

Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner

wrote the first Vegan cookbook I purchased when I lived in Humboldt, 20 years ago: The Now and Zen Epicure: Gourmet Cuisine for the Enlightened Palate. She has since created some of the best vegan cheeses available for purchase, and has written: The New Now and Zen Epicure, Japanese Cooking: Contemporary and Traditional [Simple, Delicious, and Vegan], The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples, and Artisan Vegan Cheese. Personal favorites are the Chevre, Brie, and Pub Cheeses from her Artisan Cheese Book and her Burgers, Bacon, and Chips on her Youtube channel.

Foraged Nettle and Pine Nut Fatayer, from my upcoming cookbook. Photo Credit: Victoria Hungerhurst.

Avant-Garde Vegan

Gaz Oakley is a phenomenal chef, and even better, Vegan. His Youtube channel has brought European and multi-National delicacies into our home, and he is one of the first people I recommend to gourmand friends. His book, Vegan 100, came out earlier last year, followed by Vegan Christmas. Check out his Wood-Fired Pizza, his Epic Holiday Vegan Wellington, and his Profiteroles.

Sweet Potato Soul

Jenné Claiborne brings Southern flavors into fresh, Plant-Based cuisine, through her Youtube channel and cookbook, Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes. We love her Southern Sweet Potato Biscuits, her Vegan Winter Soups (Chili, Green Gumbo, and Sweet Potato Bisque), and her Pumpkin Mac and Cheese.

It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

I turn to Sam Turnbull for North American comfort food, junk food that isn’t actually junky (just tastes like it), and easy recipes I can always count on. She regularly updates her Youtube channel. I’m ashamed to admit I don’t yet own Fuss-Free Vegan, even though I’ve recommended it many times to transitioning friends as a simple way to love becoming Vegan. We regularly eat her Baked Almond Snacking Cheese, her Spinach Artichoke Dip joins us at every party, and her Rainbow Shirataki Bowl with Peanut Lime Sauce is insanely fun.

Roasted Elderberry Yams. A little more shameless self promotion.

Fully Raw Kristina

has been on Youtube for years, inundating Millennials with the healthiest Plant-Based cuisine since the Garden of Eden. She wrote The Fully Raw Diet. These 5 FullyRaw Salad Dressings will get you started, followed by her Hot Pink Delicious Dressing, and her FullyRaw Rainbow Unicorn Cupcakes.

Wild Sage Greenbean Casserole with Oyster Mushrooms. Moi, again.

Bryant Terry

Chef-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, Mr. Terry brings Eco-Veganism to the table. My family eats regularly from his book, Vegan Soul Kitchen like Spicy Smothered Green Cabbage, Creole Hoppin’ Jean, and Smothered Seitan Medallions in Mixed-Mushroom Gravy. He has also written Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed, and The Inspired Vegan.

Peaceful Cuisine

The artistry of Riyoya Takashima’s Youtube videos has no rival. Alas, his book is currently only available in Japanese. I plan to cook all of his delicacies, regularly, and I want his kitchen. Make his Dumplings, Pumpkin Buns, and Green Curry to start.

There’s no reason to miss cheese. None. Whatsoever. Hand Model Credit: Jim.

Full of Plants

Beautiful and delicious. While many of Thomas’ dishes have found themselves on our weeknight dinner table, his cultured cheeses are exceptional enough for the best Parisian restaurant. His Youtube channel has a few of his recipes, but all are available through his website. If, like me, you have hesitated to become Vegan because you are a cheese snob, check out his Blue Cheese, his Hickory Smoked Cheese, and his Ash Ripened Camembert.

Seitan is My Motor

If you want all the decadence of Classic European Gluttony without harming animals, look no further. Pumpkin Semolina Gnocchi, Chocolate Cherry Guglhupf, and the Ultimate Vegan Croissant will keep you on your path to righteousness.