News / City Life

Things you only know if you’re a vegan chef

Day Radley, vegan chef
Photograph: Andy Parsons

…according to Day Radley, 40.

Every year, more non-vegans are open to giving it a go

‘I’ve done a lot of teaching, and most people who’ve come to my classes aren’t vegan. They’re there either because their partner has brought them along or they want to increase the amount of plant-based food in their diet. There’s been a shift in the number of people happy to take veganism on board part-time.’

Visuals are more important for chefs than ever

‘Everything I learned in my art degree has come into play. It’s helped with creating my website and photographing my food. Knowing how proportions work helps me plate food. Now is a great time for people with art degrees because the visual side of things plays such a big role in communication, especially with food.’

There aren't enough vegan chefs to cater for the demand

‘Gone are the days when vegans were happy because there was something they could eat on the menu. Now vegan cuisine needs to push boundaries. I’ve opened the Vegan Chef Institute to fast-track chefs in vegan cooking because I’m hearing from a lot of restaurants that they can’t find the staff.’

A lot of people basically just don’t know how to cook

‘I’ve been working with a GP who’s been advising patients to eat a more plant-based diet, but they say they don’t know how to cook. We’re at a point where we risk a whole generation not knowing how to make meals from scratch, which is scary. If I can get people throwing food together and playing with food, that’s when we win over processed food companies. Though you should always have a back-up in the freezer, just in case.’ 

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