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The Culinary Journey Begins

Food is my hobby.  It’s also my passion. And my obsession.

For over ten years, my vegan culinary journey slowly developed as I spent more and more time learning and practicing. I studied cookbooks, watched videos, tried flavor combinations. I cooked and tasted, tasted and cooked.  I was lucky enough to learn from a few professional restaurant cooks along the way too! Like everything else, it took time, patience and determination, which is easy when you are obsessed.  I wanted to make the best no-one-would-ever-believe-this-is-vegan dishes and baked goods.

And I did!  I opened a vegan bakery, made custom order cakes and other awesome vegan baked goods, created new menu items for Little Anthony’s pizzeria in Albany, NY (vegan pepperoni and sausage) and even held a vegan pop-up brunch featuring breakfast pizza!  I was living the vegan dream!

While all of this was going on, I was approached about teaching vegan cooking classes at two local libraries.  (The calls came in the same week!)  I said, “Yes!” An opportunity to talk to a large group of people about vegan cooking (it’s my passion you know!), and be able to prepare it live, walking them through the steps giving tips along the way?  I couldn’t think of a reason to say no.

But I soon realized that I had to come up with some easy recipes with simple cooking techniques.  It was just as important as the food tasting great.  It was a fact that people were interested in a vegan lifestyle, but not everyone had the time that I did (and still do) to cook.  It was so intimidating to people.  And I had to change that.

I started out just adapting recipes that I have in my ever-growing cookbook collection, making them easier by finding sometimes ready-made store bought shortcuts and making substitutions for easy-to-find ingredients.

The results were amazing!  People were coming up to me after class saying, “Yes, I can do this!”

I realized that good (vegan) food is the way to people’s hearts, but easy vegan cooking is going to make those full hearts happy!

I closed the bakery, but I am still creating menu items, and pop-ups are always on the horizon. The best thing that came out of all of this for me is my cooking classes!  I hold as many as my schedule will allow in between being a full time animal advocate, and spending time with my family. You can find me at libraries and at a local school district’s continuing education department.

So here (I hope) your vegan culinary journey will begin too. I’ll be sharing great vegan food with easy to follow recipes, and teaching easy techniques (and shortcuts) along the way.

Vegan food is awesome food.  Vegan cooking is happy cooking. And the vegan life is easier than you have ever expected.

You will love it!  You can do it!  The sky’s the limit!

 

Every day, in every way, for the animals!

Nicole ❤

 

 

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