Culinary Artist, Curator, Consultant
I am here to share the joy and knowledge I have acquired over the past 25 years of preparing vegan cuisine. My vegan journey began in 1995 with my mother’s bout with cancer. I transformed loss into healing. Food is sustenance, art, culture, and history. I weave all of these elements together in demonstrations, interactive lessons, talks, and writing. I also explore a wide range of ethnic cuisines, including Soul Food, West African, Caribbean, Thai, and more. Make an inquiry, and I can design a delicious event that meets your needs.
Vita's Latest Cooking Series
Recently, the 11 Street Bridge Park invited me to do a 4-part cooking series in partnership with their urban farms. For each session, I curated vegan recipes that featured produce from their farms. Destinee Johnson, program administrator, cooked along with me on camera. Maya Botchway moderated each session. which involved sharing the agenda, recipe steps, and purported, health benefits of key ingredients that I researched. I loved this collaboration because of the Bridge Park’s commitment to creating equitable access to healthy food options.
Souper Tuesday was the name of session three. My challenge was to demonstrate something delicious made with potatoes and onions from the Bridge Park farms. For this session, I demonstrated how to make a cream of mushroom soup, in which the cream was made with potatoes blended with almond milk. Try it and I guarantee you will love it!
Roasted Butternut Squash
Roasted butternut squash with a glaze made from maple syrup and bourbon was the focus of session two. I demonstrate how to peel and cut up the squash. We even played some bourbon trivia. The dish itself takes around 20 minutes to bake and will make a great holiday side.
Easy, Delicious Berry Crumble
In session one, we made an easy, delicious berry crumble that featured blueberries from the farms. The beautiful part about this recipe is that six cups of any fresh fruit will work!
The fourth and final session of the series featured collard greens. We chopped the greens finely and preserved the nutrients by not adding any additional water to the pot. After making the greens, I showed participants some cultural fusion by making collard green wontons with hot sauce for dipping. All in one hour!
My approach is to make vegan cooking accessible in terms of ingredients, techniques, and recipes. I want clients to feel empowered to transition to and maintain a vegan lifestyle to the extent that they would like. I want it to feel like a culinary adventure. My approach will get your creative juices flowing and you will be able to come up with a way.
Culture, Travel, Adventure
FOOD AS EXPLORATION
Food is a delicious way to experience friendship, culture and place in the comfort of one’s own kitchen. Future blog posts will reflect this philosophy.
Ghanaian Jollof Rice
I spent the summer of 1994 studying at the University of Ghana in Ghana, West Africa. I fell in love with the cuisine and learned the basics of it from a family that hosted me for a day. Jollof rice became one of my favorites, but only recently did I master the art of it. One day I’ll share this dish in a cooking session.
Roasted Hen of the Woods Mushrooms
I am a mushroom lover. Mushrooms are hearty and a great substitute for meat texture. Some of my favorites include portobello, baby bella, shitake, and oyster. Thanks to my neighbor Jeff who forages, I have been introduced to chicken of the woods and hen of the woods mushrooms. Hen of the woods, also known as maitake, has become my absolute favorite. I can eat whole baking sheets at a time.
Indian Dal Made of Pureed Spaghetti and Zucchini Squash
Indian is one of my favorite cuisines. Turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamon, and garam masala are spices that are always in my cabinet. Usually made by pureeing lentils, dal is one of my favorite Indian soups. I made this version by pureeing two different varieties of squash with delicious results. To top it all off, the squash were gifts from my friends’ gardens.
WHAT CLIENTS ARE SAYING
Whether for fun, team-building, education, or social justice, I curate food sessions that fit the unique needs of individuals, organizations, and agencies.
Work with Vita the Vegan Chef today!
Ask a vegan cooking question or suggest a culinary event. Include the type of event (friends gathering, team building, birthday party, happy hour, etc.), date, time, number of people, etc. The possibilities are endless. Vita will promptly get back to you.