I am one of the lucky ones whose passion is also their profession - cooking. At 15 I asked for my first set of knives for Christmas. Later that year I started my apprenticeship, and from there my career took me around the world, where I worked in restaurants and country house hotels. I was fortunate to work with some very talented chefs, creating dishes for some very famous faces.
For the past 11 years I have been cooking as a private chef and am currently working on a luxury super yacht that travels the world.
Two years ago while travelling with my wife in Indonesia, I faced one of my biggest life-changing experiences that made me question my cooking principles and eating habits. It was in Bali, where there are so many thriving vegan, raw food and vegetarian restaurants, that I participated in a raw/vegan chefs training course. I learnt so much from the lectures and the cooking classes that I was inspired. On my return I continued to eat plant-based foods for a total of five months and I can honestly tell you I felt everything that people tell you to expect - healthy, focused and energetic. I felt 25 again!
There’s a reason why plant-based or vegan food (what ever you choose to call it) is everywhere you look. It’s not just because it’s fashionable, it’s because it works. Even Gordon Ramsey has said that his is “going to give this vegan thing a try”.
Everywhere I travel - and because of my job I travel a lot - I see a growing number of people turning to a diet higher in plant-based food. They are becoming more aware of how we are damaging our health and environment with the wrong food choices. With the rise of the fast food industry and processed foods over the past four decades, we are now sicker than ever before. Even our children are suffering from obesity and diabetes caused by an unhealthy diet.
salad with mug beans and garden herbs
But it’s not too late. Plant-based eating should not be a diet as such, but a lifestyle choice. We can use food as medicine.
Think of it as changing your world one meal at a time. You don't even have to go to extremes; next time you’re making a burger for the family, try making a veggie burger instead of meat?
For a weekend breakfast, instead of your usual fry-up try leaving out the bacon, eggs and sausage? It’s not as drastic as it sounds if you add mushrooms, tomatoes, grilled asparagus and avocado.
Or for something completely different, how about some light and fluffy vegan waffles with maple syrup? Trust me, you’ll get used to it. Most of what we eat comes through habit, not through thoughtful choice, and changing your eating habits is the first step in moving towards a more healthy way of nourishing our bodies. We seem to forget, that’s why we eat in the first place.
Red cabbage & lime slaw
Eating plant-based food doesn't have to be boring. A world of ingredients is now at our fingertips, with so many great recipes on the internet, and supermarkets local shops offering every kind of herb and spice imaginable, there really is no excuse.
The time is now. Give plants a chance - I promise you’ll feel great.