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Given the huge surge in interest over veganism in the last couple of years, it may seem like Chef Chantelle Nicholson saw the trend coming when she first had the idea for a plant-based cookbook a year and a half ago.
Her cookbook, Planted: A Chef’s Show-stopping Vegan Recipes, was born out of the 37 year old chef's love of a challenge. She said, "When I looked around to find resources for plant-based cooking at a restaurant level, there were hardly any.”
Nicholson has been chef at numerous Marcus Wareing kitchens since her move to London from New Zealand some 14 years ago. She was trusted with opening and managing Gilbert Scott in St Pancras, and in 2014 she opened Tredwells for Wareing in Covent Garden, which she runs and oversees to this day.
One of the main inspirations for her vegan cookbook was the dire lack of vegan puddings in restaurants. Knowing how much her lactose-intolerant friend struggled finding anything other than sorbet or fruit when dining out, she believed everyone should be able to get some "creaminess and gooiness in puddings".
The chef really got excited by aquafaba - the water from tinned chickpeas - which is an amazing substitute for egg whites, allowing her to make egg-free mayonnaise and merengues. It's really quite clear to see how fascinated the chef is with aquafaba; the five-course Planted tasting menu included 24 uses of the magic chickpea water!
So there we have it, vegans aren't the only ones who know how to make damn good plant-based meals!
Source: The Guardian