Going Vegan with @avantgardevegan
Gaz Oakley (@avantgardevegan) is the YouTube chef leading the vegan revolution with his inventive and delicious recipes. We caught up with Gaz following the release of his debut cookbook, Vegan 100, to discuss his overnight transition into veganism, the benefits of following a plant-based diet and what his global following can expect from him next…
When did you start sharing your vegan recipes on Instagram and did you ever expect to have your own book?
It was always my dream to have a recipe book of my own, but I never imagined it might actually happen.
As a trained chef, did you come across any negative or dismissive attitudes toward vegan and vegetarian lifestyles within the catering industry?
No, not at all! My chef friends were very supportive as soon as they saw my Instagram food pictures.
You say that going vegan was an overnight decision for you, but what the factors lead you to making that choice?
The main reason was because I watched a YouTube speech by animal rights activist Gary Yourofksy. His points about animal welfare, health and the environment really hit home. I advise anyone who’s interested in veganism or is contemplating giving a plant-based diet a try, to go and check out that speech.
Since leading a vegan lifestyle, what benefits have you noticed?
I feel normal now but when I first made the change, I instantly felt cleaner, lighter and more energised. You also get a strange sense of being at one with the Earth – it’s weird!
What are your top recommendations for high protein, vegan ingredients?
Oh there’s so much, so many plant-based foods are surprisingly high in protein! My favourite foods to eat out after a workout are as follows:
- Firm tofu, Tempeh & other soy based foods
- Black beans
- Hemp & pumpkin seeds
- Kidney beans
Following the success of Vegan 100, what’s next for you? Would you like to have your own restaurant in the future?
Well, I’ve actually already written another book! It’s a Christmas orientated recipe book that comes out in September. It’s filled with some of the most show stopping and indulgent vegan recipes you will ever see. I’d also love to open a restaurant soon! I’ve told my YouTube subscribers that when I hit one million subscribers, I’ll announce my first restaurant.
Dead or alive, who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Steve Carrel, Tupac, Elon Musk and Rihanna.