Chef Features

Throughout the challenge, we want to showcase chefs and restaurant owners from within our community.

We took time to get to know them and asked a few questions about the Vegan Chef Challenge (VCC) and environmental responsibility; see their answers below.

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Brown Rice Bakery

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First up is J from Brown Rice Bakery. They are new to the vegan pop scene and are making a splash.

 

Where do you get your inspiration for the Vegan Dishes you created for VCC?

J: "Leaves falling from trees, cooler weather, fall vegetables and seasonal flavors were my inspiration for my 2022 Vegan Chef Challenge menu, featuring sweet potato, pumpkin, ginger, salted caramel and more! I was also inspired by my own cravings for foods that I struggle to find in gluten free AND vegan form. I started Brown Rice Bakery to fill that gap and provide treats that tick both boxes. Oreo cheesecake in particular is one of my favorites!"

What do you believe is the responsibility of the restaurant community for setting policies and standards to protect the environment?

J: "Coming from an environmental justice background working with communities heavily impacted by pesticide exposure, I try to make sure that Brown Rice Bakery uses organic ingredients, as well as recyclable or compostable packaging for the products when possible. The lack of animal products also reduces our negative impact on the environment from a water quality, air quality and climate change perspective. The restaurant/food community has a role to play in environmental justice and sustainability, but it is also crucial that government policies support small business owners in being able to affordably make those choices."

What's your best advice for restaurants to incorporate more vegan dishes into their menus.

J:"For me, making vegan food involves an appreciation of the massive, diverse and exciting amount of ingredients, plants, spices, and flavor combinations that exist out there. The term "vegan" throws a lot of people off, understandably, but vegan food really is just food, and for me, creating plant-based recipes is simply about celebrating various ingredients. I would also encourage those open to plant-based dishes to use it as an opportunity to learn about others' (or their own) foods, flavors and traditions. Much of the world's cuisines are just naturally mostly vegan, and many Black and Brown people around the world have been eating this way for generations, despite common misconceptions. "

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Vegan Deadly Sins

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Meet Alice & Eddy Poon,  AKA Mr. & Mrs. Vegan Deadly Sins 

 

 

Where do you get your inspiration for the Vegan Dishes you created for VCC?

"Just like our approach to all of our dishes. We are a family-owned and run restaurant with a strong desire to share what is on our family table with yours. Sacramento is our huge family that we love and will always support, so when you eat our cuisine, we want you to feel like you're eating with family."

 

 

Do you feel Sacramento lives up to its title “Farm to Fork Capital”?

"Yes we do, We have an excellent source of good ingredients that are easy to get at a fair price and give us the feeling of a family supporting one another. You provide decent ingredients, and we prepare a tasty dish for you.

 

If so what do you enjoy about owning/being a chef at a restaurant in the “Farm to Fork Capital”?

"The variety of local ingredients in Sacramento makes our ideal of dining with our family a reality.

Nothing has to be overly extravagant or rare; any locally sourced ingredients we have in Sacramento can simply create a mouth-watering dish"

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