Keep Moving Forward (and a confession)

Vegan has been in ascendance for the past few years. Vegan chefs are winning awards and are finally being accepted as legitimate contributors to the culinary world while vegan consumers are dominating the marketplace. We’ve done a great job of bringing compassion to the masses, but for all we’ve done, there’s still more to do. Even more important, we must keep doing better in order to keep this trend going. Otherwise, we risk stalling this incredible momentum that we’ve built. That’s why I think it is imperative that we don’t rest on our laurels.

It may seem like an odd thing to say, but I know I’ve been guilty of taking a breather. It’s tempting to sit back and say, “I’ve done my part.” I know other vegan chefs and food activists who have done the same. I don’t do as much tabling as I used to do, or as many pro bono classes. I wrote recipes no longer to advance a cause, but simply because I was interested in writing about good food. It’s so much easier to be vegan now, advancing the vegan cause didn’t seem as necessary. Most people wouldn’t think that’s such a big deal, but I became a vegan chef to make a difference in the world. What’s one more voice? I can’t believe my attitude had changed that way. It snuck under the radar, slowly, over a couple of years.  I decided to make a change and if you’re one of those people who have been sitting back a little more like I was, I hope you decide to make that kind of change with me.

Now is the time to capitalize on our successes, not rest upon them. Keep up the good work, keep up the good food, and keep making a difference.


  1. notorious says:

    Jason Thank you for your very strong “voice”. As far as ….”dominating the marketplace….”unfortunately, animals continue to dominate natural food sales. Investment in the mass marketing of faux kindness and humane care for “food” animals, has only led to a higher comfort level for consumers to eat flesh without guilt. Listen to people who repeat the mantra: ….”grass feed” therefore – good for the animal and good for the consumer. After many decades the percentage of vegans still remains virtually the same – 1% or so. I’m miffed that your resources claim differently. In the past I’ve participated in vegan groups where long time members say they will eat fish or meat whenever they think they “need it”.

    On another note: Vegan cheeses have improved immensely in taste and texture yet, there is virtually little protein and mostly fat in these products, therefore, not providing a a wholesome nourishing meal.
    Any thoughts?

    • Chef Jason says:

      Gah! I can’t believe I missed your post, so sorry for the late reply.

      The source was a food service industry magazine from last year, though I can’t remember the name of it for the life of me. To sum up the article, vegans were the primary drivers of change in the marketplace, both on the restaurant end and in stores. Personally, I see far more interest in vegan products now than I did ten years ago. Sadly, places like Whole Foods promote “humane meat” (that’s a complete joke), but despite that, I still know far more vegan-friendly people than I did just a few years ago. I’ll take vegan-friendly over an all-or-nothing approach because most people, given that choice, will choose nothing.

      As far as vegan cheese, most of it is processed and nutritionally not that great, but neither is dairy cheese. If it helps someone switch from eating chicken with cheese to zucchini with vegan cheese, so be it.