Introduction

Introduction

By
Mo Wyse, Shannon Martinez
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781743792070
Photographer
Bonnie Savage

You’re reading a cookbook by two women who set out to broaden the mainstream scope of plant-based cuisine. Shannon creates the impossible with pans and vegetables; I bring the passion and business focus to build a following for those creations. Our powers combined, we made a restaurant (Smith & Daughters), we made a deli (Smith & Deli), and we made this cookbook so that people could experience plant-based food the way it should be: big, bold, flavourful, noteworthy, celebration-worthy and myth-dispelling.

There are still people who believe veganism is a trend, that all vegan food tastes the same, boring, bland way and, above all, that vegan food is uncreative, not filling and lacks flavour. We don’t.

Shannon has a repeat saying: ‘a chef ’s job is to make you happy’. And nothing makes Shannon happier than feeding people. If she’s not cooking, she’s putting heaping plates of food in front of people. She loves cooking and she loves feeding people. And the way we look at the recipes in this book is more like: how good would this dish be on your couch, on a rainy day, in your PJs, in front of the TV?

Shannon was inspired to cook without using animal products because of a sincere lack of inspiration within mainstream cooking. Everything had been done before, except making meat without meat, cheese without cheese, croissants without butter, and eggs without eggs. There were no guide books or scientific research from a chef’s perspective on how to recreate animal products from plant-based ingredients, so she just had to do it herself.

Everything in this book stems from the desire to do better, make more, and blow people’s minds. It’s unpretentious. It’s real. And really good. We believe in real food, touched by real hands (our hands have been all over this food). This book is also about making vegan food accessible to the person who never ever thought they could make the jump. The greatest compliment we receive on a daily basis is being told by customers that if they could eat Smith & Daughters/Deli every day, they’d go vegan. And this is from customers who, before their meal, joke about grabbing a cheeseburger on their way home, but then say ‘roll me out of here!’ at the end of the meal. It’s amazing and humbling.

We have also included more than recipes in this book, so you know who we are, where we come from, where we want to go, and some of the super fun stuff we love and value in this business. We included it to show you that all it takes is a bit of excitement, talent and a lot of hard work to make dreams come true. The fact that you’re holding this book and reading these pages means that we’ve achieved some of those dreams. Yay.

We hope this book helps you to make meals for yourself and people you care about, meals you enjoy, and meals that will hopefully show you and everyone else that there’s more to vegan food than most people think. Enjoy.

Mo Wyse

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