I am really excited that I have the chance to share my tips, recipes and thoughts about vegan cooking with you. I thought I would start off by telling you about myself. I haven't always been a vegan chef, so I think once you learn more about me, you can see just how possible it is to start cooking healthier vegan meals -- even if you start with just one meal a week.
Originally, I never expected to be a chef, although when I was growing up, I was always around food. I come from a huge Mexican family and was the youngest of 15 kids. I would watch my mom cook for all my brothers, sisters, friends and family.
I went to school at Cal State Fullerton as a Political Science major, and to pay for school I went to work as a waiter. I worked at many large, chain restaurants, and although I thoroughly enjoyed waiting tables I was uninspired by the quality of food that was served.
Eventually, I decided to get a job as a waiter at a higher quality restaurant. Immediately, I fell in love with it. The quality of the food and the integrity of the chefs was a world of difference from where I had been. I soon convinced them to let me work in the kitchen, and that's where it started for me.
After studying at the Culinary Institute of America, someone suggested I become a personal chef. I eventually found myself cooking for celebrities. One of the families I worked for had a child with juvenile diabetes, and that is when I started focusing more on nutrition and health. I revamped most of what I learned in school and this acted as a platform for my vegan future.
Now that I cook exclusively vegan meals for Ellen and Portia, I've learned that the variety of experiences in my life has helped me along the way. I know what it's like to change your habits, to remove animal protein from your diet, and I plan on sharing my experience with you. Even if you start with just one meal a week, you can learn to cook healthy and delicious vegan meals without having to make a big change.
Keep checking back here as I post some of my recipes and give you some advice to help you start cooking healthier.Your Chef, Roberto Martin