Chefs at Vegfest 2014

The following chefs presented in 2014.

 
   
     
Pranee Halvorsen
Pranee Halvorsen
 

Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen is a Thai chef who provides private chef services and cooking lessons in the Seattle & Eastside area. Pranee grew up in Thailand, and like most kids of her generation she helped out by doing chores in the kitchen. At age 12, she became substitute cook of her house.

When Pranee moved to Seattle, she brought along a mortar and pestle and filled her kitchen with Thai herbs, spices and cooking equipment. She believes the best way to enjoy eating and cooking Thai food is to cook and share it with others. Pranee loves the idea of having good times and socializing with people and sharing food, as that is the way they do it in Thailand. Find out more about Pranee at her website, ilovethaicooking.com.

   
Ellen Jaffe Jones
Ellen Jaffe Jones
 

Ellen Jaffe Jones is "The Veg Coach," aka "The Broccoli Rep," because as she says, "Who else IS the broccoli rep?" She is an inspiring motivational speaker, personal trainer, running coach, author, and teaches healthy cooking classes designed by respected doctors and registered dietitians.

Ellen was a popular TV investigative reporter and anchor for 18 years in Miami and St. Louis. She became known as the "Earth Mother in a Suit" when she left TV and became a successful financial consultant at Smith Barney for 5 years. Combining both backgrounds, she wrote her best-selling book, Eat Vegan on $4 a Day after seeing too many news stories saying eating healthfully was impossible on a budget. The book rapidly became her publisher's #1 seller. Her latest book, Kitchen Divided, was written for vegans who find themselves sharing a kitchen with an omnivore.

Many have sought her expertise in modeling a healthy lifestyle. Her gifted public speaking ability, humor, easy tips, motivational ideas, and stark reality, make her an inspirational speaker.

   
     
Bianca Phillips
Bianca Phillips
 

Bianca Phillips has been piddlin’ around her mama’s and granny’s kitchens since she was knee-high to a grasshopper (that’s Southern speak for “really little”). She hasn’t had any fancy culinary training, but she’s a firm believer that great Southern chefs learn to cook from the soul. The Arkansas native and current resident of Memphis, Tennessee grew up not too far from the muddy banks of the Mississippi River. That meant cornbread, butter beans, collard greens, and Paula Deen.

As a 7-year vegan and 17-year vegetarian, Bianca is dedicated to veganizing soul food and country classics. She is the author of Cookin' Crunk: Eatin' Vegan in the Dirty South, a soulful collection down-home comfort food recipes made without meats, eggs, dairy, or other animal by-products. Bianca blogs daily at Vegan Crunk (http://vegancrunk.blogspot.com), where she posts photos of everyday eats, recipes, cookbook reviews, and vegan product reviews (and the occasional adorable cat picture, of course). By day, Bianca is an editor and reporter at the Memphis Flyer, an alt-weekly newspaper. She lives in Memphis with her partner Paul, two mutts, and six cats.

   
     
Alan Roettinger
Alan Roettinger
 

Alan has always loved food. He grew up in Mexico, where the food literally explodes with flavor. He learnt Mexican cooking from the maids and the gardener, but he had no idea then that he would have a career in cooking. At 18, he left home and spent two years living in Switzerland. He traveled throughout Europe and Morocco, where each town seemed to have its own unique cuisine. Eventually, he moved to the United States and worked at various jobs around the country before settling on a career as a private chef.

As a private chef, he not only got to make different food every day and use expensive ingredients, he got to observe human nature at the pinnacle of wealth and power. During his 25 years serving the rich and famous (including a president and a prime minister), he learned a lot about what we hunger for, and what satisfies. His two most recent cookbooks are Speed Vegan and Extraordinary Vegan, where he shares an abundance of culinary wisdom.

     
Miyoko Schinner
Miyoko Schinner
 

Miyoko Schinner, vegan chef, cookbook author, and television cooking show host, has been promoting delicious, decadent, and healthful plant-based foods for the past thirty years. Her most recent cookbook, Artisan Vegan Cheese, is a top-selling book on Amazon, and has been called “The holy grail of the culinary world.” She is a co-host of Vegan Mashup, a new cooking show on public television, and stars in her own whimsical online show, Miyoko’s Kitchen. As a cooking instructor, she teaches regularly in the McDougall Program, and at festivals and events around the country. She is a former restaurateur (Now and Zen, San Francisco), and food developer, and has had her vegan products distributed nationwide as well as on United Airlines. She has appeared in publications, television, and radio, including VegNews, NPR, ABC World News Tonight, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Washington Post, New York Post, Eating Well, and many other media outlets.

   
     
Sunita Shastri
Sunita Shastri
 

Sunita Shastri was born in the South Indian state of Karnataka. Her passion for good food started early from watching her mother cook. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Mysore University in India, and came to the U.S. after marriage. Ms. Shastri has an M.B.A. from City University in Seattle, and has always dreamed about starting her own food company, which she did in June 2003 under the name “Meghana Foods” (named after her daughter). This company is now a growing food products enterprise in the Pacific Northwest under the brand name Taazaä.

Sunita is very passionate about spreading the secrets of Indian foods. She has shared some of her favorite recipes in her cookbook “Indian Vegetarian Delights”. Her background in vegetarian South Indian cooking adds a unique element to this book, since most Indian cookbooks tend to focus on North Indian recipes.